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Solstice expected to ding Miata sales
By James B. Treece
Automotive News / August 26, 2005

TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp. is predicting that Europe will replace North America as the largest market for the redesigned 2006 MX-5 Miata. It blames the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky roadsters.

With fewer competitors to contend with, the Miata sold more strongly in North America, says Daniel Morris, Mazda's senior managing executive officer in charge of marketing, sales and customer service. That is no longer true. Now the MX-5 will have to take on General Motors' new roadsters.

The 2006 Solstice went on sale this month. The Sky follows in the spring.

The redesigned MX-5 has been trickling into showrooms in the United States for weeks. Morris says a marketing push will begin next month.

Mazda predicts that about 45 percent of MX-5 sales will be in Europe, or roughly 18,000 a year. North America will sell about 40 percent, or about 16,000. Sales in Japan will come to about 10 percent, or 4,000. The remainder will be sold elsewhere, mostly in Asia.

Last year, Mazda sold 9,356 Miatas in the United States. GM is planning to sell 20,000 Solstices and 20,000 Skys in the United States.

The MX-5's base sticker price is $20,995. The Solstice starts at $19,995. Both prices include shipping.

Europe is the only market that will sell an MX-5 powered by a 1.8-liter engine. That is to meet tax incentives in markets for cars with engines smaller than 2.0 liters. Everywhere else, the MX-5 will come only with a 2.0-liter engine.

Mazda plans to use the same MX-5 TV commercial around the globe "with just minor tweaks," Morris says. The global commercial is possible because the car fits Mazda's global image.

The Miata, says Morris, "was zoom-zoom before we knew we were zoom-zoom."
 

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Small Dealer said:
Mazda Motor Corp. is predicting that Europe will replace North America as the largest market for the redesigned 2006 MX-5 Miata.
Gee, the fact that it has already been for the last two years might give them a hint? :rolleyes:
 
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