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Mazda Trying to Improve Image, Raise Prices

May 22, 2002

With an all-new mid-size sedan aimed at the heart of the market, Mazda Motor Corp. is looking to raise its image among American shoppers -- and perhaps the prices it commands as well, according to Reuters.Mazda, Japan's fifth-largest automaker, wants to compete with the major Japanese automakers in the United States, said Mazda President and Chief Executive Mark Fields in a presentation in New York on May 22. "If you look at the automotive business, at one end you have the value brands and at the other end you have the premium brands, and Mazda tends to be somewhere in the middle," Fields said. "In some markets we're a little bit above and in some markets we're a little bit below."Fields said the company is trying to move more upscale without treading into luxury markets. That's the job of Ford Motor Co.'s Premier Automotive Group, which Fields is taking over at the end of next month.Ford holds a controlling 33 percent stakein Mazda.
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