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The Most Exciting Car in the World? - Mazda President in Forbes
INTERVIEW-Mazda sees 02/03 profits at Nov forecast levels
Reuters, 02.23.03, 10:50 PM ET
HIROSHIMA, Japan, Feb 24 (Reuters) - The president of Mazda Motor Corp, Japan's fifth-largest auto maker, said on Monday he expected profits for the business year to end-March to come in around the levels forecast in November.
The auto maker, one-third owned by Ford Motor Co, is projecting a net profit of 26.5 billion yen ($223 million) and operating profit of 50 billion yen for the year to March 31, representing double-digit growth from the previous year.
"We expect to come in about where we forecast," Lewis Booth told Reuters in an interview, noting that the positive impact from the euro's rise in recent months would be offset by a weakening in the dollar/yen rate.
He added that the U.S. market had been tougher than expected, mainly due to the huge sales incentives being offered by local competitors to weather slack demand.
But Booth said he was confident that profits would keep growing in coming years, driven by a line-up of attractive new models such as the Mazda6/Atenza and the soon-to-be launched RX-8 coupe, which he called "the most exciting car in the world".
Mazda's shares fell 5.6 percent in 2002, but the stock has outperformed most of its bigger rivals this year and on Monday was up about 15 percent on the year to date at 254 yen. ($1=118.67 Yen)
Copyright 2003, Reuters News Service
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Have to agree here. Pre-war consumer confidence is extremely low in all markets except real estate. The MS Protege and Mazda6 US launches during the holiday season came at a bad time, even with a high-buck flood-the-market ad campaign. Mazda doesn't have the deep pockets to incentivize these new models like other makes. As awesome performers and the media accolades agree, rebate money talks which is a damn shame to those missing the opportunity.