Mazda has reached an agreement to take control of the distribution of its vehicles in the UK from MCL Group Limited, a company owned 60 per cent by Itochu Corporation and 40 per cent by Inchcape plc. The agreement is subject to the approval of the European Commission and is expected to take effect 1 August.
"This agreement is an important step toward maximising our growth strategy," said Jan Brentebråten, president of Mazda Motor Europe.
"The UK car market is the second largest in Europe and we already have more than 300,000 customers there," Mr Brentebråten added. "Through investments in our distribution network and through our products and marketing actions, we are confident that we can develop the Mazda brand and increase our volume and share over the next five years."
Mazda has established a new wholly owned subsidiary company, Mazda Motors UK Limited. The new subsidiary will reduce cost, improve efficiency and maximise synergies with other Mazda operations.
"We are especially pleased to reach agreement to take over the business at the beginning of August," Mr Brentebråten said. "This will give us time to meet with our dealers, our key partners, ahead of the peak September sales period."
"Mazda recognises and appreciates the contribution that the current distributor, Mazda Cars (UK) Limited has made to our business in the UK, over nearly 30 years," he said. "We are also pleased to announce that we have concluded agreements with their holding company, MCL Group, to provide a number of automotive services to our new company. Mazda and the MCL group are planning a smooth transition and look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship."