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of Summer

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129 Years of Service Excellence
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The Value-Packed CX-9
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Mazda's Rotary Engine Turns 40
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MNAO Employees Hit the Track
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Baby on Board
Falen Joseph (right) and her mother Jana Mallery (left) are all smiles now that the memorable delivery of Isaiah Joseph (center) is behind them.
Photos by Buffy Massey Photography

MAZDA6 delivers a very special bundle of joy.

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t wasn’t exactly a dream delivery for any first-time “When I ran back to the car to pull it around, I heard mother, but for Falen Joseph and her mother, a baby crying,” she said. “I paused and said, ‘Falen, MAZDA6 owner Jana Mallery, the events in the wee what is that?’ but she was just laying back like nothing hours of July 25, 2006, were certainly memorable. was wrong. She said she caught the baby’s head during It all started at 2:20 a.m. when Falen alerted her delivery and placed him on the floor of the car. mom that her water had broken—signaling her baby “I was in shock,” she said. “I didn’t know whether to was on its way. While Jana was talk to her, soothe the baby, or hop trying to calm her daughter’s in the car. I drove back to where I nerves, she was also loading her had started from, pulled up to the MAZDA6 and preparing for the emergency room and told the 30-minute drive from her home in nurse that I no longer needed a St. Martinville, LA, to Women’s wheelchair—the baby had already and Children’s Hospital in been delivered. The nurse ran back Lafayette. into the hospital, called an emer“When we were on our way, I gency code, and doctors and nurstold her just to breathe, that we es immediately flooded out of that would make it to the hospital in hospital to help.” time, and please not to have the The baby boy, who was born baby in the car,” said Jana, a Child perfectly healthy at 2:55 a.m., Welfare Service Assistant for the weighed in at seven pounds and State of Louisiana. was named Isaiah Israel Joseph. Later, as she pulled onto the But to Jana, he may always be road to the hospital, she noticed known by his nickname: “Speedy.” Falen was very uncomfortable and Ironically, Jana was in a similar had laid a towel down on the floor. situation just one week later, when Not a good sign. she had to drive her mom’s preg“I asked if the baby was coming, nant niece to the emergency room and she said ‘no,’ but she was for her baby’s delivery. Fortunately breathing hard,” recalled Jana. “I Isaiah Israel Joseph, now one year old, has in this case, they made it in plenty told her to hang on, that we were rightfully earned the nickname “Speedy.” of time, and the baby girl was only two minutes away.” born in the hospital as planned. After pulling into the hospital “As Mazda Sales Consultants, emergency drive-up and not seeing anyone, Jana quick- we always highlight the performance and versatility of ly pulled the car around to the side of the hospital and Mazda cars,” remarked Desiree Hebert, Sales Consulran through the double-doors. Luckily, she found a tant for Lafayette Mazda where Jana Mallery bought nurse, but the nurse directed her back to the main en- her baby-mobile. “However, this experience gives these trance where she had just come from. concepts entirely new meaning.” ■

8-9

CONTENTS
14
2 3 4-6 7 8-9 10 11 12-13 14 15-16
First Lap
CSULB Student PR Plans for Mazda; FUEL Feedback

Pit Row

Top 25 Dealers – Parts and Service; Mazda’s New Dealer Profitability Group

Fast Track Spotlight

40 Years of Rotary Power; MX-5 Cup Right on Track; MAZDA6 Races Ahead; Mazda Makes the Karting Connection The Frema Mazda Family Adds Up to 129 Years of Service Excellence

Grille to Grille Front Line Feature Feature
The Mazda CX-9 Value Story

Toys of Summer: The Mazda MX-5 Mazda Core Product Spring Training Events; Top 25 Dealers – Sales; Top 25 Dealers – MEPP MAZDA5 on the Money

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Gear Glitz
John Hine Mazda Speaks to the Benefits of the Mazda Accessories Learning Program

Final Stretch

15

Employee Weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca; 2007-2008 MNAO Dealer Meeting Dates; Mazda’s Conservation in Action Contest; Mazda Shopping Assistant Program

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. © 2007 Mazda North American Operations

FIRSTLAP Driving Awareness
University students develop a mock Mazda public relations plan.
ollow Your Zoom-Zoom: An Integrated Approach to Discovering the Emotion of Motion” is a multifaceted public relations (PR) plan designed to generate awareness about Mazda’s exciting design direction. While the plan itself is comprehensive, innovative, and detailed, it has one tiny quirk—the PR firm that pitched it to Mazda, In Cal State Long Beach Professor Dr. Mathew Cabot (in car) with the In Gear CommunicaGear Communications, is a fictional company tions team (from left) Dylana Foy, Kristi Gohn, Rachel Golding, Federico Aronna, and composed of five California State University Long Jennifer Ketchersid. Beach students. These students, along with 20 others, took part in a class-wide project assigned this past spring semester by Dr. Mathew Cabot, professor of the university’s Journalism 471 – Management and Campaigns course, in which students learn to develop a comprehensive PR plan. To help the students, Mazda agreed to be their “client.” As such, MNAO representatives, including Franz von Holzhausen, Mazda Design Director, spent up to three hours with the class, briefing them on Mazda’s history, brand positioning, design strategy, and communications challenge. Once armed with basic information and materials, five teams of students—or PR firms—set to work on their plans in hopes of winning the class competition. When it came time to pitch the final plans, a team of Mazda PR professionals (Jeremy Barnes, Danica Laub, and Tim Gilman of Mazda PR partner Hill & Knowlton) sat in judgment, ultimately awarding first place to the In Gear Communications team. “The students did an excellent job,” said Laub. “Their ideas were creative, and they really seemed to grasp the messaging challenge.” While Dr. Cabot's project was devised solely to educate and prepare his students for work in the PR field, it’s easy to see why Mazda got involved. After all, what could be better for Mazda than having 25 intelligent and influential students live and breathe the Mazda brand for three solid months? Now that’s brand immersion! ■

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FUELFEEDBACK

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iven the summer selling season, showroom traffic at Mazda dealerships should be running high. To help you make the most of these increased business opportunities, we’re offering up in this issue a closer look at the competitive advantages of three specific models in the 2007 Mazda lineup: the MX-5, the MAZDA5, and the CX-9. As the ultimate summer car, the MX-5 continues to outshine even the newest competitors, while the MAZDA5 is proving to be the perfect go-to vehicle for young families on the go. The CX-9 expands upon its long list of features and benefits with a super-strong value story. All the details are in the pages ahead. While you’re fattening up on product knowledge, don’t forget to feed your racing spirit. There’s plenty going on in the Mazda motorsports world, including the 40th anniversary celebration of the Mazda rotary engine. But before you move on, join us in congratulating Lafayette Mazda Sales Consultant (and Mazda FUEL reader) Desiree Hebert. Her winning story suggestion (inside front cover) about the customer whose daughter gave birth to her first baby in the front seat of the customer’s MAZDA6 earned her a $100 American Express Gift Checque. Frema Motors Sales Consultant Jeff Sullivan is our other winner for tipping us off to all the long-term employees at his dealership. Well done!

