It's a chicken-and-egg situation for Mazda North American Operations. The factory wants dealers to invest in the franchise. But dealers are used to dualing with other franchises, and Mazda dealer profits have been erratic.
Karl Schmidt, president of the Mazda Dealer Advisory Council, looks north toward Canada and sees the results of faith in Mazda. In Canada, Mazda went almost entirely to single-point stores, and market share soared. In the United States, fewer than 25 percent of Mazda dealerships are stand-alones, and market share has been moribund.
Schmidt, general manager of Morrie's Mazda in Minnetonka, Minn., says Mazda's new line of products is attracting a new wave of customers. He hopes other dealers will take note and pay more attention to a franchise on the rise.
Schmidt spoke with Staff Reporter Mark Rechtin about where Mazda is headed.