You are on page 1of 20

MAR.-APR.

2008

VOL. 7

ISSUE 2

Mazda’s Inspired New Concept Cars PAGE 8

Racing for Pet Adoptions
Page 2

Carving Out a Future in Design
Page 3

MX-5 Cup Shootout Winner
Page 6

Making a Pitch for Mazda
Page 16

The Family That Karts (and Drives Mazdas) Together

Mazda’s support of kart racing yields the business and loyalty of a Florida family.
Since then Jarvis, now 14, has skyrocketed through the youth karting ranks. The family has traveled to races and championships across the United States and to Dubai, Mexico, and Portugal. And Jarvis has already won several national titles. Last January, he was scheduled to compete in the annual Skip Barber Karting Shoot-out in Sebring, FL, as the event’s youngest driver. His mom manages Jarvis's racing career and home schooling, while brother Joey manages electronic data acquisition for the karts. “Dad,” laughs father Joe, “pays for everything.” Back home in Florida, last December, teenage daughter Jaime needed a new car while Joe sought to replace his pickup truck, unnecessary since Jarvis joined a factory race team. An inveterate Volkswagen family, they had their eyes set on a new Jetta to replace Jaime’s aging one. But by lucky coincidence, literally next door to the VW dealer in Coral Springs was Coconut Creek Mazda. “My wife said, ‘Mazda has sponsored so much of Jarvis's racing, let’s go in.’” Sales Consultant Robin Weisman greeted them warmly, and Joe explained what they needed and what the budget was. “She made me a great deal on a four-door MAZDA3 for Jaime,” he recalls. “In fact she made us such a great deal that I said, ‘I also like that red MAZDA3 five-door—what’s the gas mileage?’ So I bought it too. Robin didn’t know that I was willing to spend at least as much as I would have for the Jetta and more. What was ironic was we saved money with Mazda.” As expected, the Gennarises loved the purchase experience as much as they are enjoying driving their new MAZDA3s. “The brand was well represented by Robin,” Joe says. “We spent most of the day with her by the time the cars were prepped, and we all had a great time.” ■
Top, karting family (from left) Joe, Jean, Jarvis, and Jaime Gennaris, with dad and daughter's MAZDA3s, purchased at Coconut Creek Mazda in Coral Springs, FL. Inset, Jarvis Gennaris behind the wheel of his kart racer.

Photo by: Ken Johnson / soa-design.com

hen Mazda announced its support of six important kart-racing organizations last year, the commitment was all about the company’s unique Motorsports Development Ladder System that links karting to the professional car-racing ranks. Now one karting family (among 11 karting families who have purchased Mazdas in the last year), the Gennarises of Boca Raton, FL, have repaid Mazda in kind with their purchase of twin MAZDA3s for father and daughter. The most impressive element of the their purchase was not just that it resulted in the sale of two vehicles in one day. Rather, it was the motive: The family is so appreciative of Mazda’s support of karting that they just wanted to give something back. Are these great customers or what? The Gennaris family got involved in karting six years ago via a typical scenario—father Joe and son Jarvis were looking for something to do together. “My son was eight and liked fishing, but I didn’t,” Joe explains. “I liked tinkering in motorsports and had put myself through school working in a speed shop. We bought a cadet (junior) kart from a guy who was selling Christian Fittipaldi-brand karts, and that was it. Fittipaldi himself took Jarvis to his first race and Jarvis drove on the Fittipaldi team for the next four years.”

W

CONTENTS
2 3 4 5-7 8- 9 10- 11 12 12 13- 14 15-16
First Lap
MAZDASPEED and Tri-Point Promote Pet Adoptions; FUEL Feedback

Spotlight
Shaping the Future: The Mazda Design Challenge Winner

Pit Row

Mazda Launches New Service Technician Recognition Program; Top 25 Dealers – Parts and Service

3

Fast Track

2008 MAZDASPEED Motorsports Racing Preview; De Phillipi Wins 2008 Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out; Rampelberg Goes Pro After Winning 2008 MX-5 Cup Shootout; Playboy to Sponsor 2008 MX-5 Cup Series

Cover Story
Big Bang Theory: Mazda Introduces Two New Concept Cars and the Restyled 2009 RX-8

Feature Feature

New CAFE Law Tightens Automotive Fuel Economy Standards; California Greenhouse Gas Program Waiver Request Denied

2008 Mazda CX-9 Named North American Truck of the Year

Gear Glitz
Mazda’s New Dealer-Installed Accessory Window Label Program

7

Front Line
New Strategies for Successful New-Car Inventory Management; Building Customer Loyalty Training Tour; Top 25 Dealers – Sales; Top 25 Dealers – CPO

Final Stretch

Mazda’s Recent Industry Awards and Accolades; National Insurance Crime Bureau’s Online VIN Check Service; Mazda Sponsors Annual Automotive Fine Arts Society Exhibit; Softball Clinic Connects with Up-and-Coming Athletes

10-11

8-9

Mazda FUEL® magazine is published by Mazda North American Operations and is an internal publication intended for employees of Mazda dealerships and Mazda North American Operations. Please address all correspondence to mazdafuel@mazdausa.com or fax to (949) 727-6813. The content of Mazda FUEL magazine is prepared in accordance with the highest standards of journalistic accuracy and was deemed accurate when written. © 2008 Mazda North American Operations

FIRSTLAP

Earl and Mooch Go Racing
MAZDASPEED, Tri-Point, and MUTTS comic characters team up to promote pet adoptions.
to the benefits of shelter pet adoptions of puppies and kittens, fullgrown dogs and cats, and even purebreds. And as The HSUS says, “Every adoption from a shelter is a life saved.” On the grid at Road Atlanta and again at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, drivers Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst hung out with costumed Earl and Mooch characters and promoted pet adoptions in their interviews. They also visited the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) shelter in Monterey, CA, at the series’ final round, where officials even named several animals Jeff, Randy, Zoom-Zoom, and Cosmo in honor of the MAZDASPEED team. Taking it a step further, the MAZDA6 hoods, drivers’ suits, and original MUTTS artwork were later auctioned off for charity. Overall, the cooperative promotion between MAZDASPEED, McDonnell, and The Humane Society was a big hit, garnering positive input from teams and fans alike—along with plenty of media exposure. “It is a real pleasure for Earl and Mooch to be part of the MAZDASPEED Team,” McDonnell said. For more information on pet adoption, visit www.hsus.org. ■

MUTTS comic characters Mooch (left) and Earl are helping MAZDASPEED, Tri-Point Engineering, and the Humane Society encourage pet adoptions.