Now, get to it, and be sure to let us know what you think of this issue using the enclosed reply card. Every employee receives a copy of this magazine every month. We are thankful we have plenty left over to show our customers. Carmen Villareal Internet Sales Manager Almaden Mazda, San Jose, CA I have never read the magazine before. I found it interesting and very informative about Mazda and its products. Jessyka Mullen Receptionist Randy Blount Planet Mazda, Ferguson, MO Great magazine; can’t wait until you guys add more content. Chad Wilson Sales Consultant Cypress Coast Mazda, Seaside, CA We want to hear from you, too. Send us your comments and suggestions on the enclosed reply card. ■

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TOP 25
RANKING DEALERS
CITY

PITROW
Photo by Ron Perry

PARTS SALES (YTD THROUGH MAY 2007)
RANK DEALER NAME STATE

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

JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF MARIETTA ROGER BEASLEY MAZDA CENTRAL ROSENTHAL MAZDA - ARLINGTON FREEMAN MAZDA MARTY SUSSMAN MAZDA TRUSSVILLE MAZDA CORY FAIRBANKS MAZDA GALPIN MAZDA NUCAR MAZDA RON TONKIN MAZDA GUNTHER MAZDA WAYNE MAZDA OCEAN MAZDA JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF CHAMBLEE BERGE MAZDA WANTAGH MAZDA LEHMAN MAZDA MORRIES MAZDA OAK TREE MAZDA FAULKNER MAZDA BROWNING MAZDA NELSON MAZDA JOHN HINE MAZDA MAZDA SOUTH DELRAY MAZDA

MARIETTA AUSTIN ARLINGTON IRVING WILLOW GROVE TRUSSVILLE LONGWOOD VAN NUYS NEW CASTLE PORTLAND FT. LAUDERDALE WAYNE MIAMI ATLANTA GILBERT WANTAGH MIAMI GARDENS MINNETONKA SAN JOSE PHILADELPHIA CERRITOS TULSA SAN DIEGO AUSTIN DELRAY BEACH

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

The new MNAO Business Management and Dealer Profitability Group includes (from left) Alan Schapel, Mark Gabelsberg, John Sellers, and Doug Boswell.

LABOR SALES (YTD THROUGH MAY 2007)
RANK DEALER NAME CITY STATE

Fueling Dealer Profits
New Mazda department focuses on dealer profitability.

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

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

ARLINGTON VA BURNSVILLE MN AUSTIN TX MARIETTA GA SAN DIEGO CA FT. LAUDERDALE FL VAN NUYS CA MINNETONKA MN FAIRFAX VA VIENNA VA SAN JOSE CA DELRAY BEACH FL SEATTLE WA ST. LOUIS MO HOUSTON TX AUSTIN TX NORWOOD MA PHILADELPHIA PA ATLANTA GA SAN JOSE CA WAYNE NJ LONGWOOD FL MARLOW HEIGHTS MD COLMAR PA CINCINNATI OH

CARE SERVICE INDEX (ROLLING 3 MONTHS THROUGH MAY 2007)
RANK DEALER NAME CITY ST. SCORE

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

COTHERN-VARNADORE MAZDA NELSON MAZDA ROWE MAZDA ALLIANCE MAZDA FRED MUELLER MAZDA ALEXANDER MAZDA FLOOD MAZDA COGSWELL MAZDA CROWN MAZDA MORONG FALMOUTH MAZDA ROB SIGHT MAZDA JAMES MEARS MAZDA CARSON CITY MAZDA MIKE PILE MAZDA CHAMPION MAZDA SID DILLON MAZDA SAM LEMAN MAZDA ATZENHOFFER MAZDA EDDIE ACCARDI MAZDA RAY GROSS MAZDA DAPHNE MAZDA WHEELER MAZDA SUTHERLIN MAZDA BORGMAN MAZDA FERNDALE MAZDA

BAXLEY GA 100.00 MARTINSVILLE VA 100.00 AUBURN ME 100.00 ROCKY MOUNT NC 100.00 SCHOFIELD WI 100.00 ALBERTVILLE AL 100.00 WAKEFIELD RI 99.50 RUSSELLVILLE AR 98.60 HOLLAND MI 98.40 FALMOUTH ME 98.30 KANSAS CITY MO 98.10 LUBBOCK TX 97.60 CARSON CITY NV 97.00 TYLER TX 97.00 OWENSBORO KY 96.90 FREMONT NE 96.80 BLOOMINGTON IL 96.70 VICTORIA TX 96.60 POMPANO BEACH FL 96.40 FRANKLIN LA 96.30 DAPHNE AL 96.10 YUBA CITY CA 96.10 BUFORD GA 96.10 GRANDVILLE MI 95.90 FERNDALE MI 95.90

success. That’s why, in a bold move made on April 1, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) created a new department—the Business Management and Dealer Profitability group. “The overall objective of this department is to create a high-level focus on improving dealer profitability, primarily at Mazda-exclusive dealers,” explains Alan Schapel, director of the department. “In many car companies, dealer profitability doesn’t always receive the high-level, daily focus it deserves. By creating a department that raises the level of internal visibility and focuses on dealer profitability, Mazda is telling dealers that we take the matter seriously and that we are dedicating resources to help improve the situation.” To that end, MNAO pulled together a department of four experienced managers from other areas of the company. In addition to Schapel, who tracks dealer performance via ongoing financial statements, the department consists of Mark Gabelsberg, who oversees the dealer business management process, evaluates metrics, analyzes trends, and recommends solutions; Doug Boswell, who manages the fixed operations component and focuses on service/parts profitability; and John Sellers, who oversees the profitability of dealers’ used car operations and manages the Mazda Certified Pre-owned Vehicle program and Mazda Extended Protection Plan. “The four of us work together as a team—to be a resource for the regions as we determine specific strategies and tactics for dealers,” explains Schapel. “Right now, we’re having discussions with a large number of dealers throughout the country and gathering a lot of input that will help us plan new strategies for measuring, tracking, and building on current profitability. We really need to achieve at least 1.3 percent profit margins to sustain dealer profitability, and we haven’t been at that level consistently for two or three years. We’re working to change that.” Acknowledging that good products and good marketing ultimately drive dealer profitability, Schapel says there are other things Mazda can do to help improve dealer profits. “We can evaluate how we do business with dealers and which programs impact profitability in a positive or negative way. We’re not going to just let dealer profits happen on their own; our department is going to apply resources to accelerate the process,” he concludes. ■

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hen it comes to running a successful dealership, the bottom line for automotive retailers is quite simply the bottom line. After all, attaining consistent and high levels of profitability are critical to ensuring long-term

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T = Tie
Results based on financial statement data submitted to MNAO as of July 10, 2007

FASTTRACK

40 Years of Rotary Power
Last spring, Mazda celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first rotary-powered vehicle, the 1967 Cosmo Sport. Here’s how its inspiration lives on today.

