HIROSHIMA, Japan, May 18, 2005
Mazda Motor Corporation today announced the May 17th production kickoff of the all-new, third-generation 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata—the latest and most advanced evolution of the world’s best-selling two-seat, lightweight, open-topped sports car. The MX-5 will continue to be built solely at the Ujina No.1 (U1) plant located near Mazda’s global headquarters.

The all-new MX-5 is the first new model to be mass-produced at Mazda’s U1 plant, which re-started paint shop operations at the end of April. The first MX-5 off the line was a Third Generation Limited model bound for North America, and painted Velocity Red with a red leather interior. It is outfitted with a 16-valve, 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 170-hp engine and six-speed manual transmission.

"A new car launch is always a critical and exciting event for any car company," said Hisakazu Imaki, president and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation. "But the launch of a brand icon like the MX-5 is particularly special. This is a great moment for all Mazda employees — and a great day for car enthusiasts around the world."

The all-new MX-5 has already been lauded as one of the hottest new cars of 2005. First shown to the world in March at the 2005 Geneva Auto Show, the MX-5 has since been featured prominently around the world. After its US debut only weeks later at the Greater New York Auto Show, a similar Third Generation Limited model recently completed a nine-city cross-country trip riding atop a retired Chicago Fire Department fire truck – dubbed the "Hot Streak Tour" – raising nearly $100,000 for fire-safety education along the way.

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The third-generation of the record-setting MX-5 roadster is an updated and improved version of the most popular two-seat, open-top sports car of all time. In April 2005, the Guinness World Book of Records officially recertified the MX-5 as the best-selling two-seat sports car ever. When production of the second-generation model came to an end in December 2004, a total of 718,954 vehicles had been built. And there are now more on the way.