Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Birthday, Miata

20 years ago this week, at the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda unveiled its newest design, a car that recalled the elemental British roadster but that also promised to start every time you turned the ky.  The car was named the MX-5 Miata.  The Miata---called just the MX-5 in Europe and the Roadster in Japan---was praised by critics and sold in numbers hotcakes would have envied.  After 20 years and 2 redesigns, the car has continued to receive awards from journalists and praise from enthusiasts, and it has been a strong seller and marketing icon for the small Hiroshima-based manufacturer.  Indeed, over 800,000 of these cars have been sold, making the MX-5/Miata/Roadster the best-selling 2-seat convertible ever.   The critical and sales success of the MX-5 was a huge boon to Mazda is partially responsible for the company's sporty image and comparative financial strength today.

To celebrate the Miata's 20th birthday---and to market all of its vehicles---Mazda threw a party today, at the Chicago Auto Show, the very show where the car debuted.  Featured at the party were several notable and interesting Miatas from the past 2 decades.  Also, sushi and beer.

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