Japan’s Mazda Motor Corp. has established a sales company in Johannesburg, South Africa and plans to begin operations in July 2014, allowing it to control import, sales and service of Mazda vehicles, according to a report in 4-Traders.com.
Currently Mazda vehicles are distributed in South Africa by Ford Motor Co. of Southern Africa. Mazda’s BT-50 pickup truck will continue to be produced at Ford’s Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa.
“With 600,000 vehicles sold per year, South Africa is the biggest automotive market on the African continent,” said Yuji Nakamine, who oversees Mazda operations in Europe, Asia and Oceania, Middle East and Africa. “The establishment of a national sales company and introduction of more next-generation products will give the Mazda brand a much greater presence and contribute to the overall development of the South African market.”
Mazda’s history in South Africa dates back to 1963. South Africa is Mazda’s highest-volume market in Africa. Mazda will sell the new Mazda6 and the Mazda CX-5. The new Mazda3, which goes on sale starting in North America in the fall, will also be sold in South Africa.