The iconic Mazda MX-5 two-seater roadster and the revolutionary Mazda RX-8 coupé have powered Mazda to the top of the charts taking 40% of all sales in the non-premium sports car market.

And there is more on the way according to UK managing director Rob Lindley, starting in January with the launch of a very hot version of the Mazda6 family saloon, the MPS (Mazda Performance Series).

“People really like what we are doing with our sports models,” said Lindley. “We are clearly the UK's favourite sports car brand and there is a lot more happening on this front. It is where we see our growth. Of the 52,000 cars we plan to sell here next year, more than a quarter, some 15,000, will be sports cars - they are a great advertisement for the Mazda brand and our dealers.”

An all-new Mazda MX-5 was launched in late October and has got off to a flying start and, along with the RX-8, has established Mazda comfortably as market leader in the segment.

Overall Mazda’s market share has remained steady in a new car market that dropped 6% over 2004. Sales this year will end at around 47,000 and in 2006 Lindley said Mazda would focus on three core strategies.

“We will be looking to improve the mix of business to become more profitable and that means concentrating on growth in the new models and in particular, improving our retail sales. We also want to build dealers’ profitability by improving margins and taking out unnecessary cost and, third, we want to continue to build the brand.

“There are some interesting new products later in the year as well, and we will continue with our ‘Zoom Zoom’ advertising theme. It’s important, though, to get people into our cars and we will continue to work with events and circuits around the country offering cars for tracks days and red-letter day experiences.”

Published : 28/12/05 Author : Melanie Carter

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