HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Sales of Mazda vehicles are down 2.0 percent this year but should edge into positive territory for the second half, thanks to the redesigned Mazda6.
Executive Vice President Philip Spender said the revamped sedan, delivered to dealers in August, will salvage growth in 2008 for Mazda Motor Corp. once sales hit full stride.
Im sure the second half is going to be a lot, lot stronger than the first half, Spender said today. The Mazda6 is in transition and likely wont be at full supply for another quarter.
Thats what makes me optimistic that we could well get over the line and see a small amount of growth, he said.
Mazda sold 296,110 vehicles in the United States last year.
The automaker expects annual sales of 100,000 units for the latest Mazda6.
This year has been a reversal of fortunes for Mazda, after a stellar 2007. The company led all mass-market automakers with a 10.2 percent increase in U.S. sales last year.
But in 2008, sales were down 2.0 percent through August, trailing Japanese rivals Honda Motor Co., Nissan Motor Co. and Subaru, all of which posted increases.