A new milestone was etched by the Mazda MX-5 after total production of the world’s most popular roadster topped 900,000 units on February 4, 2011, or around 21 years and 10 months after Mazda commenced volume production of the first-generation MX-5 in April 1989.
For over two decades in the United Kingdom, the Mazda MX-5 has been very popular with British customers. In fact, UK buyers account for 40 percent of European sales and over 10 percent of global sales of the Mazda MX-5. Jeremy Thomson, Managing Director at Mazda UK, remarked that British drivers consider the Mazda MX-5 as the ultimate expression of Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom philosophy of building fun-to-drive cars.
He quipped that for the past 20 years, the Mazda MX-5 managed to maintain its status as an affordable, lightweight sports car that is also responsive and enjoyable to drive. He also described the MX-5 as recession proof. Thomson remarked that sales of the Mazda MX-5 surged 10 percent in 2010, with owners enjoying high residual values. Moreover, the introduction of the MX-5 Roadster Coupe means customers would also be enjoying a trip not only on sunny days but also all-year around, thanks to its electric folding roof feature.
In fact, this version accounts for majority of sales as more customers want to drive their MX-5 even when it’s raining. Mazda MX-5’s popularity as a Roadster has been dominating in the UK.
The new Mazda MX-5 Roadster Coupe for 2011 features a price range of between £17,975 and £23,205 (on-the-road). The current MX-5 range is further boosted by two ‘special edition’ versions of MX-5 Miyako – the 1.8i Miyako soft-top (£18,769.68 OTR) and the 2.0i Miyako roadster coupe (£21,321.81 OTR).
In 2000, the Guinness World Records initially certified the Mazda MX-5 as the “best selling two-seater sportscar” in the world when its production finally reached 531,890 units in May. Since then, Guinness has continually updated the record as production eclipsed 700,000 and 800,000 units. For now, Mazda has reapplied to Guinness World Records for an update of the record to recognize production of the 900,000th vehicle.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, roads were also travelled by lightweight yet fun-to-drive open-air spirited sports cars. In the 1980s, Mazda thought it would be right to revive such spirit by offering its own version of a modern roadster.
Thus, Mazda took off to develop and build the MX-5, finally introducing the roadster in February 1989. Until now, the Mazda MX-5 is still part of Mazda’s global line-up and it is now more interesting than before. Nobuhiro Yamamoto, program manager for the current MX-5, remarked that MX-5 has undergone two complete product redesigns and a number of upgrades since it was first launched.
He quipped that MX-5’s real open secret to success is its strong fanbase around the world, adding that as for himself, he will strive to keep the MX-5 spirit alive while transforming it into a car loved by more people.
Mazda’s senior managing executive officer in charge of development, remarked that during the 20 years since Mazda launched the first MX-5, society and vehicles have changed significantly. One of these changes is the increasing regard for environmental issues. Thus, as part of Mazda’s environmental efforts, it would develop of future products featuring SKYACTIV technologies.