New Mazda Motors UK MD James Muir
Former Ford executive James Muir, 42, has been appointed Managing Director of Mazda Motors UK, the Japanese manufacturer's new wholly-owned subsidiary which takes over responsibility for the brand from 1 August.

Muir previously worked in Ford sales and marketing operations for 15 years. He will introduce members of his new management team and announce his growth strategies for the brand to Mazda's UK dealer network at a national conference in Birmingham on 2 August.

"We will be taking numerous significant steps in the coming weeks and months to revitalise the business and prepare for the arrival of a range of exciting products that will build Mazda into a strong player in the UK market during the next two or three years," Muir said.

Mazda's decision to take over responsibility for the UK market is in line with a strategy that also saw it take over distribution in France earlier this year.

The company already operated wholly-owned subsidiaries in Germany, Portugal, Spain and Italy and has said that it aims to control 70% of its European sales by the end of 2001.

Mazda Motors UK will move into new headquarters near Dartford, Kent, in October. Until then, the company will operate from the Tunbridge Wells offices of former distributor MCL Group.


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