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Maz-ja!

Wayfarer

Mazda vehicles seem to be winning even the Germans over

BERLIN, GERMANY — As I currently write this story while I am in Germany, I am positively surprised to find out that one of Mazda’s three global research and development centers is in fact, located in Oberursel, Germany. The facility is called Mazda Research Europe (MRE) and it is one of the car brand’s product development arms that specifically provides its Japan HQ with crucial information about Europe’s car market trends and the latest automotive technology.

It is also interesting to discover that Mazda had already been exporting automobiles to Europe full-tilt since 1967. And that five years later, in 1972, Mazda Motors Deutschland was established. But probably even more interesting for us to know is that the new market in this continent is what drove the development of the Mazda 323 — a Mazda3 predecessor.

Simply put, the Mazda 323 was in fact, the first Mazda vehicle that was designed specifically for the European market! And look at the beauty that it’s evolved into, over time — now embodied in the multi-awarded Mazda3.

Now, I’ve also got a few more things to share about Mazda that has more current relevance with the Philippine market. First, it is the news that Mazda Philippines has recently announced a special service campaign that is meant for first-generation BK Mazda3 owners. The ongoing campaign offers a 50% discount on BK-series Mazda3 original parts in its current inventory, for owners who are interested in restoring some aspects of their older car. “Due to the age of the BK-series Mazda3, we believe providing easier access to maintenance and replacement parts will benefit our Mazda3 owners and allow them to further enjoy reliable service from their vehicles,” shares Mazda Philippines President and CEO Steven Tan.

Meanwhile, BK-series Mazda3 vehicles that were produced between 2004-2008 (and which were sold by Mazda’s previous distributor in the Philippines) qualify for a free replacement of the car’s steering wheel brand emblem, which may have deteriorated and become brittle over time. Such replacement fosters greater car safety as a brittle emblem may potentially break apart and be dislodged as projectiles in the event of a driver-side air bag deployment. And while no injuries have yet been reported specifically due to this issue, Mazda Philippines just wishes to proactively go ahead with this campaign in the interest of its customers’ safety.

All the owners of the mentioned BK-series Mazda3 units need to do is contact the Mazda dealership of their preference and express their desire to be included in the special service campaign. The service procedure will only take approximately 45 minutes and, to every customer’s delight, Mazda Philippines will bear the cost of labor and new parts for the said component replacement job. All contact information of Mazda’s authorized dealerships nationwide can be found at www.mazda.ph.

“We believe the safety of Mazda owners is paramount and is essential as we ensure the proper and continued operation and service of their vehicles during these trying times,” added Mr. Tan.

Furthermore, Bermaz Auto Philippines — the exclusive distributor of Mazda vehicles in the country — is happy to share that Mazda Philippines sales grew by 38% in the first half of 2021, compared to the same time in the previous year, 2020. It attributes this significant sales improvement to the ever-growing popularity of Mazda crossovers amongst Filipinos — namely, the CX-9, CX-8, CX-5, CX-30 and CX-3 — as it is these crossovers that make up 60% of the total sales figure.

Interestingly, I have also noticed during my time here in Europe that of all the Japanese car brands, the one that I see the most units of in parking lots and driving around on local roads and highways — at least in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria — is Mazda. And mind you, I’ve been out and about quite a lot — and in different neighborhoods, too. Of course, German cars still dominate the market, and European-made vehicles are always in the majority; that’s a given. But the European car market is ultra-competitive and extremely tough to penetrate, and it looks like so far, Mazda vehicles have begun winning over the hearts of choosy Europeans!

Perhaps it is the brand’s iconic emotional styling, minimalistic designs, driver-centric approach and, most especially, its proposition of offering premium features, materials and workmanship at a more affordable price point, that makes its products extra desirable. After all, European highways are among the best to drive on in the world. Standards are always high; motorists need more than what is utilitarian.

They seek an emotional connection.