Mazda achieves its best German sales in 14 years

Leverkusen, Germany. Michael Bergmann, Mazda Germany's managing director, has good reason to be happy.

The Ford subsidiary sold 23,200 cars during the first quarter of 2004 -- its best result since 1990.

That means an increase of 11 percent or 2,300 vehicles compared with the same period last year. The sales boost also was achieved despite a stagnating auto market.

Mazda achieved a German market share of 3.1 percent in the first quarter of 2004. Now Mazda Germany aims to continue the sales success during the entire year.

"We want to reach a market share of 2.5 percent with 80,000 sold vehicles in 2004," Bergmann said.

Last year the importer achieved a market share of 2.3 percent with a total of 73,800 sold cars.

The Mazda6 and Mazda3 models were especially successful. Sales of the Mazda6, a VW Passat rival, increased by 73 percent in March compared with the previous month.

Mazda has also tackled customers' complaints about long delivery periods. The Mazda6 and the Mazda3, which competes against the VW Golf, are now delivered to the customers within two to eight weeks.

Bergmann said Mazda Germany will not resort to sales incentives or discounts to boost sales.

"We do not want to risk the residual value of vehicles such as that of the Mazda6 by offering discounts," Bergmann said.

Mazda Germany has a sales network of 760 dealers and 97 service locations.

Bergmann said that currently there are gaps in the German dealer network in the Bochum and Wuerzburg areas and in some smaller regions.

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