March was a remarkable month for Mazda with an increase in sales of 59.7% over March 2002 and a year-to-date sales increase of 47.7% against a market that is down 1.35%, giving Mazda the highest volume increase in the UK automotive industry this year of any manufacturer. Retail sales are up over 40% while fleet sales continue to impress with an increase in sales of 147% during March and 130% up year-to-date.

Mazda's new offering in the supermini segment, the Mazda2, went on sale on 20 March with four different engine offerings, starting at £8760, and is a great proposition for both private and company car drivers. The new Mazda B-Series also went on sale during March with the choice of models for either commercial applications or lifestyle needs, starting at £9495 (ex VAT).

March also saw the Mazda6 win two prestigious awards. Fleet News voted the Mazda6 as "Best Upper Medium Car" in its annual awards. As John Maslen, Editor of Fleet News said: ‘To have a Mazda winning such a prestigious award as Best Upper Medium Car – which the Ford Mondeo won last year – is a clear sign of the resurgence of their Mazda brand following its change of ownership.’

Mazda6 also won the Auto Express Driver Power award, a customer satisfaction award voted for by 25,000 owners and based on customer satisfaction with the key vehicle attributes and the ownership experience. With an overall rating of 93.66% Mazda6 was a full 3% points clear of the second best vehicle, the Porsche Boxster, in a survey of the Top 100 UK cars.

Auto Express said: 'The dynamic new 6 has stormed into top position, muscling aside more established, upper echelon marques like BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus with nonchalant ease. It's a full four percentage points ahead of last year's winner the Porsche Boxster, and that is deeply impressive. The 6 simply does everything very well indeed.'

As well as winning the overall Driver Power award, Mazda6 was also rated "Best Braking" and "Best Build Quality" and it was in the top seven in each of the 10 categories – an unprecedented result.

continues... | Part Two

Published : 16/04/03 Author : Melanie Carter

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