New vehicle registration taxes have had an up-and-down effect on car sales in Cyprus over the past two months, but they have not slowed Mazda's showroom success.

October saw total registrations drop 51% over the same month last year while the authorities debated the tax changes. When they came into effect at the beginning of November, sales shot up 15%.

None of this could dampen Mazda's sales which surged a massive 70% in November to 105 vehicles.

The key to success? "A great product line-up and value for money," said Louis Loizou, sales and marketing manager with the island's distributor, A Stephanides and Son.

"The 3 has done particularly well taking an 18% share of the C (small/medium passenger car) segment. We also have a determined and dedicated sales team which has shown that Mazda is a force to contend with in our market."

Stephanides has showrooms in Nicosia, Larnaca, Limassol, Paphos and Paralimni.

With less than one month to the end of the year Mazda sold over 650 cars in Cyprus, about the same as at the same point in 2005 for a market share of 3.7%.