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f you’ve been selling Mazda cars for even a short while, you are probably aware that the company’s core vehicles are the MAZDA3, MAZDA6, CX-7 and the new CX-9. Like every other Mazda model, they offer a fun-to-drive nature that reflects the company’s Zoom-Zoom spirit. But ironically, it is the most specialized vehicle in Mazda’s current lineup, the RX-8, that is most connected to the heart of Mazda’s brand. After all, the RX-8 and its rotary engine–powered predecessors paved the way to Mazda’s brand success. And what a trip it’s been. May 30, 2007, marked the 40th anniversary of the production of the first Mazda rotary-engine vehicle, the 1967 Cosmo Sport. Featuring the revolutionary two-rotor 10A rotary engine, just 343 units were built that year, but they truly started the Mazda legend that continues to this day in the RENESIS-powered RX-8. Amazingly, Mazda has produced more than 1.96 million rotaryengine vehicles to date. But none of them would have been possible without the futuristic thinking of a young German engineer, Dr. Felix Wankel. While just a teenager in 1919, he envisioned a rotary engine and then committed his life’s work to make it a reality. After many years, in concert with the German car and motorcycle company NSU, he finally succeeded when the first NSU rotary engine, generally known as the “Wankel,” was produced in 1959. Soon afterwards another visionary, Mazda president Tsuneji Matsuda, gambled his company’s future by applying for the license to produce the engines. He prevailed over nearly 100 other corporate suitors, and Mazda soon established an in-house brain trust of 47 engineers to develop and improve upon the NSU design. After overcoming many engineering challenges, the first 110-horsepower Cosmo Sport was finally produced.

Successfully completing the grueling Marathon de la Route rally in 1968 surely bolstered the young rotary engine’s future with Mazda, and soon other model variations followed, quite notably including the R100 (the first Mazda rotary-engine vehicle officially imported into the United States), followed by the 1970 RX-2, the 1971 RX-3, the wild 1974 rotary pickup, 1974 RX-4, and the 1975 Cosmo. Then came Mazda’s breakout rotary-powered sport cars—three generations of RX-7 followed by the current RX-8. Besides solving innumerable emissions and durability challenges over the years, Mazda’s rotary engine (“RE” for short) claimed numerous International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) races and championships, and finally grabbed the brass ring in sports-car racing by winning the overall 1991 24 Hours of Le Mans with the now-famous 787B four-rotor prototype. In celebration of this special heritage, all Mazda-supported racecars will carry a special commemorative decal for the rest of the 2007 season. And when this year’s racing draws to a close, the celebration will continue on September 21-23 at the 10th annual SevenStock at Mazda North American Operations in Irvine, CA, the world’s largest rotary-engine event. ■

Commemorating the rotary engine's 40th anniversary, Mazda CEO Hisakazu Imaki (left) presents Yuji Suzuki, Chairman of the Cosmo Sport Owner's Club of Japan, a picture of the Mazda 110S.

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FASTTRACK MX-5 Cup Right on Track
With increasing field sizes, some hot new drivers, and television coverage on SPEED, this professional MX-5 racing series has become one hot property.

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he professional Mazda MX-5 Cup series is doing tremendously well in its second season. Established last year as an entry-level pro series with the third-generation MX-5 playing center stage, the very first MX-5 Cup race was in May 2006 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Now with eight events scheduled this year from Laguna Seca in California to Trois-Rivieres in Quebec, Canada, there are plenty of opportunities to witness the action. Most impressively, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) MX-5 Cup runs in conjunction with Champ Car World Series and the American Le Mans Series, two of the preeminent racing series in North America, while television coverage on the SPEED channel further adds to the appeal. According to Steve Sanders, manager of MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development, the series is doing as well as planned. To have 25 to 30 car fields in the second year is considered a great accomplishment. This year, a new sponsor, Kumho, stepped in as the official tire supplier for the series—a hugely important contribution—and the change to Sachs racing shocks, with adjustable compression and rebound damping, makes the cars even quicker with improved durability. The biggest pleasure for Mazda has been the growth in field size. Sanders reports that there were 25 cars on the grid in Houston, TX, and an impressive 27 cars at Road Atlanta in Georgia last April. Along with returning veterans, there is a host of new young drivers, including two fast female racers: Donna Gilio and Laura Olson. “The MX-5 Cup is now on target and where we expect it to be,” Sanders says. “It’s a very healthy racing series and we are looking forward to another competitive season of racing.” To learn more about the series, go to www.mx5-cup.com. ■

The competition was fierce at "The Mitty," the second race of the 2007 MX-5 Cup Series, held in April at Road Atlanta.

Chris Sarian, with SarWood Racing, navigates a turn at "The Mitty"/HSR SCCA Pro Racing SIRIUS Satellite Radio Mazda MX-5 Cup race at Road Atlanta in April.

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FASTTRACK

MAZDA6 Races Ahead
Halfway through the racing season, Mazda’s chances for a SPEED World Challenge title look better than ever.

Mazda Makes the Karting Connection
Tri-Point's Jeff Altenburg, driving his No. 72 MAZDA6, has been a major contributor to Mazda's lead in manufacturer points for the 2007 SPEED World Challenge season.

To better connect with young enthusiasts, Mazda announces support for six major kart-racing organizations.

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azda’s nearly four-year involvement in the exciting SPEED World Challenge is paying off handsomely this year. After nearly winning the title in 2006, Mazda came back with a vengeance for 2007 and at press time was leading the Touring Car points standings with race-prepared versions of the MAZDA6. In fact, more teams have recognized the MAZDA6 as the car to beat, and Mazdas now account for up to a quarter of the World Challenge Touring Car fields. Three teams are carrying the World Challenge flag for Mazda this year, beginning with Tri-Point Motorsports. The Southern California-based shop is closely allied with Mazda and is once again fielding three cars—one apiece for veterans Jeff Altenburg and Randy Pobst, and another for World Challenge newcomer Roberto Santos. Next is North Carolina’s Tindol Motorsports, which is entering three MAZDA6 racers for Charles Espenlaub, Charlie Putman, and new teammate Michael Galati. These established teams are joined by California-based Horton Motorsports, which plans to enter a MAZDA6 for Justin Hall, with a possible second entry before season’s end. The manufacturers represented in Touring Car this season are Mazda, Acura, Audi, VW, and BMW. The MAZDA6 and Acura entries benefit from factory support. All three MAZDA6 teams are also cooperating nicely, a fact that MAZDASPEED Motorsports Development Manager Steve Sanders finds gratifying. “We are well on our way to achieving our goal of winning a manufacturer's championship this year," he says. "We have seen improved handling and performance, especially from the Tri-Point team this year, which resulted from some off-season development and suspension changes. It's very exciting to see how well the drivers like the new suspension set-up. The performance potential is just awesome." ■

