2010 Mazda3Enlarge Photo
Mazda today announced that its total domestic (Japanese) sales volume decreased 35.7 percent for February compared to that month one year ago. They didn't mention North American sales numbers, but noted that February exports of passenger and commercial vehicles decreased 63.8 percent year-on-year.
Steep declines in auto sales hardly rank as a surprise right now, with an industry-wide decline of about 40 percent for U.S. car sales in 2008. In Japan, sales and profits imploded in the country's third quarter '08 (which ended September 31); Honda reported a 90 percent profit tumble for the period.
Hopefully the promising new Mazda3, efficiency-themed innovation like the company's proprietary engine stop/start (SISS), and the industry's smallest catalytic converters (which use about 70 percent less semi-precious metal, reducing cost) will help Mazda weather this market and quickly regain healthy sales once the market and buyers' finances stabilize.