Mazda will begin large-scale transportation of vehicles to Russia using the Trans-Siberian Railroad (TSR), it was announced today.

Mazda becomes the first car manufacturer to adopt this transport system for regular use. Starting in October 2008, this new initiative is intended to supplement existing Mazda vehicle deliveries from Japan, reducing the delivery time to Russia by up to 30 days for high demand vehicles.

"Mazda is one of Russia's most popular brands with double-digit growth every month," said Jørgen Olesen, Vice President for Customer Service, Logistics and IS at Mazda Motor Europe.

"Rail transport is intended to supplement existing delivery, which will continue to come by ship and road from the west. This dual transport strategy will help meet high demand for Mazda cars in Russia, and to lower overall delivery times to customers."

This move comes after three successful transport tests using the TSR starting from September last year- involving hundreds of specifically monitored test vehicles and the construction of new terminals along the route. The tests were the result of a successful collaboration with the Russian Railroad and Mazda's rail provider RailTransAuto (RTA).

The vehicles will be transported on the approximately 9,300 kilometre route from Zarubino (near Vladivostok) - where the vehicles are shipped from Hiroshima - to Moscow on dedicated block trains of 30 rail cars. Delivery time to Moscow will be only 10 days - as fast as a passenger train. All Mazda block trains use only fully-closed rail cars and the surface of the cars is protected by a comprehensive wrap guard.

Once in Moscow, all vehicles undergo a thorough inspection to ensure Mazda's high quality standards are fully met.