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hanks to the Formula Mazda, MX-5 Cup, Spec Miata, and Star Mazda Championship series, there is a strong likelihood that every young racer will connect with Mazda at some point as his or her career develops. Especially now that Mazda has further expanded its motorsports influence through a new sponsorship agreement with six major kart-racing associations. The reason? Kart racing is the preferred pathway for young drivers to develop their racing skills, and connecting early with these racers—and their families—will create an ongoing relationship with Mazda as they mature and grow. Just like in automobile sales, establishing a connection with customers at the beginning of their driving years can make all the difference in determining what brands they prefer throughout their lifetimes. Mazda’s multiyear commitment is reportedly the largest commitment ever made to karting by a carmaker. The support will include funding for prize money and operating costs for the different series, along with special “business partner” pricing for kart racers who are members of these organizations: • Champ Car Rotax Kart Challenge (www.rmaxchallenge.com) • Newcastle Motorsport Park (www.newcastleraceway.com) • Rock Island Grand Prix (www.rockislandgrandprix.com) • Snap-on Stars of Karting presented by IndyCar (www.starsofkarting.com) • Superkarts! USA (www.superkartsusa.com) • World Karting Association (www.worldkarting.com) “We are committed to developing the next generation of racers with a ladder system that provides drivers with Mazda and Mazda-powered open-and closed-wheel cars throughout their careers,” said Robert Davis, Mazda Senior Vice President, Research, Development & Quality. “With this karting initiative, we can now connect with an even larger and younger base of enthusiasts.” To take advantage of this new partnership, Mazda dealerships are encouraged to forge their own relationships with the different organizations and racers in their area. By becoming the dealership of choice for the families of these ascending racers, you may be able to build an entire network of racing-related customers. Now start your engines! ■

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SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2006 JULY/AUGUST 2007

SPOTLIGHT

The Frema Mazda Family

Photos by Bell Photography

Frema Mazda's long-term employees include (from left) Emmett Outlaw, John Harris, David McDonald, Caroyn Mozingo, and Frankie Korschun.

Five long-term employees add up to 129 years of service excellence.
ith only 40 employees on the payroll, Frema Mazda may be a relatively small dealership, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in staff loyalty. In fact, five staff members have been with the dealership for more than 15 years each. And Parts Manager Emmett Outlaw has been there since 1964, when the dealership (then called Frema Motors) first opened its doors to the small community of Goldsboro, NC. “I was the dealership’s very first employee and had the privilege of stocking the parts shelves for the very first time,” explains Outlaw. “Over the past 43 years, I’ve done a few different things for the dealership, such as being Parts Manager and Business Manager. But I’m back to parts now. No matter what I do, I always enjoy it, because we’re like one big family.” The Frema family also includes John Harris, General Sales Manager, who joined the team in 1984. “When I told my uncle I wanted to get into the car business, he gave me some great advice that’s stuck with me all these years. He said ‘Find a good, well-built product that you like; find a company that will stand behind that product; then get there and stay,’” says Harris. “Because I’ve done that, I’ve never had to duck from anybody I’ve seen on the street or worried about hiding if a person comes in with a problem. We’re just as aggressive at handling that problem as we are if they are buying a car.”

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He adds, “About 50 percent of our customers are repeat customers. We literally have families with five and six generations that have been buying from us, and we know most customers by name.” Other long-term employees include Mazda Master Technician David McDonald, who joined the team in 1983; dealership co-owner Frankie Korschun, who arrived in 1987; and Business Manager Caroyn Mozingo, who came on board in 1988. Despite these employees’ varying lengths of service and job responsibilities, they all agree on one thing—Frema Mazda operates as a true family. “Anytime you have good employees, it’s a challenge to keep them. Any of them could walk out the door tomorrow,” says Korschun, who co-owns the dealership. “We just try to take care of them, keep them happy, treat them with respect, realize what they’re really worth, and not take them for granted.” She adds, “All our employees are very important to us, and we do whatever we can to help them. We try to be more than just their employer, we try to be their friends. They all know they can come to us for anything, and we’ll be right there to help them. After all, they take care of us and make us successful, and we try to do the same thing in return.” ■

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GRILLETOGRILLE

Toys of Summer
If there is one perfect summer vehicle in Mazda’s lineup, the MX-5 is it. Here’s why it rocks —and how to sell it against the competition.
ith long days, warm nights, and high gas prices all making an appearance this summer, the economical and fun-to-drive Mazda MX-5 provides the perfect avenue for automotive fun. Now in its third generation, the MX-5 has been thrilling sports-car drivers since 1989 (as a 1990 model), and today its appeal is greater than ever. For instance, did you know that even after 18 years the MX-5 is still winning awards? The year is only half over, and the 2007 MX-5 has already won Car and Driver’s prestigious “10Best” award; has been awarded the “Editors’ Most Wanted Convertible Under $25,000” by Edmunds.com; has been voted “Top Pick” in the “Fun to Drive” category by a major consumer publication; and most recently, was awarded “Highest Ranked Compact Sport Car in Initial Quality” in the June 2007 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study. When you consider the terrific features built into the MX-5, it’s easy to see why the enthusiasts at these publications are so taken with it. Let’s take a look at some of the MX-5's most salable features and benefits. Attractive Pricing – Starting at just $20,585 for a base 2007 MX-5 and ranging to $26,520 for the MT Grand Touring with Power Retractable Hard Top, the MX-5 remains highly affordable. When compared to other cars in its segment, particularly the new Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky—with base prices of $21,515 and $24,725, respectively, the Mazda looks even better. Great Fuel Economy – With its advanced 4-cylinder 2.0-liter engine, the 2007 MX-5 offers EPA estimated fuel economy ratings of 25 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. That’s for vehicles equipped with the five-speed manual transmission. The automatic version is nearly as good, delivering an estimated 22 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.
Whether out for a Sunday afternoon drive or waging an on-track run, the Mazda MX-5 provides the perfect warm-weather, top-down driving experience.

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Easy-to-Use Soft Top – Folding back and stowing the MX-5’s builtin soft top is quick and easy for one person; just unfasten the release on the top, then fold the top rearward into its storage area. The entire process takes just a few seconds, and raising the top is almost as easy.

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GRILLETOGRILLE
PONTIAC SOLSTICE SATURN SKY More Luxurious. Ordering the Power Retractable Hard Top gives MX-5 customers the ultimate convertible luxury feature at a great price. Only a manual convertible soft top is available on the Solstice and Sky. In addition, the Grand Touring model comes standard with a Bose® audio 7-speaker sound system. More Convenient. The MX-5’s Premium Package 1 includes the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System, which allows operating the door locks and starting the engine without a traditional key. The Solstice and Sky don’t offer this feature. Safer. The MX-5 comes standard with side-impact air bags, which are not available on the Pontiac Solstice or Saturn Sky. HID headlights, and run-flat tires are also optional on the MX-5, but not on these competitors. Get the full story on the 2007 Mazda MX-5, including its features, benefits, and competitive advantages, in the 2007 Mazda Product & Comparison Guide. ■

Power Retractable Hard Top – The latest feature for the MX-5 is the new Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT). With the touch of a button, its safe and secure folding hard top nests into its own storage area—without compromising trunk space. Not only is the retractable hard top the most affordable, but it is also the lightest in weight and quickest to open and close in as little as 12 seconds. Racing Energy – Motorsports are more popular than ever, and the MX-5 is right in the thick of it. Besides being a perennial contender in various SCCA classes, the MX-5 has its own amateur racing series called Spec Miata, a new professional race series called MX-5 Cup, and even its own pro-level race school, the MX-5 Cup Racing School offered through Skip Barber.

