OREANDA-NEWS. Mazda Motor Corporation announced that it has established a national sales company in South Africa. The company, named Mazda Southern Africa (Pty.) Ltd. (MSA), was established in July 2013 and will begin operations in July 2014. The move will enable Mazda to independently control the import and sale of Mazda vehicles as well as the provision of customer services. Mazda aims to expand its business and further strengthen the Mazda brand in South Africa.

Currently Mazda vehicles are distributed in South Africa by Ford Motor Company of Southern Africa (Pty.) Ltd. (FMCSA). Moving forward, MSA will take over all of FMCSA's Mazda-related operations and is now hiring people and recruiting dealership outlets in preparation to start operations in July 2014. FMCSA will continue selling and servicing Mazda products during the transition period. Mazda's BT-50 pickup truck will continue to be produced at Ford's Silverton Assembly Plant in South Africa.

Yuji Nakamine, Mazda's Senior Managing Executive Officer overseeing operations in Europe, Asia & Oceania, Middle East & Africa and New Emerging Markets and President of Mazda South East Asia Ltd. commented, "With 600,000 vehicles sold per year, South Africa is the biggest automotive market on the African continent. The establishment of a national sales company and introduction of more next-generation products will give the Mazda brand a much greater presence and contribute to the overall development of the South African market."

Mazda has a long history in South Africa dating back to the brand's introduction in 1963. Currently, the country is Mazda's highest volume market on the African continent. Upon starting operations, MSA will sell the all-new Mazda6 (Atenza in Japan) in addition to models such as the currently available Mazda CX-5. Furthermore, the all-new Mazda3 (Axela in Japan), which goes on sale starting in North America this autumn, will be launched at an early stage.