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- MAZDA5 Sales Lead For 2008 -

IRVINE, Calif. - Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today reported 2008 sales of 263, 949 down 10.7 percent for the year.  December 2008 sales were down 26.8 percent versus December 2007, with 17,965 vehicles sold, but represented the company's best sales month since August 2008.  

On a sales-result basis, the company's strongest-performing vehicle was the MAZDA5 multi-activity vehicle.  December was the vehicle's best-ever sales month since its launch, with sales of 2,884 units, up 77.4 percent from December 2007.  On a 2008 year-to-date basis, the MAZDA5 is up 60.5 percent, selling a total of 22,021 vehicles compared to a total of 13,717 vehicles sold in 2007.

"2008 has been a roller-coaster ride unlike anything we've seen before," said Jim O'Sullivan, president and CEO, MNAO.   "We started out the year with record fuel prices that subsequently returned to more 'normal' levels; the credit crunch made many believe that financing was unavailable, which kept them out of showrooms, but the money's out there now; we've battled depreciation in the housing market and there's no sign of it returning to headier days yet.  Through it all, though, consumer confidence has continued to undermine efforts to drive customers to dealerships.  Closing the year down a little more than ten percent may be nothing to crow about, but our market share is strong and we're ready for when the economy turns and the marketplace strengthens."

The all-new 2009 MAZDA6, which arrived at dealerships across the country in September 2008, continues its strong start.  The new MAZDA6 features a larger body than the outgoing car, as well as more powerful - and more fuel efficient - engine choices.

The selldown of the outgoing MAZDA3 continues well, with the best sales month since August 2008, selling 7,864 vehicles.  The all-new 2010 MAZDA3, which was revealed at the Los Angeles Auto Show, offers two fuel efficient engines and a host of standard and optional features not available at any price on competitors' vehicles.  The 2010 MAZDA3 arrives in dealerships across the country in the first quarter of this year.

Mazda Motor de Mexico (MMdM) celebrated its best-ever December with sales of 2,704 vehicles, up 31 percent versus last year.  For 2008, MMdM reported 21,997 total sales, accounting for a 33 percent increase versus 2007.  The all-new MAZDA6 had a record month with 612 vehicles sold and the MAZDA3 also had a record month with 1,016 vehicles sold. 

Mazda Canada Inc. (MCI) reported December sales of 4,510 units, down slightly compared to December 2007.  Overall sales for 2008 were down 1.9 percent compared to overall 2007 sales, but in a shrinking market, MCI expects its market share to soar to record levels of over five percent.

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, Mexico and Puerto Rico through nearly 900 dealers.  Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City; and in Puerto Rico by Mazda de Puerto Rico in San Juan.


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