E

veryone knows racers have nerves of steel. But they also have hearts of gold. This much was proven during the last two events of the 2007 SPEED World Challenge road-racing series, when Tri-Point Engineering’s championship-winning MAZDA6 racecars carried MUTTS comic-strip graphics to raise awareness of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) pet-adoption program. MUTTS, an award-winning comic strip created by Patrick McDonnell, appears daily in over 700 newspapers from more than 20 countries. Featuring a pair of lovable household critters, Earl the dog and Mooch the cat, it’s the perfect forum for exposing readers

FUELFEEDBACK

I
w g two ne Introducin MAZDA itions from limited ed
page

8

s Making Track in Mexico
Page 3

rsports EED Moto MAZDASP Recap g 2007 Racin
Page 10

-Zoom The Zoom Family
Page 11

El Dorado A Look at Internet Sales Mazda's
Page 13

f you want to get a sense of where a car company is headed, the annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit (NAIAS) is the scene. Based on Mazda’s showing at the 2008 NAIAS this past January, it’s evident that Mazda remains zeroed in on its bold path toward innovative, dynamic, and fluid design. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself in this issue’s cover story about Mazda’s exciting new concept cars, Furai and Taiki. Design is also key in this issue’s Spotlight, where we feature Mallory McMorrow, an aspiring young automotive designer who won Mazda’s online contest for the opportunity to sculpt the vehicle of her vision on stage at the Greater Los Angeles Auto Show last November. Check out McMorrow’s work of art on page 3. Of course, interesting design can also take shape in non-traditional mediums, such as…hair? That’s right, one of our readers (and our $100 American Express Gift Cheque winner this issue)—James Stafford, Sales Manager at Herzog-Meier Mazda in Portland, OR—had his local barber shave the “winged M” of the Mazda brand symbol into his hair. And, thanks to Stafford, we have the photo to prove it. See for yourself in this issue’s Mazda Mania section, where we introduce a new feature, “My Mazda Moment,” an opportunity for you to share

your interesting, funny, and/or outrageous Mazdarelated photos. Now, it’s your turn to make a contribution to Mazda FUEL. Just fill out and mail the enclosed reply card or e-mail us at mazdafuel@mazdusa.com. Remember, your great story ideas, photos, or other submissions could earn you a $100 American Express Gift Cheque! “I really enjoyed the section on Mazda selling over the Internet. With people doing all sorts of crazy things these days, it’s nice to know people realize that Internet departments don’t have to be all about price. Bringing people to a store through the Internet makes it a marketing tool. That is awesome.” Jason Foresman Internet Sales Stan Olsen Mazda, Omaha, NE “Always Great!” Greg Kimbrell Sales Consultant Frank Bommarito Mazda, Ellisville, MO We want to hear from you, too. Send us your comments and suggestions on the enclosed reply card. ■

2 | MAZDA FUEL |

2008 JAN. - FEB.

VOL. 7

ISSUE 1

MAR/APR 2008

SPOTLIGHT

Shaping the Future

Mazda Design Challenge Winner Brings 2018 MAZDA3 to Life at LA Auto Show

I

t was neither a commuter vehicle nor a boring sedan. It was by Facebook members, as part of the first-ever program between also not an undersized sports coupe or an awkward, MNAO and the social networking site. To enter, contestants subdisproportionate hatchback. mitted a 150-word description of their vision of the 2018 Instead, when the 2007 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show MAZDA3 and an optional sketch drawing. After weeks of voting—first by Mazda designers, then Faceopened last November, the 2018 MAZDA3 on stage in the Mazda booth was nothing more than a lump of clay—and the vision of book members—McMorrow was selected as a finalist, at which Mallory McMorrow, winner of the time she was paired with Mazda deMazda Design Challenge. signer Jacques Flynn, who helped By the end of the 10-day auto bring her design to life on paper. show, however, that lump of clay was “Jacques took everything I said and transformed into an exciting, life-size sketched, and put my thoughts and would-be model thanks to a collabofeelings on paper,” said McMorrow. rative sculpting effort involving Mc“I was thrilled when I opened up the Morrow, of Whitehouse, NJ, Franz images of the final renderings. I’m von Holzhausen, MNAO’s Director of proud to say that the end design was Design, and members of Mazda’s austill definitely my car.” tomotive design team. “The opportunity to work directly “Usually the design ideas come with the Mazda design team was an from inside our studio, but this was a incredible one, to say the least,” said rare opportunity for my team to look McMorrow. “All through college, I’ve at design through our potential cusheard nothing but how hard it will be tomers’ eyes,” said von Holzhausen. to get into the auto design world, “Never before has any other au- Aspiring auto designer Mallory McMorrow (left) and how I should keep my options open, tomaker built a concept car on the Mazda designers sculpt McMorrow's winning concept and even how I should ‘think about show stand, in full view of show design at the 2007 Greater Los Angeles Auto Show. interiors’ [because]…women work Above, a refined sketch of McMorrow's design. attendees.” on interiors. Now, thanks to this conAn Industrial Design major at the test, I have a completely refreshed University of Notre Dame, McMorrow, 21, first heard of the feeling about pursuing a career in cars.” Mazda Design Challenge online design contest from her profesAnd her career, it seems, is taking off. In January, McMorrow sor, Paul Down. Dubbed “the car girl” by her classmates in the began a four-month internship with the Mazda design team in Industrial Design department, McMorrow, who discovered her Southern California, after which she will return to school to love for cars at a young age, jumped at the chance to enter. finish her education and graduate from Notre Dame. After that, A landslide victory, McMorrow’s entry was voted number one the sky’s the limit for this talented designer. ■

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 3

PITROW
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

TOP 25
RANKING DEALERS
CITY

PARTS SALES (YTD THROUGH JANUARY 2008)
RANK DEALER NAME STATE

JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF MARIETTA FREEMAN MAZDA NUCAR MAZDA GALPIN MAZDA MARTY SUSSMAN MAZDA ROGER BEASLEY MAZDA CENTRAL ROSENTHAL MAZDA - ARLINGTON BOUNTIFUL MAZDA WAYNE MAZDA GUNTHER MAZDA CORY FAIRBANKS MAZDA RON TONKIN MAZDA MORRIES MAZDA OAK TREE MAZDA BERGE MAZDA NORTH PARK MAZDA NELSON MAZDA JOHN HINE MAZDA FAULKNER MAZDA INGRAM PARK MAZDA TRUSSVILLE MAZDA OCEAN MAZDA WHITTEN BROS. MAZDA LEHMAN MAZDA BROWNING MAZDA

MARIETTA IRVING NEW CASTLE VAN NUYS WILLOW GROVE AUSTIN ARLINGTON BOUNTIFUL WAYNE FT. LAUDERDALE LONGWOOD PORTLAND MINNETONKA SAN JOSE GILBERT SAN ANTONIO TULSA SAN DIEGO PHILADELPHIA SAN ANTONIO TRUSSVILLE MIAMI RICHMOND MIAMI GARDENS CERRITOS

GA TX DE CA PA TX VA UT NJ FL FL OR MN CA AZ TX OK CA PA TX AL FL VA FL CA

LABOR SALES (YTD THROUGH JANUARY 2008)
RANK DEALER NAME CITY STATE

Quest for Excellence
Mazda rewards Technicians for building their knowledge and skills.

