MAZDA Motor Corp. will establish a wholly owned subsidiary to distribute and sell its cars in Spain starting next March. The current distributor, Mazda Motor Espana SV, will be terminated.
'Spain is the fifth largest market in Europe with nearly 1.2 million cars sold last year,' said Jan Brentebraten, president of Mazda Motor Europe. 'There is tremendous potential for us to increase sales from the 4,300 vehicles we sold there in 1998.
'For Mazda to realize its full potential in Spain, a substantial long-term investment needs to be made to raise brand awareness and expand the dealer network.
'To achieve this, we believe the full backing of Mazda Motor Corp. itself is needed.'
Mazda wants to increase its franchised network in Spain next year from the current 38 to around 80 dealers, according to Thomas Hajek, regional sales director for southern Europe.
It also wants to increase market share to 2 percent from 0.36 percent last year.