Mazda Motor Europe's plan to take over most of its European country importers continued on Monday with the announcement that it will transfer distribution activities from Auto Palace - de Binckhorst to a newly established national sales company (NSC) for the Netherlands from 1 October.

The new company will officially be called Mazda Motor Nederland, with headquarters in Waddinxveen, near Gouda.

Martijn ten Brink has been named managing director of the NSC. He has been with Mazda Motor Europe since 1999 in several management positions including, most recently, senior manager sales operations.

Prior to that, he was marketing director of Mazda Scandinavia and European brand manager for the MX-5 and RX-8 models. He previously worked for BMW and Honda in Italy.

"We are delighted to have Martijn head up our new Dutch organisation," said Philip Waring, vice president for sales at Mazda Motor Europe.

"He has proven himself a very valuable asset, making a success of various positions in the central sales and marketing teams, as well as gaining experience launching a new national sales office in Scandinavia. We are confident that he and his new team will lead our new organisation in Holland to the next level of success."

The advance notice that Mazda will establish its own NSC in the region reflects an agreement between Mazda and Auto Palace - de Binckhorst to continue to cooperate closely over the next months to ensure a smooth transition of the business.

Auto Palace - de Binckhorst was one of the automaker's first independent distributors in Europe and began selling Mazda vehicles in the Netherlands in 1968.

Since then, over 650,000 units have been sold and the brand enjoys a strong reputation for quality, reliability and customer satisfaction.

Discussing the reason for the change and its timing, Mazda Europe president and CEO James Muir said: "Over the last eight years, Mazda in Europe has progressively acquired control over distribution to the extent that about 90% of our annual sales volume is now made by wholly-owned subsidiaries.

"We intend to selectively increase this proportion of our volume in markets where it is logical and appropriate, and this move into the Netherlands is a consequence of that strategy."

Auto Palace - de Binckhorst will continue to run Mazda dealerships in Rotterdam and The Hague.

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