A very beautiful Mazda 323, Spotted in China in the far east of Beijing. The good Maz’ was in great shape inside and out, and painted in a shiny kind of gold.
The Mazda 323 was manufactured in China by Hainan-Mazda, a joint venture between Hainan Motor Works (known today as Hainan Auto) and Mazda Motors. The joint venture was founded in 1992 and lasted until 2006. It was based in Haikou on China’s subtropical Hainan Island.
The joint venture manufactured an odd mix of older and newer models. Some were fully manufactured and others merely assembled, based on complete knock-down (CKD) kits. The models: Mazda 929 L4 wagon, Mazda 929 HD sedan (CKD), Mazda 626 GE (CKD), Mazda MPV LV, and the Mazda 323 BG (sixth generation).
A big change came in 1998 when First Auto Works (FAW) bought the majority of the shares in Haima Motor Works, and with that the share of Hainan Motor Works in the Hainan-Mazda joint venture. The 323 was set to roll out that same year.
In China each car makers has its own designation, this designation is used for the car maker’s internal-vehicle codes. Beijing Auto for example is BJ, Shanghai Auto SH, and First Auto Works has CA.
A full code can look like this: BJ2022JH. In the old days most car makers badged their cars with the brand name, the vehicle’s name, and the internal vehicle code! Some car makers, especially commercial vehicle makers, continue the practice until today.
The Hainan-Mazda joint venture had the designation HMC. When FAW took over the designation changed to CA. The Mazda 323 was the first car of the joint venture to get the CA designation.
There were two versions: the CA7160 and the CA7130.
The CA7160 was powered by a Mazda 1.6 with 86 hp and 125 Nm. It was sold from 1998 until 2000. The CA7130 arrived in that same year, eventually replacing the CA7160. Power came from a 1.3 with 84 hp and 110 Nm.
Interestingly, this ‘8A1’ engine was sourced from Toyota. It was made locally in the city of Tianjin by a joint venture between FAW and Toyota. The engines were used in various FAW products, including the Tianjin Xiali 2000. With this engine, the CA7130 could go from 0-100 in 13 seconds. Not exactly “zoom zoom:, but not at all that bad.
The interior with the original leather seats and original radio.
It is rare to see a 323 in such a good shape today. Most that haven’t been scrapped are in horrible shape.
Production of the 323 continued until 2004. And that was also the end of Hainan-Mazda. The joint venture was succeeded by the new FAW-Mazda joint venture, which exists until today.
Hainan Motor Works became FAW Hainan Automobile, and they got the right to produce Hainan Auto-branded cars using older Mazda platforms and technologies. This agreement still stands, and all current Haima Auto cars have Mazda genes.
The Hainan Mazda badge.
May this Chinese-Japanese beauty ride a many miles a more…