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IRVINE, Calif., July 28, 2008 - Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today became the first automotive company in the industry to offer live chat functionality on a third-party Web site.  Launched on Kelley Blue Book's automotive Web site, users will be able to click on a text link that will direct them to a Mazda live chat shopping assistant, helping Internet-savvy car buyers get one step closer to sliding into the driver's seat of a new Mazda vehicle - without ever leaving their home or office.

"This is a significant day for Internet customers shopping for a new vehicle," said Rudy Privitelli, Group Manager, Relationship Marketing, MNAO.  "The partnership between Kelley Blue Book and Mazda is very important and showcases the future direction of Mazda digital; we will expand our online footprint in new and unique ways to make the vehicle purchase process as easy and comfortable as possible for our customers."

The Mazda Shopping Assistant (MSA) program is the first in the industry to provide potential buyers with an actual quote - from the customer's choice of dealer - for the vehicle they have chosen, as opposed to other manufacturers' programs that simply offer the manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP).  The MSA program connects consumers with Mazda Personal Shoppers who can answer specific product questions and provide personalized shopping experiences through live Web-chat sessions.

Through the help of these in-house Mazda employees, buyers can configure a vehicle, select a dealership, search vehicle inventory, acquire an actual dealer quote, schedule a sales appointment and get information about financing the Mazda vehicle of their dreams.  Once a price is agreed upon between the customer and the dealer, the Personal Shopper arranges an appointment time at the dealership for final paperwork to be signed and the vehicle to be delivered.

 "The new Mazda live chat functionality provides new-car shoppers with tremendous added value on, giving them access to instantaneous information that they cannot access on any other third-party Web site," said Tim Hand, Director of Advertising and Business Development - West, Kelley Blue Book's  "This collaborative effort between and Mazda offers an enhanced shopping experience that will help the new-car shopper make a more informed purchase decision with convenience and ease."

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Mazda North American Operations oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers.  Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario, Canada, and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.

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