Mazda MX-5: The Cult Roadster

Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5

  • Best-selling open two-seater sports car of all time, entered into the Guinness Book of World Records since 2000
  • Over 710,000 sold since 1989, nearly 200,000 in Europe
  • The cult roadster with a global fan following, also an affordable entry-model for motor sports

Only 16 years old and already a classic, with a cult following as well, Mazda MX-5 is a unique phenomenon. In October 2005, the third generation of the best-selling Mazda MX-5 will hit showrooms throughout the UK. It follows in the footsteps of two previous versions, whose success surpassed even the most optimistic predictions.

Since 2000, the successor to the classic British roadsters of the 1960s has been in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time. A total of 531,890 units built between April 1989 and October 1999 make the Mazda MX-5 the most successful open-top, two-seat sports car in history.

Since then, Mazda MX-5 has continued to be very popular with sports car customers. Up to July 2005 Mazda has produced 724,667 units. From the total number of Mazda MX-5s produced for Europe, 199,542, over a third at 67,079 were sold in the UK. In addition, 350,411 were sold in North America, 149,400 in Japan and 11,334 in Australia. At 431,506 units, the first-generation Mazda MX-5, famous for its pop-up headlights, has had the lion’s share of total production. After replacing the first generation at the end of 1997, the second generation achieved production volumes of 290,123 units.

News of the Mazda Miata introduction at Chicago in 1989 hit the motoring world like a bombshell. Originally meant for the USA and Japan, excitement was so great that it literally washed over the Atlantic to Europe and Mazda was not able to supply enough vehicles from Japan to meet global demand.

Desperate to have the car, European MX-5 fanatics came up with the idea of importing versions on their own to Europe. To this day, these models can be identified by the Miata logo on their rear ends - an emblem that seems like a membership to a secret society.

Eight of Every 10 European MX-5s Go To England and Germany

While the Mazda MX-5 was a magnet for sports car lovers for years in the USA and Japan, popularity for the car has shifted permanently to Europe during the last three years. Here a good 80 per cent of all MX-5s have found new owners in sun-starved England and Germany. Between 1989 and June 2005, 67,079 Mazda MX-5s were delivered to England while 83,783 were registered in Germany during the same period.

continues... | Part Two
Published 7 October 2005 Melanie Carter
 

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