The share transfer was widely expected from Ford, which has recently promised to focus more on the Ford brand.
The shares will be transferred to a number of Mazda’s business partners while Ford introduces a number of new strategies.
This includes a One Ford strategy where each model will be almost identical when released into a number of global markets.
For example, the new Ford Focus will be made of 80 per cent identical parts when it is sold in over 160 world markets in 2011.
By transferring the shares, Ford will now be the fourth largest share holder in the Japanese manufacturer, but will continue to share technology information.
“Ford will remain one of Mazda’s largest shareholders with a 3.5- percent stake, and both companies are committed to continuing our strategic partnership which spans over 30 years,” says Mazda’s Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi. “Mazda and Ford will continue to collaborate on areas of mutual benefit such as key joint ventures, joint projects and exchange of technology information."
The move will not affect the proposed roll out of Mazda’s new ultra-efficient SKYACTIV petrol engines, which will be used on the Mazda2 supermini and Mazda3 hatchback.
Ford also has a range of eco petrol engines, the EcoBoost range, which is built at the Dagenham plant in England and can be found in a number of Ford models including the C-Max MPV and larger Grand C-Max, as well as the Mondeo and Focus.