The highly responsive 1.6-litre diesel engine is coupled to a superb chassis offering a rewarding drive which is consistent with the outstanding driving dynamics found in the Mazda6, MX-5, RX-8 and Mazda3 petrol. With generous equipment levels, excellent interior space and outstanding handling, the Mazda3 diesel will attract people looking for a frugal but involving drive in a car that stands out from the other run-of-the-mill C segment offerings.

The arrival of the Mazda3 diesel completes the model line-up and, with only 11 months’ sales for petrol and nine for diesel, sales for the Mazda3 range are forecast to reach 10,000 during 2004 and rise to 14,000 in 2005. The Mazda3 diesel will account for up to 22 per cent of all Mazda3 production in 2004; this will rise to a figure closer to the C segment split of 34 per cent diesel in 2005 from a full year of diesel sales.

"Diesel is a segment of the market which is seeing significant growth in the C segment," commented Jeremy Thomson, marketing director of Mazda Motors UK Ltd. "The market currently stands at 34 per cent diesel and is set to rise at two per cent per year and we need to be in the market with a Mazda diesel that is a good drive, frugal and exciting. That is exactly what we have with the Mazda3 diesel.

"While our initial volume aspirations for the Mazda3 diesel are modest, we will see the volumes rise to closely reflect the market’s petrol/diesel split in a full year of production. In 2004 we anticipate that the Mazda3 diesel will account for up to 22 per cent of Mazda3 production, rising to around 30 per cent during 2005," added Thomson.

continues... | Part Three

Published : 19/02/04 Author : Melanie Carter

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