M

azda has launched a new Service Technician recognition program that rewards Mazda Certified, Senior, and Master Technicians for increasing their technical knowledge and skills. The new program, called Quest for Excellence, is based on a points system, whereby Mazda Service Technicians are awarded points based on their certification level. Technicians may redeem their points for a broad selection of exciting reward items via the Quest for Excellence website. To earn more points, Technicians can complete additional instructor-led training courses, web-based training courses and in-dealership kits, and/or attain ASE certifications. Master Technicians also earn points for taking the online Master Technician Competition test and participating in the Master Technician Competition. “Quest for Excellence is Mazda’s first recognition program that rewards all Technician certification levels,” explains David Pace, Technical Training Manager. “The program rewards Technicians for gaining additional technical skills to fix it right the first time and increase customer satisfaction.” The Quest for Excellence website, which is accessible from the MXConnect dealer extranet or MazdaState.com, enables Mazda Service Technicians to track and redeem their awards points. Technicians can select from hundreds of rewards, including Snap-on Tool certificates, recreational items, and electronics. Points can be redeemed right away or accumulated up to the maximum amount before redeeming. A new brochure that details the Quest for Excellence program was recently mailed to Mazda dealerships. For more information and to begin using the program, visit the Quest for Excellence website. ■

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25

GUNTHER MAZDA ROGER BEASLEY MAZDA CENTRAL WALSER BURNSVILLE MAZDA ROSENTHAL MAZDA - ARLINGTON OAK TREE MAZDA JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF MARIETTA BROWN'S FAIRFAX MAZDA WAYNE MAZDA MORRIES MAZDA GALPIN MAZDA MAZDA SOUTH JOHN HINE MAZDA JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF CHAMBLEE LEE JOHNSON MAZDA ROSENTHAL MAZDA MAZDA GALLERY UNIVERSITY MAZDA FAULKNER MAZDA CAPITOL MAZDA DELRAY MAZDA JEFF HAAS MAZDA LIBERTY MAZDA NORTH PENN MAZDA LOU FUSZ MAZDA CORY FAIRBANKS MAZDA

FT. LAUDERDALE AUSTIN BURNSVILLE ARLINGTON SAN JOSE MARIETTA FAIRFAX WAYNE MINNETONKA VAN NUYS AUSTIN SAN DIEGO ATLANTA KIRKLAND VIENNA NORWOOD SEATTLE PHILADELPHIA SAN JOSE DELRAY BEACH HOUSTON WAKEFIELD COLMAR ST. LOUIS LONGWOOD

FL TX MN VA CA GA VA NJ MN CA TX CA GA WA VA MA WA PA CA FL TX MA PA MO FL

CARE SERVICE INDEX (ROLLING 3 MONTHS THROUGH JANUARY 2008)
RANK DEALER NAME CITY ST. SCORE

4 | MAZDA FUEL |

MAR/APR 2008

1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 1T 2 3 4T 4T 4T 4T 5T 5T 6T 6T 7T 7T 8

ROY'S GRAND MAZDA SOUTHLAND MAZDA REINEKE MAZDA MORRIE'S MAZDA OF LACROSSE JEFF WYLER MAZDA RAZZARI MAZDA BILL HOOD MAZDA PERFORMANCE MAZDA ALLIANCE MAZDA I-79 MAZDA STUART POWELL MAZDA MCKAY MAZDA RALPH THAYER MAZDA KERRY MAZDA OF FLORENCE G & G MAZDA BUTCH OUSTALET MAZDA PRINCE MAZDA KELLY GRIMSLEY MAZDA PARKS MAZDA RIVERSIDE MAZDA HALBINSEL MAZDA EXPO MAZDA MAZDA OF ESCONDIDO FERNDALE MAZDA IRWIN MAZDA

GRAND ISLAND NATCHEZ LIMA LACROSSE BATAVIA MERCED HAMMOND FARMINGTON ROCKY MOUNT MOUNT MORRIS DANVILLE JEFFERSON CITY MONROE FLORENCE DODGE CITY GULFPORT VALDOSTA ODESSA HIGH POINT RIVERSIDE ESCANABA KINGWOOD ESCONDIDO FERNDALE FREEHOLD

NE MS OH WI OH CA LA NM NC PA KY MO MI KY KS MS GA TX NC CA MI TX CA MI NJ

100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 100 98.6 98.3 98.2 98.2 98.2 98.2 97.5 97.5 97.1 97.1 96.9 96.9 96.8

T = Tie
Results based on financial statement data submitted to MNAO as of February 29, 2008

FASTTRACK

2008 Mazda Racing Lineup
New sponsors and more cars will help Mazda grab its share of racing exposure.

M

AZDASPEED is on the upswing for 2008 with strong new sponsors, more racecars, and a better racing presence than ever for the Zoom-Zoom company. In events ranging from open- and closed-wheel road racing to rallying, drag racing, autocrossing, and even drifting, Mazda cars are found virtually everywhere there’s competition. Here are some of the key series.

American Le Mans Series – Competing in the highly competitive LMP2 class is a single B-K Motorsports Lola B07/46 using the 2.0-liter turbocharged MZR-R powerplant. Exciting new support this year comes from BP, Yokohama, and Castrol, which should bring welcome visibility and on-track results. Grand American Rolex Series – The fleet of tube-frame RX-8 racecars from SpeedSource expands to as many as six in the Grand Am GT class. Powered by a modified RENESIS rotary engine, these potent racers square off against Porsche, Pontiac, Ferrari, and Chevrolet. The #70 SpeedSource started the season in the new colors for Castrol Syntec, winning the season-opening Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. SPEED World Challenge – After winning the 2007 driver’s championship and helping Mazda take the 2007 manufacturers’ championship, Tri-Point Engineering returns to the SPEED World Challenge Touring Car series with three MAZDA6 racers, including 2007 Mazda MX-5 Cup champion Jason Saini. Tindol Motorsports and Horton Motorsports are also fielding MAZDA6 entries in competition with Acura, Audi, and BMW. Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup – With new support from Playboy, the professional Mazda MX-5 Cup series puts current-generation MX-5 Miatas in front of huge crowds at ALMS, Champ Car, and Grand Am events. Amateurs may now also participate in the new Skip Barber Regional MX-5 Cup series. Cooper Tires Atlantic Championship Powered by Mazda – Atlantic cars serve as a feeder series for the premium Champ Car series, bringing promising young professionals to the top ranks of open-wheel American racing. Ferociously quick, they are powered by Cosworth-built Mazda MZR engines from the MAZDA3 and MAZDA6.
Top, the B-K Motorsports Lola B07/46, which competes in the American Le Mans Series LMP2 class. Above, new Castrol Syntec colors proved lucky for the SpeedSource #70 Grand Am RX-8, which won the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona season opener.

Star Mazda Championship – Boasting carbon-fiber chassis tubs and sophisticated aerodynamics, these RENESIS rotary-powered spec racers provide road racing’s highest performance for the money. The championship, which has helped launch the careers of drivers like Marco Andretti, continues for 2008 with even larger fields expected. BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda – With a 150-hp tube-frame chassis, the Formula Skip Barber openwheelers occupy the first rung on MAZDASPEED’s Motorsports Development Ladder System. After karting, they offer an ideal starting point for young pro drivers—but there is also an over-40 Masters category for seasoned drivers. ■

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 5

FASTTRACK Shoot-Out at the Sebring Corral
MAZDASPEED-supported karting event awards $45,000 racing scholarship.

