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Mazda6 wins Auto Express Driver Power survey outright
March was a remarkable month for Mazda with an increase in sales of 59.7% over March 2002 and a year-to-date sales increase of 47.7% against a market that is down 1.35%, giving Mazda the highest volume increase in the UK automotive industry this year of any manufacturer. Retail sales are up over 40% while fleet sales continue to impress with an increase in sales of 147% during March and 130% up year-to-date.
Mazda's new offering in the supermini segment, the Mazda2, went on sale on 20 March with four different engine offerings, starting at £8760, and is a great proposition for both private and company car drivers. The new Mazda B-Series also went on sale during March with the choice of models for either commercial applications or lifestyle needs, starting at £9495 (ex VAT).
March also saw the Mazda6 win two prestigious awards. Fleet News voted the Mazda6 as "Best Upper Medium Car" in its annual awards. As John Maslen, Editor of Fleet News said: ‘To have a Mazda winning such a prestigious award as Best Upper Medium Car – which the Ford Mondeo won last year – is a clear sign of the resurgence of their Mazda brand following its change of ownership.’
Mazda6 also won the Auto Express Driver Power award, a customer satisfaction award voted for by 25,000 owners and based on customer satisfaction with the key vehicle attributes and the ownership experience. With an overall rating of 93.66% Mazda6 was a full 3% points clear of the second best vehicle, the Porsche Boxster, in a survey of the Top 100 UK cars.
Auto Express said: 'The dynamic new 6 has stormed into top position, muscling aside more established, upper echelon marques like BMW, Porsche, Mercedes-Benz and Lexus with nonchalant ease. It's a full four percentage points ahead of last year's winner the Porsche Boxster, and that is deeply impressive. The 6 simply does everything very well indeed.'
As well as winning the overall Driver Power award, Mazda6 was also rated "Best Braking" and "Best Build Quality" and it was in the top seven in each of the 10 categories – an unprecedented result.
Mazda is gearing up for a fleet sales explosion in 2003 and tax and fuel-efficient diesel engine models are set to play a significant role in winning new business.
Legislative changes from 6 April that see the tightening of benefit-in-kind tax and the introduction of a new carbon dioxide emissions-based fuel benefit charge system play to the strengths of diesel.
CO2-friendly and fuel efficient 1.4 and 2.0 litre common-rail diesel engines in the much-praised Mazda6, and the soon-to-be-launched Mazda2 supermini, will be highly sought after by company car drivers and fleet decision-makers looking to make cash savings in 2003/04.
The company car tax system tightens two notches from 6 April. That means the CO2 tax threshold will be reduced by 10 g/km – a further 10 g/km reduction will occur from 6 April, 2004 – which will mean the lowest 15% tax charge applying to cars emitting 159 g/km instead of the current 169 g/km from April. In addition non-Euro IV compliant diesel engine cars remain subject to a 3% tax penalty.
However, the driver of a Mazda2 1.4 TDCi 67 bhp, which has a CO2 figure of 119 g/km, will see their tax bill unchanged at least until April 2005 at 18%. The benefit-in-kind tax system beyond that date is not known. Therefore, the 22% taxpayer at the wheel of a Mazda2 1.4 S diesel will face a tax bill of just £31.64 a month.
Meanwhile, the driver of a Mazda6 2.0 D 119 bhp (172 g/km) will pay 21% tax in the forthcoming financial year and the driver of a Mazda6 2.0 D 134 bhp (174 g/km) will pay a similar rate. Fuel economy on the combined cycle for each model is 43.5 mpg.
Mazda6 Is Top Of The Class For Wholelife Costs
The Mazda6, the Japanese marque’s key fleet car, is top of the class for residual values and pence per mile operating costs.
Residual value experts at CAP Monitor put the Mazda6 ahead of upper medium sector rivals such as the Vauxhall Vectra, Citroën C5, Renault Laguna, Nissan Primera and Peugeot 406 in the latest residual value stakes.
The Mazda6 is leading Mazda’s attack on the UK fleet market with the manufacturer looking for corporate sales to account for almost a third of the 39,000 cars it expects to sell in the UK in 2003.
Strong residual values over three years/60,000 miles and low pence per mile operating costs are key to winning fleet business. Coupled with low list prices it means that the Mazda6 is not only cost-effective for fleets but also for company car drivers from a benefit-in-kind tax perspective.
Mazda B-Series - A VehicleFor All Lifestyles
The all-new Mazda B-Series goes on sale during March 2003 and is a truly versatile vehicle, which is as much at home on the beach or mountain as it is in a variety of commercial settings. With three body styles, two powerful engines, a choice of rear or all-wheel drive transmissions, passenger car levels of comfort, a truly functional cab with room for five adults the Mazda B Series really is a vehicle for all lifestyles with prices starting at just £9,495 (excluding VAT).
The Mazda B Series is aimed at those who want a rugged vehicle that can carry five adults with ease and has a generous external load area for carrying anything from wet and sandy surfboards to a load of topsoil or machinery, keeping the interior clean.
The choices available from Mazda are a single cab with either the 2.5-litre diesel (2WD) or the 2.5-litre turbo diesel (4WD); a double cab with the turbo; a 4x4 RAP Cab 4-Action with easy access freestyle doors and the 2.5 turbo; and a 4-Action or 4-Style 4x4 double cab also with the turbo engine for those with a lifestyle that needs a rugged vehicle with passenger car comfort.
Mazda6 Wins Fleet Accolade
The Mazda6 has won the key Fleet News Best Upper Medium Car at the prestigious annual Fleet News awards which recognise the best company cars in the country.
The judging panel was made up of 12 leading figures in the fleet industry, whose companies together run a combined fleet of about 400,000 vehicles.
The Fleet News judges' criteria were clear for this award:
'Challenged from below by desirable and large lower medium cars and from above by whole life cost-competitive premium cars, the winner had to distinguish itself as operationally efficient, highly cost-effective and driver desirable/aspirational. A comprehensive range was also important.'
The Mazda6 fought off competition from a wide range of competitors winning on a number of features that make this a most desirable company car. The judges commented on the Mazda6:
'Who says the mould can't be broken? Mazda has dared to be different with its new upper medium contender and has created a market-leading car. The spirit of the Mazda MX-5 shines through in this car with its excellent driving characteristics and wonderful looks, yet it also offers low whole life costs, great engines and a wide range of body styles. Compare this with its predecessor and you can see the leap forward Mazda has made as a company.'
Mazda6 Wins Auto Express Driver Power
The Mazda 6 has been named the Best Car in Auto Express Driver Power 2003 – Britain's ultimate car reliability and satisfaction survey.
The Mazda 6 claimed the number one spot in the Driver Power Top 100 Cars – a league table in which readers of Auto Express rate their cars across a range of 10 key sectors, from build and reliability to comfort and performance.
The 6 scored highly in all the key categories, being named the winner in two, "Best Build Quality" and "Best Brakes" – making it three wins in total for Mazda.
Mazda2 - The Second Model From Mazda's New Generation Of Vehicles
With one in every three cars purchased in the UK being in the super-mini category Mazda had to develop a car to replace the Mazda121 and Demio that would challenge the class leaders in terms of specification, driving dynamics, price and handling.
With this newly developed model, Mazda has entered the second phase of its model renewal programme. With the new brand design, high levels of functionality and intelligent technology, the compact Mazda2 follows the success of the Mazda6. It is available with four engine options 1.25, 1.4, 1.6 petrol and 1.4 diesel with four specification levels, S, TS, TS2 and Sport. The Mazda2 goes on sale in the UK at the end of March.
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