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Old 09-26-2002, 20:39   #1 (permalink)
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Mazda says it has improved but still lags rivals

By Chris Wright
Automotive News Europe / September 23, 2002
Mazda's financial turnaround is not finished.

"We have done a great job, but we are still some way behind our competitors," said CFO Robert Shanks.

"We have made great strides in reducing our fixed costs and through platform and component sharing with Ford [which owns 33.4 percent of Mazda].

"We have also done a lot of work with our distribution network globally."

Mazda has taken over most of its European operations from independent distributors.

It plans to build its dealer operations in southern Europe while simultaneously restructuring in Germany and the United Kingdom.

Those two countries are Mazda's biggest European markets.

"We now have a clear brand focus, great products - and we are looking to increase European sales by 75 percent, to 240,000 vehicles a year, including 40,000 Mazda2s, which will be built at Ford's plant in Valencia," Shanks said.

The Japanese carmaker introduced its sporty Mazda2 supermini.
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