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Mazda today began production of its third-generation Mazda 3 in Thailand, with assembly taking place at AutoAlliance Thailand, the automaker’s manufacturing facility located in Rayong. The plant is making the Mazda 3 for the Thai market, where it will begin going on sale next week, on March 18.

Thai production joins Mexico, which began assembling the new Mazda 3 for the North American market in January, as manufacturing sites for the car, aside from the primary build taking place at the company’s Hofu plant in Japan. Production is also slated to take place in China, at Mazda’s plant in Nanjing.

No mention was made of the engine variants for Thai assembly, but it has been reported that the three overseas production sites would begin with the petrol version of the car. In Malaysia, we’re set to kick things off with the SkyActiv-G 2.0 litre version of the car, with the official launch set to happen sometime next week.

We’ve test driven the Mazda 3 – read our Australian drive report on the 2.0 and 2.5 litre variants. There’s also our video walk-around of the Malaysian-spec Mazda 3 2.0 Sedan, if you haven’t seen that yet.