Mazda vehicles are now on sale in Azerbaijan for the first time thanks to a new five-year contract between the Japanese carmaker and local distributor Rotary Motors.
The move is part of Central Asian distribution strategy that is being managed by Mazda Motor Europe (MME) and uses Rotary’s experience in handling other Japanese makers in the region, including Honda, Subaru and Mitsubishi.
MME’s spokesman for Business Strategy, Peter Lebek, told Automotive Logistics that the first shipment of 140 vehicles have been delivered to the capital Baku from existing stock in Europe, with 600 further vehicles expected in the next couple of months from the same source.
In the long term, however, he said Mazda will supply the dealerships in Baku, and those planned at Ganja and
Lanaran, 100% from plants in Hofu and Hiroshima in Japan. Production at those plants for the market in Azerbaijan is due to start in September. These will include Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6, along with Mazda’s sports crossover SUV range CX-7 and CX-9. As part of its independent distribution contract Rotary Motors will be responsible for delivery and marketing of those vehicles within the country.
Mazda is using MOL as the main carrier for shipments from Japan to Europe,” continued Lebek. “The vehicles are been delivered to Barcelona as the European hub for deliveries to Azerbaijan and further on to Derince/Istanbul with Neptune Line. The vehicles for Azerbaijan are picked up by the distributor's carrier, ANT Group, and delivered through Georgia to Baku.”
The grand opening for the first dealership is being held tomorrow (Thursday 7 May) in Baku having been postponed from last week due to the shooting incident at the State Oil Academy in the city.