TOKYO, Jan. 30 (Kyodo) — Mazda Motor Corp. said Wednesday it will build a plant to manufacture automatic transmissions in the Thai province of Chonburi, with production starting in the first half of fiscal 2015.

The plant, to be built with 26 billion yen in investment, will turn out 400,000 transmissions a year for the automaker's vehicles employing its fuel-efficient technology dubbed Skyactiv and supply them to AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Mazda's joint venture with Ford Motor Co., and other Mazda factories around the world, it said.

Although Mazda's existing transmission plant in Hofu, Yamaguchi Prefecture, will remain its chief transmission facility, it has decided to add another plant to cope with growing demand for models incorporating the Skyactiv technology, it said.

Mazda will set up Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. as a wholly owned subsidiary to oversee the transmission operations in the new Chonburi plant, it added.