Mazda will sell luxury car in U.S.

August 21, 1991|By Los Angeles Times

DETROIT -- Less than two weeks after two European luxury carmakers pulled out of the crowded U.S. market, Mazda Motor Corp. unveiled a new luxury division that will sell its pricey sedans in the United States beginning in 1994.

Pricing for the two proposed Amati sedans has not yet been set, but Richard Colliver, general manger of the Amati division, said that the car would be competitive with other luxury Japanese models priced between $25,000 and $45,000.

Mr. Colliver said Amati, headquartered in Irvine, Calif., hopes to open 50 dealerships in areas that target upscale U.S. consumers with family incomes of $75,000 or more. The cars will be built at a new plant near Mazda's current assembly factory in Hofu, Japan.

With the new federal luxury tax, the recession and excess supply weakening sales and profitability, the luxury market has grown increasingly competitive. Sterling Motor Cars and Peugeot S.A. pulled out of the U.S. market earlier this month because they couldn't sell enough vehicles.

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