Challenge set for Mazda dealers in 2007

Mazda has celebrated its "flying start" to 2007 and challenged its dealers to keep the success going throughout the year.

The automaker was found to be the most reliable manufacturer of cars between three and nine years old in a study by Warranty Direct, a result which Rob Lindley, managing director of Mazda UK, said the firm was "absolutely delighted" with.

According to registration figures published this month, Mazda has outgrown all other car brands in the UK over the past five years.

Mr Lindley challenged the company to sustain this growth throughout 2007, but stressed that it would not be an easy task.

"The market will be fundamentally static so we will have to fight hard," Mr Lindley said.

"What I am telling my team – and what I plan to tell the dealers at our annual conference in March – is that they should look at 50,000 as just the beginning, not the end."

Mazda sold 50,000 units in 2006 – amounting to a 2.1 per cent passenger car share. In Scotland the company has a 2.9 per cent portion of the market.

Product will be the key to success this year, according to Mr Lindley. He referred to 2003 when the Mazda2, the RX-8 and the Mazda3 were launched and said that models such as the CX-7 and the SUV Crossover should generate similar interest this year.

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