Taking on the Competition
Since its launch more than two decades ago, the MX-5 has become the world’s most popular two-seat sports car. Recently, the Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky—two General Motors vehicles developed on the same platform and sold through different divisions— have entered the MX-5’s territory. But never fear—while they offer some pretty nice eye candy, the MX-5 has what it takes to defend its position as the class leader. Here are some specific advantages you can use to position the MX-5 against and above the Solstice and Sky: More Affordable. With a base price of $20,585, the MX-5 costs nearly $1,000 less than the base Pontiac Solstice and over $4,000 less than the base Saturn Sky. Lighter. Thanks to its curb weight of just 2,441 lbs., the base MX-5 is a remarkable 419 lbs. lighter than the Solstice and 492 lbs. lighter than the Sky. Roomier. With more legroom (43.1 in. vs. 42.7 in. for the Solstice and Sky) and shoulder room (53.2 in. vs. 52.4 in. for the Solstice and 52.7 in. for Sky), the Mazda fits a wider range of drivers. More Nimble. Thanks in part to its 3.4-inch shorter wheelbase, the MX-5 offers quicker handling and more driving fun. Also, at 30.8 feet, its turning circle is more than four feet tighter than the Solstice's and Sky’s! Higher Performance. Any way you measure it, the MX-5 does more with its 2.0-liter engine than the base Solstice and Sky do with their 2.4-liter engines. The MX-5 outperforms them with more power per liter (83 hp/liter vs. 73.8 hp/liter) and less weight per horsepower (14.7 lbs/hp vs. 16.2 lbs/hp for the Solstice and 16.6 lbs/hp for the Sky). More Advanced Transmission Choices. The MX-5 is available with five- or six-speed manual gearboxes or a six-speed sport automatic transmission. Only five-speed transmissions are available on the Solstice and Sky.
Mazda's award-winning roadster was made even better with the recent addition of an easy-to-use Power Retractable Hard Top.

JULY/AUGUST 2007

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FRONTLINE

TOP 25
RANKING DEALERS
CITY

SALES VOLUME (YTD THROUGH MAY 2007)
RANK DEALER NAME STATE

Spring Training Events Get to the Core of Mazda Product Knowledge

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his spring, Mazda hosted a one-of-a-kind dealer training event that took product knowledge to the core—delving deep into Mazda’s core lineup: the MAZDA3, MAZDA6, Mazda CX-7, and all-new Mazda CX-9. Nearly 5,000 Mazda sales and service professionals participated in one of two training opportunities—the Mazda Core Product Roadshow, an in-dealership event, or the Mazda Core Product Tour, offered in strategic major market locations throughout the United States. Called “Get to the Core with Mazda’s Four,” the trainings ran from April to June 2007 and reached 177 dealerships in 25 markets, leaving a huge wake of product knowledge and enthusiasm. During these interactive events, sales and service personnel were immersed in Mazda’s core products and gained new skills to increase their effectiveness selling Mazda’s core vehicles and to enhance sales and customer satisfaction. The Roadshow and Tour were not only informative, but also convenient. Roadshow training was delivered right to dealers’ doors, so their entire dealership staff could benefit without ever having to step foot off the property. Participants in the Tour attended convenient in-market sessions, where they received the same great product and customer sales and satisfaction training sideby-side with their dealer peers. “Through this training, participants were able to dig deep into the core products with engaging, multimedia learning that left them well informed, enthusiastic, and better prepared to sell and service Mazda’s core products,” said Lance Rabun, Manager, Sales Training. “Plus, the product knowledge also reinforced some best practices that could help dealers increase overall customer satisfaction.” For example, the training event drove home the following sales and service tips: • Always offer a prompt and courteous greeting. • Identify and confirm all customer concerns. • Establish and confirm expectations for time. • Reduce or add value to customer waiting time. • Prepare for a quick and easy vehicle pick-up. • Provide an active redelivery at vehicle pick-up. • Ensure a successful Sales-to-Service Department hand-off. If your dealership participated in the Mazda Core Product Roadshow, keep putting your new product, sales, and customer satisfaction knowledge and skills to work. For those dealership professionals who missed out on the Spring Core Product Tour in-market events, the Tour is headed back in your direction again this fall. Watch for more information and registration instructions to be available soon on www.MazdaState.com. ■

1 WAYNE MAZDA 2 MAZDA SOUTH 3 ROGER BEASLEY MAZDA CENTRAL 4 CLASSIC MAZDA EAST 5 GALPIN MAZDA 6 CORY FAIRBANKS MAZDA 7 WALSER BURNSVILLE MAZDA 8 DELRAY MAZDA 9 GUNTHER MAZDA 10 MAZDA OF LODI 11 PALM BEACH MAZDA 12 PREMIER MAZDA 13 SUBURBAN MAZDA OF TROY 14 JIM ELLIS MAZDA OF MARIETTA 15 NORCO MAZDA 16 INGRAM PARK MAZDA 17 KINGS MAZDA 18 BROWN'S FAIRFAX MAZDA 19 TUSTIN MAZDA 20T MORRIES MAZDA 20T BROWNING MAZDA 21 MAZDA KNOXVILLE 22 D DAHLE MAZDA OF MURRAY 23 EL DORADO MAZDA 24 LEE JOHNSON MAZDA T = Tie

WAYNE AUSTIN AUSTIN ORLANDO VAN NUYS LONGWOOD BURNSVILLE DELRAY BEACH FT. LAUDERDALE LODI WEST PALM BEACH GEORGETOWN TROY MARIETTA NORCO SAN ANTONIO CINCINNATI FAIRFAX TUSTIN MINNETONKA CERRITOS KNOXVILLE MURRAY MCKINNEY KIRKLAND

NJ TX TX FL CA FL MN FL FL NJ FL TX MI GA CA TX OH VA CA MN CA TN UT TX WA

Results based on financial statement data submitted to MNAO as of June 1, 2007.

TOP 25
MEPP/MEC SALES
CITY

SALES VOLUME (YTD THROUGH MAY 2007)
RANK DEALER NAME STATE

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JULY/AUGUST 2007

1 NELSON MAZDA 2 WALSER BURNSVILLE MAZDA 3 BOMMARITO MAZDA SOUTH 4 BIDDULPH MAZDA 5 FRANK BOMMARITO MAZDA 6 TUSTIN MAZDA 7 WAYNE MAZDA 8 NORTH PARK MAZDA 9 BERT OGDEN MISSION MAZDA 10 FAULKNER MAZDA 11 HILLARD AUTO PARK MAZDA 12 JOHN HINE MAZDA 13 LEE JOHNSON MAZDA 14T BOMMARITO MAZDA 14T NELSON MAZDA 15 MORRIES MAZDA 16T MAZDA OF CLEAR LAKE 16T NORTH PENN MAZDA 17 LANCASTER MAZDA 18 GALPIN MAZDA 19 TOWN NORTH MAZDA 20 MORANDE MAZDA 21 WILKINS MAZDA 22 EARNHARDT'S CHANDLER MAZDA 23 BOUNTIFUL MAZDA T = Tie

TULSA BURNSVILLE ST. LOUIS PEORIA ELLISVILLE TUSTIN WAYNE SAN ANTONIO MISSION PHILADELPHIA FORT WORTH SAN DIEGO KIRKLAND SAINT PETERS ANTIOCH MINNETONKA WEBSTER COLMAR LANCASTER VAN NUYS RICHARDSON MANCHESTER VILLA PARK CHANDLER BOUNTIFUL

OK MN MO AZ MO CA NJ TX TX PA TX CA WA MO TN MN TX PA CA CA TX CT IL AZ UT

Results based on data submitted to MNAO as of July 12, 2007.

