Mazda Motor of America controls the US research and development, sales and marketing, distribution, parts, and customer service operations of Japan-based Mazda Motor Corporation. The company sells or leases its line of cars, trucks, minivans, and SUVs through 700 dealerships in the US. Mazda Motor of America was formed to strengthen its parent company's hold on the US car market, its largest by volume (China is its second-largest market, then Japan.) Mazda Motor of America, along with sister companies Mazda Canada and Mazda Motor de Mexico, form Mazda's North American operations.
The US is Mazda’s largest market; in 2012 it sold 268,000 vehicles. (China came in second with 223,000 vehicles and Japan, its home country, sold 206,000.)
US vehicle sales increased 12% in 2012, outperforming China (which decreased) and Japan (which remained flat). Mazda determines sales by number of vehicles sold, not the retail price paid for the vehicle.
Mazda has relied on its product lineup for growth and has invested in technology and styling in order to meet the specific regional needs and requirements of its customers. Customers in North America took a shine to the affordable Mazda3 sedan and CX-5 crossover models; both are popular models in the US, along with the Mazda6.
Mazda is paying a lot of attention to new technology with the SKYACTIV brand of high efficiency technology. Mazda is redesigning its entire powertrain platform lineup, including engines, transmissions, bodies, and chassis, with the goal of reducing emissions 30% by 2015. The SKYACTIV-G direct-injection slim gasoline engine already boasts a 30% increase in fuel efficiency, without the use of an electric motor; the SKYACTIV-D is the next generation diesel engine; and SKYACTIV-Drive transmissions offer 6 speeds. The technology, introduced to the North American market in 2011, is being equipped on the very popular Mazda3, which represents one out of every three Mazda's sold.
The car company has tailored some of its models to fit the North American audience, hoping to win over a new younger market. It launched the Mazda3 sports compact, as well as four- and five-door styles, and two fuel-efficient engine options. The Mazda6 was made with a larger interior and exterior size and more powerful engines than Mazda6s sold elsewhere in the world. Record sales have been reported for both the Mazda3 and Mazda6 among North American customers.