46_DealerDay1I had the opportunity to attend Mazda’s national dealer meeting, which was held in Las Vegas last week. John Doonan orchestrated having Mazda’s Pro drivers attend to represent Mazda Motorsports. During the main presentation, we got to meet and greet the dealer execs and hear about Mazda’s 2016 product line. The event really gave us further insight into Mazda sales and their dealer network. We couldn’t bring cell phones into the presentation because we got to see things that will be debuting at the L.A. Auto Show this coming week!

Mazda North America President Jim O’Sullivan and Vice-President Robert Davis both spoke, getting the dealers excited about the new product lines as well as Mazda’s approach to how to move forward with customers.

After the meeting, there was a fun social dinner where we got to meet a lot of the top dealers. People took pictures with the drivers – there were about ten of us there. We also built anticipation about the track event we were going to do the next day: the Mazda drivers were going to be giving rides in Mazda race cars at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

We were at the Speedway early the next morning to get the cars prepared for the dealers. We gave hot laps to several hundred dealer reps in cars ranging from the 2016 Global MX-5 Cup Car to the Mazda 6 diesel race car and everything in between – of course there were Spec Miatas there, too!

Dealers got to ride with one of the ten Mazda Pro drivers on hand.

Dealers got to ride with one of the ten Mazda Pro drivers on hand.

The dealers were incredibly enthusiastic, not just about getting a fast ride around the track but also about being in an environment with the Mazda drivers and race cars. After a full day of driving on track, we had a lot of happy dealers. The goal of the event was certainly accomplished, and hopefully we’ll have opportunities to further demonstrate the zoom-zoom racing connection to the Mazda brand.

Certainly Mazda is experiencing a bit of growth right now – third quarter sales were up over 35 percent! Mazda’s product speaks for itself, and the on-track performance was a perfect tie-in to really drive that message home for the dealers.