In what was supposed to be the "year of the car," Ford
North American sales for Mazda, which is 33%-owned by Ford, climbed an impressive 36.6%. Although truck sales declined, a sporty new lineup and strong marketing helped drive Ford's second-best selling brand to its sixth consecutive month of double-digit sales growth.
The flagship Mazda 6 sedan led the way with a 60% jump in vehicle sales, while the new sport compact Mazda 3 improved on last March's sales of the discontinued Protege by 23.6%. Sales of the Miata roadster, meanwhile, climbed 33.3%, while the brand new RX-8 -- a four-door sports car powered by Mazda's unique rotary engine -- chipped in with sales of 2,373 cars.
With its wide range of sporty cars, Japan's fifth-largest auto maker is making a push. Mazda is still smaller than Toyota
Ford's second-best selling brand, Mazda is unique in that its Miata and rotary-powered vehicles (most recently the RX-7 and the RX-8) sport devoted followings. Through Mazda, Ford is again becoming a force among people who like to drive. Zoom zoom.
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Fool contributor Jeff Hwang doesn't own any of the companies mentioned in this story, but he does own a Mazda RX-8.