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Mazda Miata’s 20th Anniversary

As Mazda Motor Corp. celebrates the 20th anniversary of the venerable MX-5 Miata sports car, the bottom has fallen out in the 2-seat roadster segment due to the ailing economy.

Mazda MiataIn 2008, the Middle Specialty car segment in which the Miata resides was off 27.2% vs. like-2007 to 191,213 units, while Mazda as a whole saw sales decline 10.9% to 263,949, Ward’s data shows. Miata sales for full-year 2008 were down 27.2% to 10,977 units, mirroring the segment decline.

A car such as the Miata is particularly vulnerable to economic downturns, as roadsters largely are bought as recreational vehicles and seldom used as daily drivers, Mazda North American Operations CEO and President Jim O’Sullivan says.

To commemorate the Miata’s 20th anniversary, Mazda held a small celebration at the show, where the sports car made its debut in 1989. Since then, Mazda has sold 857,201 Miatas globally, earning it a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the highest-volume 2-seat sports car in history.

‘10 Mazda Miata gets revised front, rear fascias. For the ‘10 model year, the Miata has undegone a significant refreshening, receiving new front and rear fascias, a redesigned interior and a modest 3-4 hp bump in power output. The ‘10 model currently is hitting dealerships.

The Miata is now in its third generation, having been fully redesigned in 1998 and 2005.

Although sports-car sales are down, the Miata remains the No.1 seller in its segment and will benefit from the recent departure of the Honda S2000.

© Source: wardsauto
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