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IRVINE, Calif.-Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) recently announced the appointment of Mike Nakashima, formerly Director of Marketing, to the newly created position of Director of Retail Strategy, effective May 1, 2010.  Replacing Nakashima is John Abel, previously General Manager, Global Brand Management, Mazda Motor Corporation.  Abel, who was, prior to his posting in Japan, Director, Marketing Communications for Mazda Motor Europe, will relocate from Hiroshima, Japan, to MNAO's Irvine, Calif. headquarters.

"With experience in many diverse areas around MNAO, Mike brings a unique talent set to this new position, and his move to oversee our retail strategy capitalizes on his analytical talents and deep understanding of what drives sales," said Keith Egawa, MNAO chief operating officer.  "And John brings with him a diverse skill set and global marketing perspective that will further strengthen our marketing efforts as we move Mazda forwards."

Before being appointed Director of Marketing, Nakashima was MNAO's Director of Strategic Planning.  Prior to that, he was responsible for Mazda's entry into the Mexican market, and the creation of Mazda Motor de Mexico.

Abel joined Mazda in March 2003 and was appointed to his previous position in Japan in September 2006.  Prior to this, he was with Jaguar Cars Ltd. in the U.K. for 10 years, serving in various marketing and sales positions.

Celebrating its 40th Anniversary in the United States in 2010, Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and 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; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.


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