T

hanks to MAZDASPEED’s new Motorsports Development Ladder System, 12 young kart racers earned invitations to the 11th Annual Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out, held January 31 to February 3 at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, in a bid to win one of six racing scholarships. The drivers, whose average age is just 16, hailed from throughout North America. They earned invitations to the Shoot-out by means of exemplary racing performance in various karting championships—as well as their overall professionalism and marketability as future potential pro racers. After the three days of intense competition and evaluation by motorsports industry professionals, Connor De Phillippi was named the Shoot-out champion. His grand prize is a sponsored ride in the 14-race 2008 BFGoodrich/Skip Barber National Presented by Mazda, a $45,000 value. In addition, five other drivers were awarded scholarships ranging from a full season in a Skip Barber Regional Racing Series to $10,000. Opportunities such as the Skip Barber Karting Scholarship Shoot-out are hugely important for young drivers, and that’s exactly the point of Mazda’s Motorsports Development Ladder System—to take racers from their learning days in karts right up to the Champ Car Atlantic series, a springboard to many of the world’s top racing series. Although it’s still new, the Motorsports Development Ladder System is already providing tremendous visibility for Mazda and has rapidly become the feeder series of choice for budding professional racers. In addition, Mazda’s position in the Ladder System means the young karters who went to the Shoot-out—along with thousands of others who compete just as hard at lower levels—will stay connected to the Zoom-Zoom company for many years to come. ■

Brad Rampelberg Wins Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout
The 2007 SCCA Spec Miata champion earns Mazda’s $70,000-plus prize package plus entry into pro racing.

H

Mazda's John Doonan (right) celebrates with the Karting Shoot-out scholarship winners, including grand prize winner Conner De Phillippi (in red).

e’s the champion among Mazda club-racing champions, capturing the title spot in the 2007 SCCA Spec Miata Championship and now gaining entry into professional racing by winning the 2008 Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout in February. He’s Brad Rampelberg, and his stellar combination of on- and off-track skills has earned him a new MX-5 and the parts necessary to compete in the 2008 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup—a prize package valued at more than $70,000. Rampelberg was one of nine Mazda-powered 2007 SCCA and NASA champions invited to participate in the Shootout, a key event in the MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Ladder System. A panel of six judges, all of whom are involved with professional racing, scored the drivers in 11 categories that evaluated their driving abilities, technical prowess, and business savvy. Ultimately, Rampelberg was judged as having the greatest potential to succeed on the professional level in 2008. “The core of the MAZDASPEED business is our club racing customer,” explained Robert Davis, Senior Vice President, Product Development and Quality, MNAO. “This program [the Shootout] is at the heart of what we strive for—making motorsports accessible to as many people as possible. Brad has worked hard to get to this point in his career, and Mazda is happy to help him make the jump to the professional level.” A 15-year-plus club racer, Rampelberg is grateful for Mazda’s support. “Having been a Mazda racer for the last five years, I’ve come to admire the way Mazda takes care of us, the club racing driver,” said Rampelberg. “I’m so thankful to Mazda to be invited to participate in their motorsports ladder, and I hope to repay their investment in me in 2008 and beyond.” Rampelberg will make his pro racing debut when the 2007 SCCA Pro Racing Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup 2008 Mazda MX-5 Cup Shootout kicks off at the Grand Prix of Houston winner Brad Rampelberg on the weekend of April 25-27. ■

6 | MAZDA FUEL |

SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2006 MAR/APR 2008

FASTTRACK

Fast Company!
For 2008 the Mazda MX-5 Cup series gets a sexy new title sponsor plus an all-new regional race series for amateurs.

T

he racy Mazda MX-5 Cup series now has a racy new sponsor for 2008—Playboy. While fast cars and beautiful women may seem like mutually seductive elements to some people, the reasons for the partnership are purely business for MAZDASPEED and Playboy. On a typical weekend, there are more MX-5s racing than any other model, and the MX-5 Cup series has grown at an unprecedented rate of 30 percent in the last year alone. Meanwhile, Playboy is represented as one the world’s most recognizable brands, and its male-oriented readership is heavily into lifestyle purchases, including sports cars. As the pundits say, it’s a co-branding marriage made in heaven. The 2008 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup series revs up in Houston, TX, on April 25-27 for the first of eight televised events. Other venues will include Braselton, GA; Mosport, Ontario; Cleveland, OH; Portland, OR; Trois-Rivieres, Quebec; Tooele, UT; and Monterey, CA.

Featuring identically prepared third-generation Mazda MX-5s, the professional series puts the emphasis on driver talent while also showcasing the MX-5’s big-grins performance. The winner of the ’08 championship will receive full MAZDASPEED support in the 2009 SPEED World Challenge series, a value of some $250,000. There’s more good news for MX-5 racing enthusiasts. The Skip Barber Racing School, Mazda’s official driving school partner, recently announced a regional amateur MX-5 Cup series designed to give club racers the opportunity to race MX-5 Cup cars without having to earn their pro license or connect with a pro team. In fact, participating in the Skip Barber Mazda MX-5 Cup Regional Race Series requires nothing more than completing a Mazda MX-5 Cup Three-day Racing School. How far you go in racing from there is literally up to you. Check out www.skipbarber.com for a list of regional race dates and locations. ■

Running in tandem with the 2008 Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup series, Skip Barber Racing School is launching a regional MX-5 Cup series for amateur racers.

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 7

Big Bang Theory
Two stunning concept vehicles and a revamped 2009 RX-8 take center stage at the North American International Auto Show.

T

wo of the greatest concept cars at the biggest auto show in the United States had something in common this year: Mazda badges. That’s because the 20th annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit, MI, held in mid-January, featured the world premier of Mazda’s sleek Furai concept car and the North American debut of its stirring Taiki concept car. While the futuristic vehicles generated a lot of positive energy, the Zoom-Zoom company still wasn’t done, because Mazda also introduced to the world the restyled 2009 RX-8 sports car. Here are the details.

Furai Concept
Striking and aggressive lines make the Furai concept car look like it came right out of a wind tunnel. That’s good, because the name Furai literally means “sound of the wind” in Japanese. Based on an actual American Le Mans Series racing chassis, the Furai concept is truly a racecar for the street—rather than a street vehicle that can be used on the track. It thus moves the whole “supercar” concept closer to absolute performance than ever before. Car designers have their own language, and in the Furai’s case the operative term is “flow.” To Furai designers, the term defines the coordinated, simultaneous movement of water, air, people, or other elements. One recognizes “flow” in water speeding downstream and leaves swirling in a windstorm. The “flow” present in the Furai design is just as insightful and spirited. Studying the Furai in detail leaves no mistake about its performance intentions—as well as its heritage as a Mazda. The fascia and pronounced fenders are reminiscent of the RX-8, the narrow waistline and wide hips suggest both agility and power, and the long greenhouse promises incredible speed. Liberally scalloped front air intakes, side coves, and rear deck further illustrate the concept of flow. Mazda says the Furai embraces both the future and environment simultaneously. The future is found in achieving ultimate track performance in a street-legal car. And the environmental component is that the Furai’s 450-hp three-rotor engine runs on ethanol, a powerful and clean-burning renewable resource grown right here in America.

