TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp. sees an opportunity to cherry-pick prime retail locations from the ranks of dealers cut loose by Chrysler LLC and General Motors.
Executive Vice President Philip Spender said Mazda has been approached by numerous U.S. dealers interested in signing up with the Japanese automaker.
There has been considerable interest, Spender said today at the Japan launch of the Mazda3. Dealers who have left someone else come to us, and then we go to a higher-quality point.
Spender could not give figures, but he said the goal is not simply to boost the number of stores.
We probably dont need more dealers numerically, he said. But if you can improve the position of where you are, thats worth doing. And if you can improve the financial strength of a point, thats worth doing.
Mazda has met its target of having half of its U.S. dealerships be exclusives, Spender added. But there is also a window to replace failed dealers with stronger ones let go by distressed American rivals.
Ford Motor Co. owns just over 13 percent of Mazda.