MAZDA5 on the Money
Mazda hits a bull's eye with young families.

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irst introduced in late 2005 as a 2006 model, the 2007 MAZDA5 has established itself in the marketplace as an appealing and value-oriented alternative to the sport utility vehicle or minivan. In fact, in its 2007 Buying Guide evaluations, a leading consumer magazine selected the MAZDA5 as its top pick among 22 wagons and hatchbacks. When the MAZDA5 first came out, this multidimensional vehicle was targeted to young families with one or two children who desire an affordable vehicle with minivan-like functionality and flexibility, sporty styling, and energetic performance. Surprise! Almost two years later, market research confirms that’s exactly who is buying the MAZDA5. What’s more, the qualities Mazda originally thought would appeal to MAZDA5 buyers are the very features they cite as their top purchase reasons. So, what exactly is it that gets Mom, Dad, and the kids so excited about the MAZDA5? Take a look! Functional Seating – When driving a carload of kids, MAZDA5’s three rows of seating and six-passenger capacity are significant advantages over most vehicles in its size/class, which max out at five seats. The MAZDA5 also offers a variety of seating configurations thanks to its foldflat 2nd- and 3rd-row seats and 50/50 split 3rd-row seat. Standard Safety Equipment – In addition to its “Triple H” body construction, power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes, and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist, the MAZDA5 offers a comprehensive list of standard safety features that give drivers greater peace of mind. Topping that list are state-of-the-art passive restraint systems, including advanced driver’s and passenger’s front air bags and side-impact air bags, along with three full rows of side-impact air curtains. Easy Ingress/Egress – Helping children get in and out of a traditional hinge-door vehicle in today’s ultra-compact parking spaces and garages conjures up images of Harry Houdini. However, with its easy-to-operate and unobtrusive sliding rear doors, the MAZDA5 makes loading and unloading children, groceries, or whatever a much easier task. It also eliminates the common worry among parents of their children dinging the doors of cars parked next to it. Aside from young passengers, adults appreciate how easy it is to get in and out of the MAZDA5— whether sitting in the front or back seats. Fuel Economy – With gasoline prices reaching all-time highs, the MAZDA5 offers drivers all the capacity and functionality of a mid-size SUV or minivan but with much better mileage. Spirited Performance – True to its Zoom-Zoom heritage, the MAZDA5 is as fun to drive as it is functional. Its 153-hp 2.3-liter engine, 5-speed manual or 4-speed Sport AT transmission, and precision-tuned suspension system provide an exhilarating and dynamic behind-the-wheel experience that rivals the best sport compact sedans. Storage – Many of the toys that belong to today’s kids are sophisticated electronics. To keep these gadgets and more traditional toys within easy reach but also out of view and thus more secure, the MAZDA5 offers ample and convenient storage tucked under its 2nd-row seats. Here’s something else to keep in mind about the MAZDA5: Its buyers typically cross-shop the Honda Odyssey, Kia Rondo, Toyota Matrix, Toyota RAV4, and Honda CR-V, which confirms that the MAZDA5 attracts buyers from several different vehicle segments, including compact cars, mid-size cars, compact minivans, and small to mid-size SUVs. Refresh yourself on the MAZDA5. Refer to the 2007 Mazda Product & Comparison Guide for complete product information. Also, look for an overview of the 2008 MAZDA5 in the next Mazda FUEL. ■
JULY/AUGUST 2007

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Value to the Ninth Degree

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ot only does the 2007 Mazda CX-9 crossover SUV pack in the passengers— seven, to be exact—it also packs on the value, featuring or offering an array of high-end amenities and advanced technologies that one typically only finds on today’s most sophisticated luxury vehicles. Impressive on their own, these comfort and convenience features seem all the more amazing when you consider that to comparably equip the CX-9’s main competitors—2007 Toyota Highlander, 2007 Honda Pilot, and even the crossover entry from Honda’s luxury nameplate, the 2007 Acura MDX—would cost significantly more. And that’s if the competitor even offers each feature, which in many cases, they don’t. Since the CX-9 is targeted to young to mid-life married couples with children (a group of buyers you can bet appreciates a big return on investment), Mazda’s top-of-the-line SUV proves to be a value-packed choice. Here, we take a look at each of these features, including how they work, their benefits to customers, and who offers them. All together, you’ll see how they create a value story that emphasizes just how much bang CX-9 buyers get for their bucks. Read on. Roll Stability Control – Working in tandem with Mazda’s Traction Control (TCS) and Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) technology, Roll Stability Control (RSC) works to reduce the likelihood of a rollover event. The system uses two gyroscopic sensors to detect when a driver corners too fast or swerves sharply to avoid an obstacle and then applies pressure to the brake(s) on the wheel(s) on the outside of the turn. This induces understeer and helps bring the inside wheels firmly to the ground—thus helping to avoid a rollover. While RSC is standard on all CX-9 models, neither the Highlander, Pilot, nor MDX offer it. Advanced Keyless Entry & Start System – Standard equipment on the CX-9 Grand Touring model and part of the Touring Assistance Package on the Touring Model, no other CX-9 competitor offers this ultra-convenient feature, which allows drivers to lock, unlock, and start their vehicle without a key. Rearview Camera – It’s what every mother dreams of…eyes in the back of her head. Or in this case, it’s even better—and safer—a built-in back-up camera that gives drivers a live picture of the road behind them depicted on the navigation system screen. While this feature is offered as a package option on the CX-9, Pilot, Highlander, and MDX buyers are out of luck.

The Mazda CX-9's value advantage comes down to lots of standard content or available options that are priced less than the competition.

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Mazda CX-9’s advanced features and technologies add up to one value-packed crossover SUV.