At top from left, Mazda's Dan Morris (Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer), Franz Von Holzhausen (Director of Design), and Laurens Van Der Acker (General Manager, Design Division), present the Mazda Furai Super Performance concept at the 2008 North American International Auto Show. Below, a rear view of the Furai.

8 | MAZDA FUEL |

MAR/APR 2008

Taiki Concept
Mazda’s “flow” design language also takes shape in the futuristic Taiki (the Japanese term for “atmosphere”) but with a more organic and elegant feel. Mazda says it is designed to reflect the beauty and power of nature—while also emphasizing the importance of our environment. Simply put, the graceful Taiki looks like gently flowing air would—if you could just see it. Representing its care for the environment, the Taiki has a super-low drag coefficient of 0.25 and zero lift to glide smoothly and efficiently through the air. A flat under-body helps in this regard, as do unique rear-wheel covers that double as tunnels to help air move rearward while providing down force. A teardrop-shaped glass canopy further imbues the Taiki with an aerodynamic feeling and helps connect the driver and passenger with the environment. A flowing theme also permeates the interior, with the shape of the instrument panel and seats gracefully coordinating. Creatively, the Taiki uses black trim on the driver’s side to help concentrate the driver’s attention on driving—while white details on the passenger’s side promote a feeling of roomy comfort. Unique features abound, such as red LEDs on the edges of the instrument panel that double as the tachometer for the nextgeneration RENESIS engine. The twin LED rows illuminate forward as the speed increases, further emphasizing the sense of motion.
First shown at the 2007 Tokyo Motor Show, the Mazda Taiki is the fourth concept car in the Mazda Nagare design series.

Restyled 2009 RX-8
The 2009 RX-8 excited plenty of rotary fans and dealers in Detroit. No wonder—the new model represents the first major update since the RX-8 debuted for the 2004 model year, and designers worked hard to simultaneously improve styling, performance, and overall feature and equipment packaging. Exterior upgrades start with new redesigned headlights, a restyled front fascia and bumper, and new wheels with a rotary center motif. In back are a new bumper and tail lamps and larger 90-mm exhaust outlets. Inside, the 2009 RX-8 features a dynamic new instrument panel, steering wheel, tachometer, and more supportive seats. Mechanical changes range from greater body rigidity to new rear-suspension geometry and a more rigid drive-shaft for improved ride and handling characteristics with smoother overall operation. Of interest to performance enthusiasts, the final-drive ratio is also lower (4.777:1 vs. 4.444 in 2008) for quicker acceleration. In terms of equipment, the 2009 RX-8 adds many new features, including an auxiliary-audio input jack on all models. Sport AT models now come standard with 18-inch wheels, along with upgraded front disc brakes. Grand Touring models add auto AC, auto on/off headlights, Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, a leather handbrake, and rain-sensing wipers. Touring and Grand Touring models also offer SIRIUS satellite radio as a factory option. A sporty new RX-8 R3 version, features unique styling differentiation, plus front Recaro sport seats, Bilsteinequipped sport suspension, and 19-inch forged alloy wheels. ■
The restyled 2009 Mazda RX-8 features a refreshed interior and exterior design, enhanced performance, and a host of new features. Pictured here is the 2009 RX-8 R3 model, which is considered the ultimate RX-8 and offers a compelling blend of styling, performance, and amenities.

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 9

Article #4 images coming

White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

New CAFE Law Tightens Fuel Economy Standards
Mazda ready to do its part to address global warming and energy security concerns.
couple of weeks before crude oil prices hit an all-time high of more than $100 per barrel, President Bush signed into law in midDecember the broad-based energy bill, H.R. 6, establishing the first statutory changes in vehicle fuel economy standards in 32 years. The new law, referred to as the “Ten-in-Ten” Fuel Economy Act (P.L. 110-140), increases Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) by 10 miles per gallon over 10 years, resulting in an increased fleet-wide average of 35 miles per gallon by model year (MY) 2020. Annual increases in fuel economy standards begin in MY 2011. By 2025, the new standards are estimated to save 2 million barrels of oil per day, or nearly the amount of oil imported by the United States today from the Persian Gulf. The greenhouse gas emissions reductions are projected to equate to taking 28 million of today’s vehicles off the road in one year. Key provisions of the new law include: Fuel Economy Targets • Preserves separate CAFE standards for passenger cars and light trucks • Standards are to be set at levels that will achieve 35 mpg by 2020 for the combined fleet of passenger cars and light trucks • Requires higher car and light truck standards

A

• •

beginning in MY 2011, increasing annually through 2020 Restructures the program by replacing the current uniform standards for all companies with company-specific standards based on the size of vehicles it sells. For the first time, smaller vehicles will have higher targets and larger ones will have lower targets. New vehicle labels about fuel economy and alternative fuels New vehicle rating system regarding fuel economy and greenhouse gases Owners’ manual information for vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels

Credit Trading • Authorizes the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to create a credit trading program between manufacturers and allows manufacturers to transfer credits among their own fleets, subject to specified caps Consumer Awareness • Creates a new consumer information program about fuel economy, including: • New vehicle labels about fuel economy and alternative fuels • New vehicle rating system regarding fuel economy and greenhouse gases • Owners’ manual information for vehicles capable of running on alternative fuels NAS Report • National Academy of Sciences (NAS) studies on fuel savings technologies for passenger cars, light trucks, work trucks, and commercial trucks

10 | MAZDA FUEL |

MAR/APR 2008

Article #4 images coming

FFV Credits • Extends credits for flexible fuel vehicles, tapering down through 2019 Fuel Economy Labels • Provides for periodic review by Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of the accuracy of fuel economy labels Tire Efficiency • Creates a new consumer information program about the fuel efficiency of replacement tires Advanced Technology CAFE Fund • Directs revenues from civil penalties into NHTSA to support CAFE rule making and to make grants to support advanced technology vehicles Mazda dealers, employees, and MNAO executives played a pivotal role in the enactment of the most significant environmental law since the 1990 Clean Air Act. Teams of MNAO executives—including President Jim O’Sullivan—traveled to Washington, D.C., twice last summer to influence the final legislation. While the signing of the bill is a landmark accomplishment, Mazda and other automakers continue to face further environmental challenges, including working out through the rule-making process at the NHTSA how the details of the new CAFE program will impact each automaker. The new regulations are expected to be finalized by the end of 2008, before President Bush leaves office. “Mazda is pleased to lend its support to the new law that will raise fleet-wide fuel economy by 40 percent to 35 mpg by MY 2020,” said Barbara Nocera, MNAO’s Director of Government and Public Affairs. “While extremely challenging, Mazda, along with other automakers, believes the standards are achievable.” ■

