Tacoma moves 1 millionth Mazda

Tacoma moves 1 millionth Mazda

Mazda imported its 1 millionth vehicle into the United States through the Port of Tacoma, Wash.

The port said in a news release that the auto - a red 2004 Mazda RX-8 - was handled at the Blair terminal by Auto Warehousing Co., which moves about 3.2 million vehicles each year, or about 20 percent of all vehicles sold in the United States.

"This vehicle represents a milestone in a continuing partnership," said Port of Tacoma Commissioner Dick Marzano. "Mazda has its choice of business partners, and they have made a commitment to Tacoma. And the Port -- with our facilities and our labor partners -- has made a commitment to Mazda and the auto industry to ensure their long-term success. We have the ability and willingness to grow and meet the needs of these important customers."

Mazda, a unit of Ford Motor Co., has been importing vehicles through Tacoma for 25 years. The landmark vehicle was promptly transferred to the port's new $40 million Marshall Avenue Auto Facility, where the vehicles of Port customers Isuzu, Kia, Mazda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki are processed.

In 2002, the vehicles of these manufacturers accounted for a port record 180,000 autos. The 146-acre facility can store and process more than 19,000 vehicles at a time, according to the port.