Rain-Sensing Windshield Wipers – This is where smart technology reaches a level of genius. Offered as standard equipment on the CX-9 Grand Touring model, rain-sensing windshield wipers sense rain on the windshield and automatically adjust the wiper speed according to the amount. You won’t find this hightech feature on any other CX-9 competitor.
Transporting seven passengers with the ultimate in comfort and convenience has

Remote Power Liftgate – If you never been more affordable. drive a seven-passenger crossover SUV, chances are you also haul a lot of stuff. The CX-9’s remote power liftgate (a package option on Touring and Grand Touring models) allows drivers to open and close the vehicle’s liftgate by simply pushing a button on the remote key fob— an especially convenient (and back-saving) feature when loading and unloading groceries, sporting equipment, and more. The only other vehicle in CX-9’s competitive set to offer this feature as a package option is the already much more expensive Acura MDX. Bluetooth® Hands-Free Phone Operation – Featured on only the most well-equipped vehicles, the CX-9 offers as standard equipment on its Touring and Grand Touring models Bluetooth technology. This hands-free technology allows drivers to use voice commands and steering wheel-mounted controls to make and receive phone calls—keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Bluetooth Hands-Free technology works with compatible cell phones that are placed anywhere within the vehicle, and the system can be configured for up to seven different phones. Among the CX-9 competitors mentioned here, only the 2007 Acura MDX offers Bluetooth—and only as part of an expensive package. Of course, there’s much more to the CX-9 beyond its value story. Get all the product and competitive information on the 2007 Mazda CX-9 in the 2007 Mazda Product & Comparison Guide. ■

JULY/AUGUST 2007

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GEARGLITZ

Icing on the Cake
A San Diego dealership fine-tunes its accessories sales process and learns just how sweet Genuine Mazda Accessories make the deal—especially for its customers.

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Putting the Mazda Accessories Learning Program in action are (from left) Eladio Adame, Sales Manager; Rod Karpenske, Parts Manager; and Michael Hasten, Sales Consultant.

John Hine Mazda’s successful approach to selling Genuine Mazda Accessories includes fully accessorized vehicles on the floor as shown by Michael Hasten.

Photos by Don Cole

ill Brumbaugh, Fixed Operations General Manager for John Hine Mazda in San Diego, CA, pulls no punches when he describes his dealership’s accessory sales of years past. “We were hitting and missing, with more missing than hitting,” says Brumbaugh, who as General Manager and Vice President just opened a new Retail Revolution Mazda dealership for John Hine in Temecula, CA. But all that has changed over the last six months. Since embracing the Mazda Accessories Learning Program and developing a top-to-bottom sales process, John Hine Mazda has experienced a threefold monthly increase in its sales of Genuine Mazda Accessories. In addition, the dealership’s Sales Consultants are making more money, the dealership’s profit margins have increased, and customers are happier. “Jim Kordenbrock from Ardent Learning (who developed the dealer training program), shared all the elements of the program with me, including the missed opportunities, and it really opened my eyes that just having an accessories brochure is not good enough,” recalls Brumbaugh. “We realized that our customers buy accessories, whether it’s from us or somewhere else. So it makes good business sense to give them every opportunity to buy their accessories from us.” With Kordenbrock’s help, Brumbaugh introduced the program’s concepts and processes to the dealership’s Sales, Parts, and Service Managers, emphasizing the business case for increased accessory sales and dealership profits. He says it was an easy sell, and shortly thereafter, the team developed an accessory sales process that is fully integrated with its new vehicle sales process. For example, the dealership keeps a fully accessorized vehicle on its showroom floor at all times, along with an extensive accessories wall. The display features Genuine Mazda Accessories for three to four different Mazda models and their corresponding prices. In addition, the walls of closing booths are decorated with color photos of Mazda accessories, and when customers are in the booth to finalize their deal on a particular model, the Sales Consultant prints out a one-page accessories summary that lists every Genuine Mazda Accessory offered for that model and its price. “One hundred percent of our customers are presented an accessories summary, and they all sign off to that fact at the bottom of the form,” explains Brumbaugh. “And if a customer declines to purchase accessories at the time of sale, our Parts Manager later sends that customer a letter that promotes the accessories available for their vehicle one last time.” And to ensure dealership focus, John Hine Mazda’s management decided to offer Sales Consultants a cash incentive for every accessory sale. With everything in place and working, the sales and profits are now rolling in for John Hine Mazda. In fact, with careful tracking, Brumbaugh realized that nearly every new vehicle buyer ends up purchasing an accessory. However, something else happened that took the John Hine staff somewhat by surprise. “We are seeing CSI scores go up for the Sales Consultants who sell accessories,” says Brumbaugh. “When you think about it, that makes sense. Customers love putting that custom touch on their new vehicle. Plus, the full warranty is a huge seller. It’s pure fun—for the customer and the Sales Consultant.” For more information about the Mazda Accessories Learning Program, contact your dealership’s District Customer Service Manager (DCSM) and/or District Sales Manager (DSM). ■
ACROSS 3 FREMA MAZDA 9 BLUETOOTH 11 CORKSCREW 12 IQS 15 PROFITS DOWN 1 SACHS 2 HARD TOP 4 ACCESSORIES 16 18 19 22 23 24 VALUE FORTY JOURNALISM FELIX WANKEL LONG BEACH KART RACING 5 6 7 8 10 13 14 17 20 21 KUMHO ROBERTO SANTOS SHOPPING ASSISTANT IMAKI TRI POINT SPEEDY CONSERVATION LAFAYETTE MITTY IN GEAR

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CROSSWORD CHALLENGE ANSWERS

Rod Karpenske shows some of the popular accessories on display.

FUEL

FINALSTRETCH

Champions for a Day
Mazda hosts weekend at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Above right, Bill Gordon, Group Manager, Consumer Insight & Marketing Communications, MNAO takes a spin in a Skip Barber Racing School Mazda MX-5, while Paul Woolley, DCSM, Western Region and his son, Greg, (above) put Dad's all-stock 2003 MAZDASPEED Protegé to the test.

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he need for speed runs deep within the walls of Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). On any given weekend, Mazda employees descend upon a variety of motorsports venues. Some drive cars. Some ride motorcycles. Others get their racing kicks just watching. But all thrive on the thrill of Zoom-Zoom. To reward these loyal (and fanatical) motorsports enthusiasts, Mazda secured the famed Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca last spring for a weekend of racing activities exclusively for its employees, their family members, and friends. The two-day event offered this special and limited group the rare opportunity to test out their personal cars, motorcycles, and driving skills on North America’s premier road-racing track. Two motorcycle groups and three car-racing groups traveled to the track in midMarch, where they gained entry to a jam-packed day of racing and, if desired, professional driving instruction, provided compliments of the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). Participants had access to a number of track amenities, including individual garages and the paddock for storing trailers. The park’s Cruisin’ Café served up breakfast goodies, along with sizzling barbeque tri-tip sandwiches for lunch. “It is always an absolute blast to go to Mazda Raceway,” says Ruben Archilla, MNAO’s Group Manager of Product Excellence Team/Product Evaluation, who is an experienced motorcycle racer and has years of on-track experience in cars. Archilla took his Ducati 916 to the track and tested his skills as a quick-change artist as he moved back and forth from his motorcycle to RX-8s and MX-5 Cup cars throughout the two days. Mazda Raceway is characterized by its constant series of turns (including the famous Corkscrew), the smooth track surface, and the picturesque setting among the rolling hills of Monterey, CA. “It’s hard to describe unless you experience it, but at most other tracks, there is a sense of tension and anger when you are driving or riding at the limit. But at Mazda Raceway, it really feels like a smooth, flowing emotion,” Archilla adds. Offered several times over the last five years, Mazda Employee Day at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca thrills the experienced and novice alike. This year, MNAO opened up even more spots to encourage first-timers to share in the passion. “Only Mazda could pull off an employee day like this,” concludes Brian Sim, National Advertising Manager, MNAO. “Motorsports is so much a part of this company. It’s what makes us different from other manufacturers, and it’s such a great experience to get together with people to share and feed that passion.” ■

Brian Sim, National Advertising Manager, MNAO leads the way through Turn 4 at Mazda Raceway, followed by a track employee.

