Mazda MX-5 sales hit the 100,000 mark in the UK

Article by Christian Andrei, on September 6, 2010

Two decades have passed since Mazda started selling the Mazda MX-5 to the driving public in the United Kingdom. This 20-year period is more than enough to make UK consumers fall in love with the car, especially than this sports car does not only provide the thrill of open top driving and reliable handling, but also offers a way for those who can't afford fancy rides to experience enjoyable driving.

Now Mazda is incidentally celebrating a new milestone – selling its 100,000th Mazda MX-5 in the UK. The 100,000th Mazda MX-5 sold in the UK was recently delivered to its new owner, Helen Jones. With all these successes, the Mazda MX-5 has become the UK's most popular sports car. In fact, every one of 10 Mazda buyers around the world is from the UK. Also, every two of five Mazda buyers in Europe are from the UK.

The Mazda MX-5 had its global debut at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show. From there, the roadster instantly became a celebrity, especially because the Mazda MX-5 does not only mark the return of open top to the motoring scene, but it also affordable and well-proportioned as well as exudes a certain elegance.

Not only that, the Mazda MX-5 boasts of outstanding engineering and design, easily capturing the hearts of many and becoming one of the most appealing roadsters there is. Twenty years and two generations later, the Mazda MX-5 still features the same core design -- front engine, rear wheel-drive layout and 50/50 weight distribution.

All of these elements allow drivers to cruise along the road at any speed as if they are one with their MX-5s. March 1990 was a fateful month for UK drivers, as this marked the arrival of the Mazda MX-5 in the UK. Success was the name of the sales game for the MX-5 in the UK, with 2,246 units sold in its first year of sales in the country.

The Mazda MX-5 did not fail all these buyers, fulfilling all promises it made. It was not surprising that the Mazda MX-5 attracted a legion of huge fans – all drivers who experienced the reliability and performance provided for by this open top roadster.

UK is not the only that greeted the MX-5 with a warm welcome. It was also eagerly awaited by other markets around the world. Around a decade since its launch, the Mazda MX-5 was acknowledged in 2000 by the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling two-seater sports car in history.

To date, the Mazda MX-5 brought home over 178 awards and more than 880,000-unit sales. The current generation Mazda MX-5 racked up 58 of those accolades, including Japan Car of the Year 2005-2006 and Top Gear Magazine's Roadster of the Year 2006.

This open top roadster was named in the UK as the 'Best Sports Car' in its class in the 2010 JD Power vehicle ownership satisfaction survey. It was also named the 'Best Roadster' title – its fifth in a row -- at the 2010 Auto Express New Car Awards.

All of the 37 special editions of the MX-5 also enjoyed sales success in the country. UK sales peaked in 2007 with 9,234 MX-5s sold. Mark Cameron, sales director at Mazda UK, commented that the Mazda MX-5 is the car most people associate with Mazda, as they could not just aspire to drive one, but also acquire their own.

He noted that the MX-5's handling has been regarded as the best by motoring magazines. He noted that with 100,000 sales, the UK is the biggest market for the MX-5 because of the popularity of open-top two seat sports cars among the British.

Press Release


Twenty years since it first arrived in the UK, the Mazda MX-5 has achieved another significant milestone with sales of the iconic sports car hitting 100,000 units.

Attributes that include wind in the hair motoring, the joy of driving, outstanding handling, affordability and unadulterated fun, have encouraged 100,000 British motorists to buy a Mazda MX-5 over the last two decades. Despite the climate the Mazda MX-5 has proven to be the UK’s most popular sportscar, with British motorists accounting for over 10 percent of global sales and 40 percent of European sales since the MX-5’s introduction in 1990.

When Mazda unveiled the MX-5 at the 1989 Chicago Motor Show, it single-handedly resuscitated the small and affordable roadster market. Arriving when a huge motoring audience was crying out for the return of fun, and affordable roof-down driving, the perfectly proportioned roadster was brilliantly conceived and engineered to deliver undiluted driving pleasure. It was an instant hit, its record-breaking sales success underline the Mazda MX-5’s global appeal.

Today, its core design has remained untouched for three generations, the chassis retains its classic front engine, rear wheel-drive layout and its 50/50 weight distribution ensures that drivers feel at-one-with-the-car when driving at any speed.

The car was an instant sales success here in the UK – arriving in mid March 1990, it racked up 2,246 sales by the end of its first year. It combined affordability, outstanding reliability, and residual value performance with an unprecedented degree of driver engagement, ensuring that the love affair with the MX-5 was destined to be an enduring relationship. It was as much a joy to drive as it was to own, creating a vast and loyal band of owners who relished its ability to turn every journey into a special event.

While the MX-5 enjoyed success in the UK it was also well received across the globe. It entered in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2000 as the best-selling two-seater sportscar in history and racked up over 178 awards with more than 880,000 sales across two decades. Fifty eight of those awards were won by the current third generation Mazda MX-5 including Japan Car of the Year 2005-2006 and Top Gear Magazine’s Roadster of the Year 2006.

In the UK, MX-5 earned the title of ‘Best Sports Car’ in its class in the 2010 JD Power vehicle ownership satisfaction survey and has won the ‘Best Roadster’ title for the fifth time-in-a-row at the 2010 Auto Express New Car Awards.

For over 20 years the Mazda MX-5 has embraced the true British sportscar heritage following on from the classic roadsters produced by domestic brands from the 50’s and 60’s. With 37 special editions alongside the impressive range, the Mazda MX-5 enjoys consistent sales success in the UK with almost 40 percent of European sales coming from British motorists. Annual UK sales hit an all time high in 2007 with 9,234 sold, going on to culminate in the 100,000th sale to Dr Helen Jones recently.

“The legendary Mazda MX-5 is the car most people associate with Mazda,” said Mark Cameron, sales director, Mazda UK. “It is a car that people not only aspire to, but can afford to run and enjoy driving on a daily basis. This iconic sportscar’s handling has been voted as the best by motoring magazines. It is a fun car that makes each journey an enjoyable experience – a car that encompasses Mazda’s soul.

“To hit 100,000 sales in the UK is a significant milestone for Mazda. We are the biggest market for this car due to our love of open-top two seat sportscars. The Mazda MX-5 finds its roots in the British heritage of soft top sportscars and has been loved by British motorists since the day it arrived on these shores.” concludes Cameron.

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