Known as the Mazda3 to all us filthy capitalist pigs in the West, the 2010 Mazda Axela has done for market sales in Japan what the wildly popular MazdaSPEED3 has done for Mazda in the U.S. Officially launched on June 11th, sales units have tripled in the first month alone, tallying 7,640 orders total for the period extending from June 11, 2009 through July 12, 2009.
Attributing the bulk of it’s success to Mazda’s new intelligent stop-start system, i-stop, the company reports 50% of the 7,000-odd orders were for models equipped with the new gadget. Like similar legislation muscling its way through Congress in the U.S., Japan offers hefty tax incentives for buyers looking to purchase fuel-efficient cars, and customers purchasing an Axela equipped with i-stop are eligible for a 75% break in taxes. For members of the Axela’s 25-35-year-old male target demographic who don’t want to shell out the extra cash for the 2.0L DOHC upgrade, the lesser-priced FWD 1.5L DOHC Axela still gets a piece of the lovin’ with a 50% tax break (thanks to Mazda’s fuel-saving CVT tranny).
Proving that fuel-efficient fun transcends cultural barriers, the Mazda3 is also enjoying staggering success in several overseas markets, including Australia where the new model set an all-time record for Mazda3 monthly sales in June 2009.