Updated Mazda 2 - headed for North America - is on show in Paris along with the redesigned 5 MPV/minivan and some new engines

Updated Mazda 2 - headed for North America - is on show in Paris along with the redesigned 5 MPV/minivan and some new engines

The way Mazda UK manages its dealer network is a blueprint for the rest of Europe, according to the automaker's Europe sales chief Martin Benders.

He wants other countries to adopt the ‘partnership' approach which is also used successfully in his native Australia.

"We have had a long-standing and successful partnership with our dealers in Australia which has allowed them to build sustainable volume. Mazda is not big enough to impose its brand and standards and the UK model is about the closest we have to what we want for the rest of Europe," said Benders who visited Mazda UK and met some of its dealers earlier this week.

In countries like Spain where the economy is still rocky and there is little consumer confidence, his target is to help dealers get through the crisis rather than try to push volume. "We can help by reducing the complexity of the sales process," he said.

Benders also wants Mazda Europe to focus on its strengths. "We shouldn't try to be something for everyone, we're not. What we need to do is move above the mainstream and pick where we want to live in each market segment."

Mazda has products that appeal to people who know about cars and can be enthusiastic buyers "rather than the cheap end where people are buying appliances - they just want wheels that are reliable and get them from A to B," he said.