“It’s only a question of how deeply the knife will slice as Mazda’s desperate cost-cutting measures take aim at its workforce in the U.S. this week.

The maker has signaled it will post a US$1.2 billion loss when the Japanese fiscal year wraps up on March 31, its worst performance in 11 years, and only by offering more than a billion dollars in new stock is it likely to head off a more serious crisis. For now, anyway.

With long-time partner Ford Motor Company slashing its stake in its Japanese affiliate from 33 to just four per cent since Alan Mulally was named CEO, even Mazda’s top executive Takashi Yamanouchi admits it will be difficult to go it alone, Yamanouchi recently acknowledging his company is “actively” looking for new alliance partners.

Of course, Mazda is not alone. General Motors confirmed this month that it would enter into a far-reaching partnership with Paris-based PSA Peugeot Citroen. And Germany’s Daimler AG has repeatedly expanded the coalition it formed two years ago with the Renault-Nissan Alliance.”

Source: Autoblog