Mazda is the nation’s favourite sports car brand, heading sales in the sector during March with not one, but two models.

The ever-popular Mazda MX-5 roadster topped the pile with almost 1,500 sales during the month while over 1,200 Mazda RX-8 Coupés took to the road giving the brand a whopping 41 per cent share of the non-premium sports car segment.

If you wrap-in luxury makes such as Porsche, Audi and Mercedes-Benz, Mazda still tops the bill with 21 per cent of the market.

Mazda UK sales director Jeremy Thomson said: "Our success in the sports car market has been building for some time and in many ways this defines the Mazda brand and its Zoom-Zoom promise.

"We now stand head-to-head with the strongest competition and the success of our sports cars leads more people into our showrooms.

"We now have to build on this success and look at exciting new ways of getting potential customers into our cars."

This is likely to include a repeat of the successful Zoom-Zoom Challenge track days Mazda held last year, inviting around 1,000 prospects to drive Mazda MX-5s and RX-8s on circuits.

Thomson said: "The success of these events was spectacular and we sold a large number of vehicles as a result. We are now working on a programme of smaller events which will be just as unique and exciting."

Also performing well this year have been the Mazda5 Compact MAV (Multi Activity Vehicle) with flexible seating for up to seven and the recently launched Mazda6 MPS (Mazda Performance Series), a 150mph turbocharged 2.3-litre high performance saloon.

Thomson added: "When we launched the Mazda RX-8 in 2003 Mazda changed the Sports car segment by introducing the only practical stylish sports car with seating for a family of four. Along with the unique rotary engine and freestyle doors we could offer a practical sports car model to families for the first time putting a little bit of the exotic into everyday motoring."

All this added up to record numbers for Mazda since the turn of the year - a record sales quarter and a record March. "We have got the momentum," enthused Thomson, "And the strong customer ordertake levels point to a great year ahead for Mazda."

Published : 17/04/06 Author : Melanie Carter

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