The Miata Just Saved Mazda's Global Production

Sports Cars / Comments

Not bad for a niche sports car in a declining market.

Mazda has faced something of an uphill battle ever since Ford terminated its longstanding partnership with the small Japanese auto manufacturer, and sold its sizable stake in the company.

But Mazda's post-Ford turnaround has yielded some impressive results, the company revamping its entire North American product lineup around its advanced, fuel-efficient SkyActiv powertrain and chassis technology. Customers in the US, it seems, have taken notice, because even as much of the auto industry has been left reeling from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, Mazda's sales actually trended upward in June, with one model seeing massive growth against all market trends. That model was none other than the Mazda MX-5 Miata.

2017-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Front View Driving Mazda
2017-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF Top View Mazda

On Wednesday, Mazda revealed in a press release that sales for its North American Operations had jumped 11 percent year-over-year for the month of June, buoyed largely by two models in particular. The three-row Mazda CX-9, which just received some major updates for 2020, is up by a staggering 50 percent in North America, Mazda says, and the two-seater MX-5 Miata roadster is up by 25 percent.

That's surprisingly strong showroom performance for such a niche product, in a segment that seems resolved to slip into obscurity, but then, there's little else like it on the market.

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2016-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Angle View Mazda
2016-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Soft Top Mazda
2016-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear View Mazda

All of that strong demand seen by Mazda North America has prompted the small, scrappy Japanese automaker to hash out plans to return to full factory operation worldwide this August, reversing all the "production adjustments" it's made to limit output in response to slow sales during the pandemic's peak. Mazda's been making those adjustments to its factories in Japan, Taiwan, and Mexico since the end of March.

We never thought we'd see the day when a two-seater roadster would help prompt an automaker to bump its global production back up, but here we are.

2016-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Rear Angle View Mazda
2016-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Front Seats Mazda
2016-2020 Mazda MX-5 Miata Dashboard Mazda

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