The Mazda Miata (technically now the Mazda MX-5) made its global debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. A huge leap of faith on behalf of Mazda, the Miata began as a side project led by Bob Hall. Hall ultimately convinced Mazda senior management that there would be worldwide demand for a compact roadster with world-class handling, like an updated and mechanically reliable Lotus Elan. The project got the thumbs up, and the rest is automotive history. In the twenty two years since the car’s launch, it’s won every conceivable automotive “Best Of” award, dominated racing leagues around the world and even launched several spec racing series. It established itself as the world’s best selling sports car in 2000, a title not likely to be relinquished any time soon. There have been three generations of the diminutive roadster, each with their own limited or special edition cars. Now Mazda has announced that MX-5 production has topped the 900,000 mark.
That’s not a huge number compared to popular sedans, but it is an impressive number for a wildly impractical two-seater sports car. Part of the cars popularity is due to it’s go-kart like handling, while part of its appeal is the low price of entry, which truly makes the MX-5 a sports car for the masses. Despite the lack of a 20th Anniversary Edition MX-5, Mazda has no plans to cease production of the MX-5 any time soon. In fact, Seita Kanai, Mazda Motor Corporation’s senior managing executive officer, is on record as saying, “As we head toward the next production milestone of one million units, Mazda is committed to further evolving the MX-5. We will refine its fun-to-drive character as well as further enhance its environmental and safety capabilities. In the years ahead, we will continue to cherish the MX-5 alongside its loyal fan base as the symbol of the Mazda brand.” Sounds like good news to me.
Source: Mazda Motor of America