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Mazda Builds 3 Millionth Mazda3

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author photo by Autotrader May 2011

Mazda has achieved a milestone in the production of its critically acclaimed Mazda3 compact car lineup: three million units built. While the announcement came Wednesday, the actual three-millionth unit – a five-door hatchback model destined for Japan – rolled off the line late last month, just seven years after the first one.

Manufactured in three separate plants – one in Japan, one in China and one in Thailand – Mazda says the Mazda3 is sold in some 90 countries worldwide, which helps account for its speedy ascent to the three million mark. But the automaker also says its most popular market, by far, is North America, where the Mazda3 has achieved 1,152,332 total sales since its debut for model year 2004.

"Mazda3 embodies the three elements of Mazda's DNA: distinctive design, exceptional functionality and responsive handling and driving performance," said Hirotaka Kanazawa, Mazda's senior managing executive officer overseeing research and development. "Continued global success has seen it grow into Mazda's most popular model, comprising a third of all Mazda vehicle sales."

The number is even higher in the US, where the Mazda3 routinely accounts for more than 40 percent of the company's total sales. Last month, Mazda sold 8,584 Mazda3s – three times Mazda's number two model, the CX-7 crossover, which came in at 2,873 units. The company finished April with 20,638 total sales.

The Mazda3 replaced the Protégé for the 2004 model year, debuting as a sedan or five-door hatchback. Sales were brisk from its release, and journalists hailed the small car as one of the shining stars of the compact class – mostly thanks to its exceptional steering and handling.

Redesigned for 2010, the Mazda3 now features a choice of three models: the "i" sedan, which uses a 148-horsepower four-cylinder, the "s," offered as a sedan or hatchback, which uses a 167-horsepower four, and the high-performance, hatch-only MazdaSpeed3, which is powered by an athletic 2.3-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder, producing a robust 263 horsepower.

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Used 2011 Mazda MAZDA3 i Touring
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$9,990
This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Mazda Builds 3 Millionth Mazda3 - Autotrader