EPA DENIES CALIFORNIA WAIVER REQUEST FROM GREENHOUSE GAS PROGRAM

O

n the heels of H.R. 6 becoming law, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) denied a waiver request from California to enforce its own greenhouse gas emissions standards. If accepted, the waiver would have allowed the state to raise fuel economy standards significantly quicker than under the new federal CAFE program. Thirteen states have adopted the California emissions (CA-LEV) program, including New Mexico and Maryland, which adopted it this year. Without EPA’s permission, states cannot enforce the greenhouse gas portion of the CA-LEV program, but they may continue to enforce the Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) mandate and criteria pollutant portions. Mazda and other automakers view the decision as a victory in that the inconsistent federal/state mandates resulting from California’s separate standards would have created significant and costly burdens on automakers and consumers. However, the battle is not over. California and environmental groups have sued the EPA—a court case that is expected to draw out for at least one and a half years. In the meantime, Mazda will concentrate on meeting the challenging but achievable national CAFE standards. ■

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 11

Top Truck
North American journalists select the Mazda CX-9 as the North American Truck of the Year.

F

or the first time in the award’s history, a Mazda vehicle has been named the North American Truck of the Year (NATOY) for 2008. The 2008 Mazda CX-9 crossover sport utility vehicle was given the award at the 2008 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in January, recognizing it as the most outstanding truck of the year in a category that includes conventional pickup trucks, body-on-frame SUVs, and crossover SUVs. Determined by automotive journalists from the United States and Canada, the NATOY award was established in 1994 to honor vehicles that become new benchmarks in their class or set new standards. The vehicles are judged by various categories, including design, safety, fuel economy, handling, performance, comfort, driver satisfaction, and affordability. The CX-9 received 201 votes, beating out the Chevrolet Tahoe Two-Mode Hybrid (140) and the Buick Enclave (109). “This truly is an honor,” said Jim O’Sullivan, President and CEO of Mazda North America Operations, upon receiving the award. “Since we brought the CX-9 to market, it’s been a hit with media, customers, and dealers alike. This vehicle represents everything a Mazda SUV should be: dynamically styled, powerful, with top-notch craftsmanship, and a heck of a lot of fun to drive. This award is proof that says we just might be on to something special.”

Launched just last year, CX-9 garnered rave reviews industry-wide for its spacious design, excellent performance, and dynamic handling, and was hailed as one of the very best in class. For the 2008 model year, Mazda increased the engine’s displacement, resulting in a significant performance increase. In addition, the 2008 CX-9 offers a Blind Spot Monitoring (BSM) system, which assists drivers by monitoring the detection areas on both sides of the vehicle to the rear and alerting the driver to possible vehicles in these areas. Priced from $29,400, the CX-9 is available in three trim levels— Sport, Touring, and Grand Touring. More information about the model is available online at MazdaUSA.com or in the 2008 Mazda Product & Comparison Guide. ■

GEARGLITZ A Better Window Sticker
A new supplemental label program lets dealers create and display customized window labels for dealer-installed Genuine Mazda Accessories.
• Accommodates up to three non-Mazda accessories • Provides space for dealer-created message • Utilizes preformatted self-adhesive labels, designed by MNAO • Offers a reprint capability This useful new tool can be accessed by any Mazda dealer through the MXConnect “Accessories” Web page. Generating the labels requires just two easy steps: (1) Setting up accessory-installation pricing tables (including relative labor costs); and (2) actually creating the customized supplemental window labels in the convenience of the dealership office! User Guides are located on MXConnect, and packages of 50 blank label forms (part number 9999-94-DIAWL-08) are available through MStore. ■

M

NAO Accessory Operations and IT departments have teamed up to develop a process and forms that will provide dealers with a handy way to create and print a “Dealer-Installed Accessory” Window Label. The customizable labels are intended to be placed next to the MNAO vehicle Monroney label displayed on a vehicle’s side window. This Dealer-Installed Accessory Window Label can be used to reflect Dealer-Installed (DIO) Genuine Mazda Accessories, as well as to build up the total price displayed on the Monroney MSRP.

Key Dealer Benefits
MNAO’s new supplemental label tool offers several benefits, including: • Conveys the same visual look and feel as the MNAO Monroney window label • Improves customer purchase satisfaction and confidence • Allows dealer to maintain accessory retail prices, including installation costs, if any • Allows dealer to input “No Charge,” if desired (N/C)

12 | MAZDA FUEL |

MAR/APR 2008

FRONTLINE

Smart Moves
Mazda adopts three important new strategies to help dealers more successfully manage their new car inventory.
hen doing the math on dealer inventory, the equation is fairly simple: The better you manage your new-car inventory, the lower your costs and the higher your likelihood of selling in-stock vehicles. In fact, proper asset management can be one of the quickest and most effective ways to increase dealership sales and profits. That’s exactly why MNAO recently launched the following new strategies:

W

Therefore, last September, MNAO launched an initiative to reduce its build complexity by bundling build combinations in accordance with market demands and sales volume. Today, this decision is helping dealers order fast-turning models and making it more likely for dealers to have on hand the exact models customers want.

Reduce Order-To-Delivery (OTD) Times
MNAO is also making strides to streamline the order-to-delivery process. Until recently, dealers were required to place orders two months prior to production and had to wait an average of 105 days from order to delivery. Today, that’s all changing. “Mazda Corporation recently updated its allocation process, which now enables dealers to place orders a few days after month-end,” explains Cunningham. “Essentially, they are now placing orders one month prior to production, versus the current two months, which reduces average OTD by more than 20 days.” And that’s just the start. Since the vast majority of dealer sales come at the end of the month, this new process also helps dealers adjust their inventory orders based on their most recent sales and availability. Indeed, dealers can now better align their stock with market needs, and react more quickly to inventory changes and demands. Concludes Cunningham, “Together, these three initiatives will really pay off in 2008 for dealers striving to reduce expenses and increase sales.” ■

Improve Production Calendarization
MNAO worked with its manufacturing facilities in the United States and Japan to better align vehicle production with its seasons of higher sales, such as the spring and summer months. “Basically, we’re now timing our production to coincide with sales demand,” said John Cunningham, MNAO’s Manager of Inventory Projects and Logistics Strategy. “And the results are speaking for themselves. This effort alone resulted in a 15-percent reduction in national dealer stock last December.”

Minimize Build Complexity
“The more buildable combinations of a vehicle that are available, the more likely it is that a customer will go to a dealer asking for one they don’t have,” explains Cunningham. “Basically, offering more choices actually reduces a dealer’s odds of having exactly what the customer is looking for.”

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 13

FRONTLINE

TOP 25
RANKING DEALERS
CITY

SALES VOLUME (YTD THROUGH JANUARY 2008)
RANK DEALER NAME STATE

Got Owner Loyalty?
Learn how to get even more with a new in-dealership workshop devoted to building customer loyalty.