Save the Dates
2007/2008 MNAO Dealer Meetings
MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW FOR THESE UPCOMING MNAO DEALER MEETINGS:
2007 MNAO U.S. Regional Dealer Meetings Date Region City October 11-12 Western Region Los Angeles, CA October 15-16 Gulf Region Dallas, TX October 16-17 Southeast Region Washington, D.C. October 17-18 Northeast Region Washington, D.C. October 18-19 Midwest Region Chicago, IL 2008 MNAO North American National Dealer Meeting April 23-25, 2008 – Denver, CO
JULY/AUGUST 2007

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FINALSTRETCH Mazda Sponsors Conservation in Action Contest
Student activist to win a 2008 MAZDA3.

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azda recognizes the power of a good idea, and if there was ever a time when good ideas about conserving our environmental resources are needed, it’s now. That’s why the company continues to join forces with the Student Conservation Association (SCA) to promote good ideas and solutions to the nation’s environmental challenges. Mazda’s support of the SCA began 10 years ago when the two organizations partnered to create the “Save Our American Resources” (SOAR) program. As part of the program, Mazda places SCA interns at national parks, forests, or monuments in each of the 50 states, where they help to preserve our natural resources. This year, Mazda helps SCA celebrate its 50th anniversary by sponsoring the first-ever SCA/Mazda Conservation in Action Contest. Through this contest, Mazda and SCA are looking for the next big idea in conservation by encouraging 15- to 25-year-old students to submit their innovative solutions to environmental problems. The submission can be a PowerPoint presentation, song, film, or video—as long as it’s an action-oriented, practical solution to an environmental challenge. Submit your entry in the multimedia SCA/Mazda Conservation in Action Contest for the chance to win $15,000, if part of the 15-19 age group, and $10,000 plus a brand-new 2008 MAZDA3, if part of the 20-25 age group. Six additional regional winners will each receive $2,000, bringing the cash prize total to more than $35,000. All winners will also be awarded an all-expenses-paid trip to SCA's EarthVision Summit in April 2008 in Washington, D.C., where the two national winners will be announced. The contest, which launched in July, will announce its winners in April 2008. MNAO President and CEO Jim O’Sullivan serves on the Honorary Committee for the 50th anniversary celebration, and Jay Amestoy, MNAO’s Vice President of Public and Government Affairs, will be one of the contest judges. By promoting this contest in your local area, you’ll be reinforcing Mazda’s conservation efforts and helping to engage the intelligence, passion, and leadership of America’s young people to restore and protect our physical world. For more contest details, deadlines, and registration forms, visit www.thesca.org/contest or www.MazdaUSA.com. ■

The Personal Touch…Online
Industry-first Mazda Shopping Assistant program simplifies the car-buying process.

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hanks to a new feature on MazdaUSA.com, Internet-savvy car buyers can now get one step closer to sliding into the driver’s seat of a new Mazda vehicle—from the convenience of their home or office. The Mazda Shopping Assistant (MSA) program is the first in the industry to provide potential car buyers who shop on Mazda’s consumer Web site with an actual quote—from the customer’s choice of dealer—of the vehicle they’ve chosen, as opposed to other manufacturers’ programs that simply offer the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP). Through links on the MazdaUSA.com Web site, MSA connects consumers with Mazda Personal Shoppers who can answer specific product questions and provide personalized shopping experiences through live Web-chat sessions. With the help of these inhouse Mazda employees, buyers can configure a vehicle, select a dealership, search vehicle inventory, acquire an actual dealer quote, schedule a sales appointment, and get information about financing for the Mazda vehicle of their dreams. Once a price is

agreed upon between the customer and the dealer, the Personal Shopper arranges an appointment time at the dealership for final paperwork to be signed and the vehicle to be delivered. “We want to make the vehicle purchase process as easy and comfortable as possible for our customers,” said Mike Ray, Director, Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty, MNAO. “On average, a typical car buyer spends four hours at most dealerships buying a new car. In a day and age when every hour counts in our busy schedules, we believe the new MSA program is the perfect tool to help Mazda customers spend less time shopping and more time driving.” Mazda’s National Dealer Council met the MSA program with great enthusiasm. They see it becoming another rich source of sales among Mazda’s Internet-savvy and youthful demographic— a likely outcome considering MSA agents engaged in more than 100 Web chats per day in just the first two days of the program. If your dealership would like more information about MSA, or to inquire about enrolling, contact your Mazda regional office. ■

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MAZDAMANIA
SCENICROUTE
FUEL CROSSWORD CHALLENGE
Have you got the energy to take the FUEL Crossword Challenge? Fill up on Mazda FUEL for clues, then go for it! Answers are on page 14.

Photo by roadsideamerica.com

Lean on Me

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A. Niles, IL B. Ashfield, MA C. Bristol, TN D. Brookville, OH See below for the answer. Answer: A. Niles, IL

PSHAW MOTORS

ure, you could travel to Italy and visit the original Leaning Tower of Pisa. Or, you could save the overseas airfare and appreciate an impressive replica that’s right here in the States. But be prepared for some compromises. The American version is roughly half the size—94 feet tall versus the original’s 177 feet—and leans about 7’4” off plumb (versus the Leaning Tower of Pisa’s 15-foot tilt). But as far as offbeat attractions go, the impression is still worth the drive. This replica was built in 1934 (600 years after its inspiration), and for many years stood in front of the Tower YMCA. It once served as a utility tower to store water, but now just welcomes budget-conscious visitors who want to appreciate the marvel without draining their savings. If you’d like to visit this world attraction, where would you go? ■

ACROSS 3 Adds up to 129 years 9 Wireless wonder 11 Turn #8 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca 12 MX-5 topped this in June 2007 15 Focus of new MNAO group 16 The CX-9 offers tremendous _____ 18 Anniversary of Mazda's rotary engine 19 Winning student PR team studies__________ 22 Father of the rotary 23 Cal State ____ _____ 24 The first rung in Mazda's ladder to professional racing

DOWN 1 Makes racing shocks for MX-5 Cup Series 2 MX-5's solid advantage over the competition 4 What's been fueling John Hine Mazda's recent sales improvements 5 MX-5 cup series' new tire sponsor 6 New MAZDA6 driver in Speed World Challenge racing 7 Mazda's new online program 8 Mazda CEO 10 Winning MAZDA6 SPEED World Challenge team 13 MAZDA6 baby's nickname 14 Focus of new Mazda-sponsored contest 17 City where MAZDA6 baby was born 20 Second race of the 2007 MX-5 Cup Series 21 Name of winning student PR team

ACTIVE LIFESTYLE ACCESSORIES
Front Under Guard Rear Under Guard Door Sill Trim Plate

Aero Package
Front Wind Split Rear Spoiler