Best-selling open two-seater sports car of all time, entered into the Guinness Book of World Records since 2000
Over 710,000 sold since 1989, nearly 200,000 in Europe
The cult roadster with a global fan following, also an affordable entry-model for motor sports
Leverkusen, 7 October 2005. Only 16 years old and already a classic, with a cult following as well, Mazda MX-5 is a unique phenomenon. In November 2005, the third generation of the best-selling Mazda MX-5 will hit showrooms in Europe. It follows in the footsteps of two previous versions, whose success surpassed even the most optimistic predictions.
Since 2000, the successor to the classic British roadsters of the 1960s has been in the Guinness Book of World Records as the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time. A total of 531,890 units built between April 1989 and October 1999 make the Mazda MX-5 the most successful open-top, two-seat sports car in history.
Since then, Mazda MX-5 has continued to be very popular with sports car customers. Up to July 2005 Mazda has produced 724,667 units. From the total number of Mazda MX-5s produced, 350,411 were sold in North America, 199,542 in Europe, 149,400 in Japan and 11,334 in Australia. With 431,506 units, the first-generation Mazda MX-5, famous for its pop-up headlights, has had the lion’s share of total production. After replacing the first generation at the end of 1997, the second generation achieved production volumes of 290,123 units.
News of the Mazda Miata introduction at Chicago in 1989 hit the motoring world like a bombshell. Originally meant for the USA and Japan, excitement was so great that it literally washed over the Atlantic to Europe and Mazda was not able to supply enough vehicles from Japan to meet global demand. Desperate to have the car, European MX-5 fanatics came up with the idea of importing versions on their own to Europe. To this day, these models can be identified by the Miata logo on their rear ends – an emblem that seems like a membership to a secret society.
Eight of Every 10 European MX-5s Go To Germany and England
While the Mazda MX-5 was a magnet for sports car lovers for years in the USA and Japan, popularity for the car has shifted permanently to Europe during the last three years. Here a good 80 percent of all MX-5s have found new owners in sun-starved Germany and England. Between 1989 and June 2005, 83,783 Mazda MX-5s were registered in Germany and 66,204 examples were delivered in England during the same period.
The Mazda MX-5 also has a global fan following and there are over 200 MX-5/Miata fan clubs worldwide. In the USA alone there are 132 such clubs, according to the website www.miata.net, and there are 15 more in Canada. The German website www.MX-5.de lists 28 clubs, and numerous smaller groups of fans with only a few members can surly be added to this total. The UK MX-5 Owners Club says that it has a membership of 4,450 members. Using these figures as base, Mazda estimates that across Europe there are at least 10,000 friends of the Japanese roadster who are members of a Mazda MX-5 organization. And all of them can gather for a chat any time on the www.MX-5.com website.
More Than 1000 Mazda Miatas Are Involved In Competitive Racing in the USA
The Mazda MX-5 also has a large motor sports following. In Switzerland, England, Portugal and Belgium there are manufacturer’s ‘one-make’ racing series using the Japanese handling phenomenon. In the car’s home country of Japan, MX-5’s race competitively against each other as well. But Mazda MX-5 racing series are most popular, and always have been, in North America.
The “Mazdaspeed Miata Cup” is one of the fastest growing racing series in all of American motor sports. According to estimates by the Sports Car Club of America, there are more than 1,000 identically tuned first and second-generation Mazda Miatas actively involved in motor sports. And there is good reason for this. Using for the most part standard technology, these racing series offer drivers an extremely affordable way to enter professional sports car racing. Thanks to identical racing standards throughout North America, it also gives drivers the chance to demonstrate their talents nationwide in front of a large audience.
Over 110 International Awards
Since the launch of the very first Mazda MX-5, the roadster has been literally showered with awards, over 110 to date. Most of these awards honour the car’s outstanding levels of driving fun, but also its design, its excellent value-for-money, its reliability and high resale value.
Mazda plans to sell 40,000 of the new Mazda MX-5 per year worldwide. Europe will once again receive the largest number of these, at 18,000 units, followed by North America, with 14,000 units. Japan – where Mazda holds approximately 50 percent of the sports car segment with the MX-5 and the RX-8 – will receive 4,300 units.
The concept of a front midship engine, rear-wheel drive roadster with ideal 50:50 weight distribution, classic two-seat design, long bonnet, short rear end and manual soft top has lost none of its fascination since the first Mazda MX-5’s “Big Bang” of 1989. Whether amateur race car drivers or simply drivers with ambitions to enjoy their daily motoring, Mazda MX-5 technology has always translated into pure driving enjoyment.