I

t’s true. The quest for improved owner loyalty never ends. Talk to any organization with outstanding customer loyalty, and you’ll discover a common attitude: “Good enough is never good enough.” Mazda dealerships are no exception. Reaching a healthy balance between attracting new owners and retaining existing customers is a key responsibility up and down the line. Granted, every dealership loves new buyers. However, the key is turning them into repeat customers—owners who are proud to refer their family members, friends, and co-workers to their local Mazda dealer and the Mazda brand. That’s why Mazda is rolling out a new Building Customer Loyalty workshop for Mazda dealership employees. A three-part program, the first part of the Building Customer Loyalty workshop rolls out in April to Mazda dealership sales, service, and parts professionals in nonmanagement positions. The full-day workshops will be led by professional facilitators and held at a local venue. In early summer, Mazda plans to offer a Building Customer Loyalty workshop tailored specifically for sales, service, and parts managers. While similar in format to the non-management workshop, this training will address owner loyalty as it relates to managing dealership operations. Finally, non-management sales, service, and parts professionals who are unable to attend a spring workshop can catch the training tour when it comes around again in the early fall.

1 2 3 4 5T 5T 6 7 8 9T 9T 10 11 12 13 14 15T 15T 16 17 18T 18T 19 20T 20T

WAYNE MAZDA GALPIN MAZDA CORY FAIRBANKS MAZDA MAZDA SOUTH DELRAY MAZDA MAZDA OF WESLEY CHAPEL CLASSIC MAZDA EAST MAZDA OF LODI PALM BEACH MAZDA PARETTI MAZDA ROGER BEASLEY MAZDA CENTRAL BROWNING MAZDA INGRAM PARK MAZDA TUSTIN MAZDA OPEN ROAD MAZDA KINGS MAZDA MAXON MAZDA NORCO MAZDA GUNTHER MAZDA BROWN'S FAIRFAX MAZDA MAZDA OF ESCONDIDO OAK TREE MAZDA HILEY MAZDA OF HURST NORTH PARK MAZDA RANDY HILEY MAZDA ARLINGTON

WAYNE VAN NUYS LONGWOOD AUSTIN DELRAY BEACH WESLEY CHAPEL ORLANDO LODI W PALM BEACH METAIRIE AUSTIN CERRITOS SAN ANTONIO TUSTIN EDISON CINCINNATI UNION NORCO FT. LAUDERDALE FAIRFAX ESCONDIDO SAN JOSE HURST SAN ANTONIO ARLINGTON,

NJ CA FL TX FL FL FL NJ FL LA TX CA TX CA NJ OH NJ CA FL VA CA CA TX TX TX

Results based on financial statement data submitted to MNAO as of February 29, 2008.

TOP 10
CPO SALES
SALES VOLUME (YTD THROUGH JANUARY 2008)
RANK DEALER NAME CITY STATE

What should you expect to gain from attending a Building Customer Loyalty workshop?
During 2008, you can expect anything but business as usual. That’s because this workshop will emphasize coordinating the work of your entire dealership team to connect the dots in the chain of events that leads to impressive owner loyalty.

Why bother with this workshop?
Simply stated, it’s all about earnings. Earning the trust of customers. Earning higher returns on the time and resources your team invests in each customer interaction. And at the personal and individual level, maximizing the powerful earnings potential that comes from loyal customers, repeat business, and quality sales referrals.

1 2 3 4 5T 5T 6 7 8T 8T 8T 9 10 T = Tie

MED CENTER MAZDA JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF MARIETTA KIEFER'S EUGENE MAZDA WAYNE MAZDA MAPLE SHADE MAZDA MAZDA OF ROSWELL FAULKNER MAZDA OAK LAWN MAZDA AUTO WEST MAZDA MAPLE SHADE MAZDA, TURNERSVILLE SCOTT MAZDA DELRAY MAZDA CRYSTAL MAZDA

PELHAM MARIETTA EUGENE WAYNE MAPLE SHADE ROSWELL PHILADELPHIA OAK LAWN ROSEVILLE SICKLERVILLE ALLENTOWN DELRAY BEACH GREENBROOK

AL GA OR NJ NJ GA PA IL CA NJ PA FL NJ

Think you’ve heard it all before?
Not so fast. Sales, service, and parts professionals will come away from the Building Customer Loyalty workshop with the training, tools, and the takeaway skills that will help build long-lasting success at your dealership for years to come. For more workshop information and registration details, visit MazdaState.com today. ■

Results based on financial statement data submitted to MNAO as of February 29, 2008.

14 | MAZDA FUEL |

MAR/APR 2008

FINALSTRETCH

Industry Awards
and Accolades
Mazda products continue to grab the spotlight.
hen auto manufacturers are doing something right, people notice. And industry recognition often follows. That was certainly the case last fall, when Mazda vehicles were attracting praise—and awards—from organizations far and wide. Check out a few:

W

Upon the CX-9 being named the SEAMO 2008 Family Car of the Year, SEAMO Executive Director Tom Kelley (center) presents the award to John Montgomery (left), General Manager of Montgomery Mazda, and David Jackson, Southeast District Sales Manager, at the Charlotte Auto Show.

CX-9 Named SEAMO 2008 Family Car of the Year
The CX-9 continues to rack up impressive honors. One of the latest comes from the Southeast Automotive Media Organization (SEAMO), which recently named the 2008 CX-9 3.7L the “Family Car of the Year.” This inaugural award—the first of its kind by SEAMO—was based on votes from journalists in the Southeast. From among a pool of 33 vehicles, journalists submitted a total of 97 ballots to select the top family-friendly vehicle. Each was judged on family friendliness through eight categories: safety, capacity, accessibility, value, amenities, ergonomics, NVH (noise, vibration, harshness), and styling. Tom Kelley, SEAMO’s Executive Director, said, “The 2008 Mazda CX-9 stood out from an impressive field of competitors to exemplify what SEAMO members consider to be the most important attributes of a great family car.”

MAZDASPEED3 Named Best Sporty “DogCar” of the Year
In December, DogCars.com, the car-buying resource for doglovers everywhere, chose the MAZDASPEED3 as the first-ever “Best Sporty DogCar” for 2007. Created by “Good Morning America” veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker and his writing partner, syndicated columnist Gina Spadafori, DogCars.com not only gave high “paw ratings” to Mazda, but also to cars in eight other categories. The DogCars.com team praised the MAZDASPEED3 for being ideal “city dog cars”—“great little vehicles that won’t accommodate a team of sled dogs but will easily get dogs to the vet with good gas mileage and easy parking.” Dr. Becker said, “We’re glad to see car-makers address the comfort and safety of our dogs on the road, because people don’t want to leave their pets—or should we say ‘four-legged family members’—behind.”

CX-7 Named Active Lifestyle Best Value Vehicle
This year’s Active Lifestyle Vehicle of the Year competition saw the most entries in the program’s four-year history, with more than 40 vehicles from 21 manufacturers in the running. The awards, cosponsored by the Active Network online community and Gen-A media and marketing, recognize automakers whose engineering and designs best suit the needs of an active audience. The Mazda CX-7 beat 15 other entries to take home the award for best value (priced under $30,000). “Mazda has given this vehicle a sports car soul,” said juror Denise McCluggage, a journalist and former professional racecar driver. Jim Prueter of AAA called the CX-7 “visually striking… the CX-7 is what a crossover should be—roomy, quick, flexible, and fun to drive.”

