Mazda Motor Europe announced the appointment today of Christian Blank (38) to the position of Director, European Fleet Operations. He is replacing James Hopkins who has left Mazda to take up a new opportunity. Mr. Blank will report to Martin Benders, Vice President, Sales Operations.

Mr. Blank was formerly Senior Manager in charge of Mazda’s European business with its independent distributor partners, and has been heavily involved in a number of special projects including the development of the long term strategy for Europe. Prior to coming on board, Mr. Blank worked as an automotive consultant at Roland Berger. After this, he built-up the Tokyo office of a specialized consultancy, which advised international businesses expanding into Germany.

“The overall Mazda Fleet strategy has not changed with Christian Blank’s appointment,” said Mr. Benders. “We will however increase our focus on residual value management and total cost of ownership to support a successful launch of our next-generation products. We currently have the most fuel-efficient, best-equipped and appealing Mazda line-up ever. On top of that, the launch of our 6th generation products, starting with the Mazda CX-5 debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show, will enable us to further strengthen our fleet business in Europe.

This C-segment SUV featuring the full range of breakthrough SKYACTIV technologies including new-generation engines, transmissions, body and chassis – will be particularly well suited for our business customers." Besides the new focus on developing Mazda’s residual value management capability, the European Fleet team will continue to support operations in all major European markets by growing pan-European relationships with leading leasing companies and large blue chip fleets.