There is no let-up in sight: Mazda upheld its strong momentum in Europe through the first quarter of 2016 as sales of its distinctly innovative models rose by 28.5% year-on-year to 68,797 units. This was the Japanese carmaker’s 14th consecutive quarter of gains and the tenth double-digit increase in the past 12 quarters. In doing so, Mazda outperformed a robust European market (which grew by 8.1%) and hiked its market share to 1.7%, up 13% over the first quarter of 2015 (1).

Fuelling the surge were models like the enormously popular Mazda CX-3, a B-SUV that first went on sale last June, and the new-generation Mazda 2 supermini, whose turnover soared by 75% during the quarter. Sales of the all-new Mazda MX-5 recently crowned 2016 World Car of the Year and 2016 World Car Design of the Year, meanwhile, almost quadrupled (up 282%). The country that inspired Mazda’s brand icon – the UK – remains its number one market, too, representing one-third of MX-5 sales in Europe last quarter. Other mainstay models like the Mazda CX-5 and Mazda 6 continued to achieve their targets, while the Mazda 3 remains the bestselling non-SUV in the carmaker’s European line-up (2).

As for the markets, Portugal, Italy and Spain led first quarter year-on-year growth as sales more than tripled in Portugal, doubled in Italy and rose 70% in Spain. Several other countries recorded increases greater than 50%, including Belgium (+65%), the Netherlands (+63%), Norway (+60%), the Czech Republic (+59%), Ireland (+54%) and Poland (+52%). Mazda outpaced the market by a wide margin in most other countries including Switzerland (+6% vs declining overall vehicle sales), where Mazda raised its market share last quarter to 3.5% (3). Otherwise, the carmaker recorded its best month ever in the UK in March, selling 11,499 cars.

Technology and design remain the fundamentals behind Mazda’s success. Since the 2012 market introduction in Europe of SKYACTIV Technology, a unique range of drivetrains, platforms and car bodies developed in-house at Mazda, the carmaker has nearly doubled its vehicle turnover.

“Besides appealing models and technology, I credit the dedicated people in all parts of our business who made it possible to meet the fiscal year sales objectives. And we did so while growing in just about every single market, with many setting new records in the process,” says Mazda Motor Europe Vice President Sales & Customer Service Martijn ten Brink. “To continue developing sustainably and building loyalty, we’re placing increasing emphasis on customer service, and that means at every point of contact with the Mazda brand throughout the car ownership cycle.”

Mazda sold more than 227,000 vehicles in Europe over the past 12 months to the end of March, an increase of 28% over the previous fiscal year.

(1) Sources for European data: www.acea.be (European Automobile Manufacturers Association), New Passenger Car Registrations, EU + EFTA

(2) Source for model data: Internal figures

(3) Sources for country data: www.febiac.be (Belgian Automobile and Cycle Industry Federation); portal.sda-cia.cz (Czech Car Importers Association); www.beepbeep.ie (Society of the Irish Motor Industry); www.en.anfia.it (Italian Automotive Industry Association); www.raivereniging.nl (RAI, Dutch Bicycle and Automobile Industry Association); www.ofvas.no (Norwegian Road Traffic Information Council); www.pzpm.org.pl (Polish Automotive Industry Association); www.autoinforma.pt (Automobile Association of Portugal, Data Centre); www.anfac.com (Spanish Association of Car & Truck Manufacturers); www.auto-schweiz.ch (auto-schweiz); smmt.co.uk (UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders)