Fleet News

Move to boost Mazda's light commercial sales

MAZDA is to establish a new light commercial vehicle operation to help boost van sales in the UK. Its existing but limited B and E-series van range of a pick-up, cab plus 4x4 pick-up and panel van is to be updated in mid-1999 with the launch of a new B-series pick-up which will also see various derivatives being launched.

Mazda van sales have 'crumbled' in recent times with the importer admitting to a lack of emphasis. However, the sector is to be attacked with renewed vigour and the move is being helped with the opening of a new factory in Thailand. The factory will build the new pick-up of which 2,500 are expected to be imported into the UK each year. In the first nine months of this year Mazda has sold 1,210 vans (1997: 838). Last year Mazda sold 999 vans - down from 1,473 units in 1996.

The new company - likely to be called Mazda Light Commercial Vehicles although an official name has yet to be announced - will be based at Mazda's Tunbridge Wells UK headquarters and will offer support to dealers which want to be become van centres as well as identify business opportunities.

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