MAZDASPEED3 Engine Named to Ward’s 10 Best Engines List for 2008
In December, the MAZDASPEED3’s 2.3-liter DISI (Direct Injection Spark Ignition) Turbo engine was named one of “Ward’s 10 Best Engines” by Ward’s AutoWorld magazine. This was the third consecutive year that the performance-enhancing engine has been included in the program, which is now in its 14th year. “We are so honored that the 2.3-liter DISI Turbo engine has been named one of Ward’s 10 Best Engines for a third year in a row,” said Jim O’Sullivan, President and CEO of Mazda North American Operations. “Engineered to deliver high performance at all speeds, along with low exhaust emissions and excellent fuel economy, the 2.3-liter engine is Zoom-Zoom in its purest form.” ■

MAR/APR 2008

| MAZDA FUEL

| 15

FINALSTRETCH

Free

VIN Check
Protect yourself from purchasing a stolen vehicle.
hether it’s a Mazda or other make, dealers and consumers can never be too careful when it comes to selling and purchasing a previously owned vehicle—especially given the number of stolen vehicles that remain unaccounted for. However, the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) is now offering a free service to help prevent innocent people from buying a stolen vehicle, as well as to help recover stolen vehicles that may enter the commerce stream in the future. Using the NICB’s Unrecovered Stolen Vehicle Database, anyone anywhere can run a vehicle identification number (VIN) through the database and determine if it has been reported stolen by one of NICB’s more than 1,000 member insurance companies. To check a VIN, simply visit the NICB Web site at www.nicb.org and follow the onscreen directions for the VINCheck search feature, which is located on the home page. Also, anyone with information concerning auto theft and insurance fraud can report is anonymously by calling 800-TEL-NICB (800-8356422) or by visiting the NICB Web site. ■

Tom Bush Mazda sales manager, Dean Murray, left, presents Mazda’s 2008 “Emotion of Motion” award to Automotive Fine Arts Society (AFAS) member Jack Juratovic at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance on March 9.

W

Focusing on the Art in Automotive
Mazda sponsors AFAS Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance.

T

his March, Mazda sponsored for the seventh consecutive year the Automotive Fine Arts Society exhibit at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance in Amelia Island, FL. The show is one of the nation’s most innovative vintage auto events featuring more than 250 rare classics from seldom-seen private collections nationwide. Mazda leveraged the opportunity to showcase its latest “works of art”—including the 2009 CX-9—alongside a stunning display of majestic art and automotive design from the artists of AFAS, the international group whose works are highly respected by art connoisseurs and auto enthusiasts. In addition to highlighting its new vehicles, Mazda awarded its “Emotion of Motion” award to the AFAS artist who best exemplified the joy of motion through his/her works of art. ■

Mazda Connects With Up-and-Coming Athletes

L

U.S. softball superstars Monica Abbott (left) and Stacy Nuveman helped coach Jacksonville area youth players at the Mazda-sponsored softball clinic.

ooking to connect with active youth—much like a great softball player connects bat with ball—Mazda served as title sponsor of a softball clinic in Jacksonville, FL, in January that featured Monica Abbott and Stacey Nuveman, superstars of America’s fastest-growing sport. Tom Bush Mazda and Mazda City, two Jacksonville-area Mazda dealerships, sponsored the two-day clinic, which was held at the Diamond Baseball and Softball instruction and training facility owned by 11-year Major League Baseball veteran Rick Wilkins. More than 30 coaches from area high schools and colleges participated in day one of the clinic, which was devoted to coaching the popular sport. On day two, nearly 100 youngsters, who were joined by family members, participated in the all-skills players’ clinic. Abbott and Nuveman instructed at both sessions, along with the head softball coaches from the University of North Florida and Seminole Community College. Event organizers believe the involvement of Abbott and Nuveman in such development opportunities helps generate additional interest in a sport that is relatively easy to learn, fun to play, and teaches leadership skills. For Mazda, sponsoring the clinics helped showcase the benefits of participating in youth sports as well as the advantages of partnering with health and fitnessminded community organizations. ■

16 | MAZDA FUEL |

MAR/APR 2008

MAZDAMANIA

My Mazda Moment

SCENICROUTE

Photo by roadsideamerica.com

Photo by Arley Pitts

I

PSHAW MOTORS

Answer: A. Alliance, NE

t seems everyone is armed with a digital camera these days, so Mazda FUEL is challenging you to put your photography skills to the test…just like the digital interpretation of Mazda enthusiasm captured here and sent to us by James Stafford, Sales Manager at Herzog-Meier Mazda in Portland, OR. Last year, Stafford asked his barber, Nathan Jackson, to shave Mazda’s winged-M brand symbol into his hairstyle. Using the key from Stafford’s MAZDA3 as reference, Jackson created what we here at FUEL consider a pretty strong statement of brand loyalty and what Stafford says is a real icebreaker when working with customers. Now, we want you to share your photos of an interesting, funny, unique, or inspiring Mazda-related experience. If you come across a Mazda-inspired moment—an RX-8 with a wild paint job, a dog behind the wheel of an MX-5 Miata, a Mazda taxi, or you get the idea—snap a photo and e-mail your high-resolution image to mazdafuel@mazdausa.com. If we choose to publish your image in a future issue of Mazda FUEL, you will receive a $100 American Express Gift Cheque. We will also enter anyone who sends in a photo into our monthly drawing for a $100 American Express Gift Cheque. So not only is your picture worth a thousands words, it could also possibly be worth a $100. Remember, send only “.jpg” images. Be sure to include your name, job title, dealership or MNAO department, and phone number. Only one entry per issue, please. All other Mazda FUEL $100 American Express Gift Cheque reward restrictions and eligibiltiy requirements apply as stated on the reply card enclosed in this issue. Now, go out there and capture your best Mazda moment! ■

A Monumental Car-ving
family reunion in 1987 produced what has become America’s best-known quirky Stonehenge—called “Carhenge”—in a dusty field in one Midwest state. Local farmer Jim Reinders supervised the project, which he intended as a memorial for his father. What makes Carhenge unique is that it’s made of cars— 38 of them—all of which were rescued from nearby farms and dumps. Finally, the Reinders family spray-painted the cars a flat grey to more accurately replicate the real Stonehenge—using a 1962 Cadillac as the “heel stone.” To see this monumental attraction, where would you head? ■ A. Alliance, NE B. Colfax, IA C. Lawrence, KS D. Norman, OK See below for the answer.

A

Seat Covers

A More Personalized Approach to MAZDA5 Accessories.
One of the greatest joys that comes with owning a new MAZDA5 is being able to personalize its appearance and enhance its performance with

Interior Cargo Cover

Portable Navigation Devices by Garmin®

Genuine Mazda Accessories.

See what's available for 2008!
Front Splash Guards

Car Cover

Rear Bumper Guard

MazdaUSA.com