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April 21, 2004
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Mazda Records Best Quarter and Month Ever in Europe

  • Mazda Motor Europe sales January through March 2004 up 39 percent over same period 2003

  • March sales volume of 32,972 represents best of any month ever

  • All-time sales records set in Italy, Portugal and France in March

  • In last 3 months, Mazda2 achieved highest sales rate since launch

Leverkusen - Mazda Motor Europe continued to outpace the industry by setting an all-time sales record during the first quarter of 2004, selling 74,062 vehicles, nearly 2,000 more than the previous record set during the first quarter of 1999. Volume for the period January through March was up 39 percent and was more than 20,000 units over the same period last year, in an industry that grew by 2.5 percent. This makes the first quarter 2004 the best of any quarter ever recorded by Mazda in Europe.

 

First quarter results for individual markets were up across the board lead by Italy, which saw sales rise by over 157 percent compared to the first quarter last year. Sales for the period January through March in Portugal were up 113 percent, in Spain 88 percent, in France 43 percent and in the United Kingdom 35 percent compared to the same period in 2003. Germany saw first quarter sales volumes of well over 20,000 units, up 10 percent over the same period last year.

Excellent sales results were also recorded during the first quarter in Belgium, up 91 percent, The Netherlands up 84 percent, Greece up 82 percent, Norway up 79 percent, the Czech Republic up 45 percent, Finland and Denmark both up 43 percent and Ireland up 33 percent.

Mazda sales for March were also the best of any month in history, with 32,792 units finding owners in Europe, over 2,000 more than the previous record set in March 1999. These results come in the wake of excellent January and February sales, which were up 42 and 44 percent respectively compared to the same two months last year. February sales were the best for Mazda in Europe in more than eight years. As a result, Mazda's market share for March is projected to be at 1.7 percent in Europe, up by 0.4 ppts.

All-time March sales records by volume were set in three European markets, lead by Italy, where sales jumped by 124 percent compared to March last year. In Portugal sales were up by 84 percent, and in France nearly 46 percent compared to March 2003, both of them records. Achieving their best March in eight years by volume were Norway up 105 percent, the Czech Republic up 88 percent, the United Kingdom up 25 percent, and Finland up 10 percent.

Sales more than doubled in March in Belgium, Greece and Hungary; while in Ireland sales were up 77 percent, and in The Netherlands 66 percent. In Germany, 9,260 units were sold in March, representing a 14 percent increase over March 2003.

There were a number of encouraging model line performances in the first quarter: Almost 11,500 Mazda2 models were sold, the best performance since launch a year ago, with best ever results in the segment recorded in France, Austria, the Czech Republic and Belgium.

In its first quarter since launch across all markets in Europe, Mazda3 sales at over 18,000 units were 26 percent over original projections and represented a doubling of Mazda's presence in the segment year over year.

Mazda6 continues to achieve popularity, with sales at almost 25,000 units, in line with last year's level.

RX-8 took almost 20 percent of the sports car segment in the first quarter, with sales over 6,000 units.

Mazda MPV sales were up 8 percent in the first three months, and hit an all time sales record in March.

Mazda Premacy sales increased by almost 6 percent versus the first quarter 2003.

During the calendar year 2003, Mazda was one of the fastest growing automobile brands in Europe, ranking second in volume growth for passenger cars. Mazda was the fastest growing brand in Austria, Italy, Ireland and Portugal last year (total industry), and for passenger cars in Denmark. Mazda was the second fastest growing brand last year in The Netherlands (total industry), and for passenger cars in Belgium and Greece.

"Our results in the first quarter, and particularly in March, clearly demonstrate that we have been successful in capitalizing on the sales momentum we achieved last year," said Dan Morris, President and CEO Mazda Motor Europe GmbH. "We are confident that with our portfolio of new products fully launched in all markets that we can continue to grow our business."

(April 19, 2004)


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