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Will Mazda pull a NUMMI in Flat Rock?

TOKYO--It has been a tough run for U.S.-Japan joint automaking ventures in North America.

They once were hailed as learning labs where ailing Detroit manufacturers could assimilate the wisdom of the East. But in recent years they have crumbled under financial stress and shifting alliances.

In 2009, General Motors walked out on its 25-year-old joint venture with Toyota, New United Motor Manufacturing, in Fremont, Calif. Later that year, Suzuki bailed on its CAMI joint plant with GM in Canada.

Now Mazda Motor seems poised to pull out of its longtime manufacturing partnership with Ford.

At issue is the … Read more