HIROSHIMA, Japan--Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that it retailed 133,778 Mazda brand vehicles in China in calendar year 2005. This represents an increase of 51 percent over January-December 2004, well above the overall wholesale Chinese passenger vehicle market rise of 26 percent for that period, and amidst tough competition. This is also the first time that Mazda has surpassed the 130,000 unit sales mark in China.
The sales breakdown by model showed that FAW Car Company-produced Mazda6 sales rose 101 percent to 55,186 units in CY2005 compared to the previous year. Additionally, the Mazda323 Familia sedan, built by FAW Haima in Hainan Province, also showed a healthy sales jump of 32 percent to 63,398 units year-on-year. FAW Haima also makes the Premacy minivan, and sales of this model climbed 22 percent over the prior year to 15,019 units.
Mazda's December 2005 China sales volume of 14,329 units also set a new record for sales in one month in that market.
Mazda's product lineup in China was greatly enhanced by the July 2005 launch--as a fully assembled import model--of its brand icon RX-8 sports car. Additionally, the Mazda6 sedan, built by the FAW Car Co. in Changchun, Jilin Province, underwent an interior and exterior freshening and driveability upgrade. Production of this model started in September 2005. Both Mazda6 and RX-8 have been well received by Chinese consumers and have won several awards. The new Mazda6 won the "2005 China Hot Car" award for domestically produced vehicles from an Internet-based poll of its viewers in eastern China conducted by a Shanghai satellite TV station. The RX-8 has also won honors for imported cars.
Aiming for a strengthened product lineup, Mazda has plans to introduce other new models including the new Mazda6 Hatchback and Mazda6 Wagon (both to be built in China) and so on.
Kiyoshi Ozaki, senior managing executive officer in charge of Mazda's China business strategy, said, "I'm very pleased that we could set a new record of over 130,000 vehicles sold in 2005, and that Mazda's growth rate in China greatly exceeded the overall passenger vehicle market growth rate for four consecutive years. One of our mid-term goals is to sell 300,000 vehicles in 2010, and to do that we are working hard to beef up our product lineup and improve customer satisfaction." He continued, "In response to continuing consumer demand, I would like to see over 10 percent growth in our 2006 sales."
In 2005, Mazda made progress in production and sales operations in the Chinese market as the Hiroshima-based company works towards attaining its medium term business goals. In January 2005, it received Chinese government approval for a new manufacturing facility in Nanjing with its joint venture partner, Changan Ford. Mazda is planning future investment in this project. March 2005 saw the establishment of the FAW Mazda Motor Sales Co. Ltd. (FMSC) with its partner, China's First Auto Works (FAW), in Changchun, Jilin Province.
In May, Mazda, Changan Automobile, and Ford received government approval to form the joint venture "Changan Ford Mazda Engine Company Ltd." Currently, the Nanjing plant construction is proceeding, with plans to commence production in 2007. Also, in June 2005, Mazda opened its Shanghai-based company, Mazda Motor (Shanghai) Business Management & Consulting Co. Ltd.--more commonly referred to as Mazda China Operations (MCO)--which was established to integrate its business operations in China. Also in Shanghai, the Mazda China Engineering Support Center was set up as a branch office in August 2005. With these infrastructure milestones achieved in 2005, Mazda has laid a firm foundation in the rapidly expanding Chinese automotive market.
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