Mazda Motor Europe plans to open national sales companies (NSCS - factory-owned marketing and distribution centres) in the Czech Republic and Slovakia this year, taking over from an independent importer.

Mazda Motor Europe sales head Philip Waring presented the plan to independent Mazda dealers from both countries in Prague on Wednesday (11 January).

The current distributor, Auto Palace Praha, will relinquish its frnachise to import and distribute Mazda vehicles and parts in the Czech Republic and Slovakia from 1 October.

"This move is a part of Mazda's strategy of having our own national sales companies in the established markets in Europe," said Waring.

"We have enjoyed a long and positive relationship with Auto Palace Praha as our independent distributor partner in the Czech and Slovakian markets. We are delighted that they have decided to continue to represent us as independent dealers in Prague and Bratislava and also at the positive response yesterday to our plans from our independent dealer partners in both markets."

Mazda has expanded its number of European NSCs to 11 during the last decade, up from only two in 1995, while continuing to work closely with independent distributors and by expanding into new markets.

The Japanese automaker is currently operating through its NSCs and independent distributors in 38 European markets.

"We have an excellent dealer network in the Czech Republic and Slovakia," added Waring. "We plan to continue this partnership with all our dealers and to set up two separate national sales companies, respecting the important differences between the two countries."

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