Booming user-chooser company car demand boosted by industry-leading vehicle reliability has contributed to unprecedented fleet sales success for Mazda in 2004.
A major contributor to Mazda’s user-chooser success has been the marque’s flagship Mazda RX-8 sports coupé with just over 1,000 models snapped up by company car drivers since its launch.
Now the number of companies that are adding Mazdas to their fleets has been buoyed by the Mazda RX-8 setting a total of 40 international time and distance records in a 24-hour endurance marathon thereby underlining the car’s reliability.
Two Mazda RX-8s were put through their paces in Germany with more than 5,000 kms clocked up in the 24 hours with average speeds of more than 215 km/h.
Mazda fleet and remarketing director David McGonigle said: ‘These results clearly demonstrate that the Mazda RX-8’s unique RENESIS rotary engine not only provides exhilarating performance, but is durable and reliable even under the most extreme driving conditions.’
The cars were piloted by 15 automotive journalists from 11 countries, who completed the 24-hour test on a 12.3 km high-speed oval, pausing only to change drivers and simultaneous vehicle refuelling, oil and tyre checks. Other than that, it was full throttle around the track. The record-breaking drives were monitored by the FIA, motorsport’s official governing body.
The impressive reliability of the 1.3-litre Mazda RX-8 in establishing the 40 international records comes hot on the heels of Mazda’s achievement in topping Warranty Direct’s Manufacturer Reliability Index for a staggering fourth year in succession.
Vehicle reliability is essential in ensuring that the wheels of British industry and commerce run cost effectively and efficiently and fleets have recognised that fact by choosing Mazdas, which has seen fleet sales rocketing more than 40 per cent year-on-year to over 13,300 after 10 months of 2004. This compares to 10,800 full year Mazda fleet sales in 2003.
Designed with both fun and functionality in mind the RX-8 is a high-performance sports car featuring a unique freestyle door system allowing easy access to the rear two seats with comfortable seating for four adults.
Two models are available - the £20,000 on the road ‘standard power’ RX-8 pumping out 192 PS and the £22,000 ‘high power’ derivative producing 231 PS.
Standard equipment on both models includes 18-inch alloy wheels, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution, driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags, climate control air conditioning and a BOSE Premium Audio sound system with nine speakers and a six CD auto-changer.
Mr McGonigle said: ‘A car suffering a breakdown is just half a fleet’s problem. To get it back on the road inevitably costs money. But with Mazda fleets can be assured of industry-leading reliability and very competitive repair costs.’
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