Mazda hires marketing director

Mazda has appointed a new marketing director following the company’s decision to regain control of its distribution in the UK from importer MCL Group (MW last week).

Rob Lindley will be the company’s first marketing director in three years. He moves to Mazda from Ford, where he was business development director at the company’s customer care call centre, Percepta. Percepta is a joint venture with TeleTech. The move follows the appointment of James Muir as UK managing director. Lindley worked with Muir when both were based at Ford’s consumer marketing division.

A spokesman for the company says Lindley will head a team of 12, to be appointed over the next few weeks. Some of the existing marketing personnel at MCL are in talks with Mazda to join the new team, which will be based at the company’s headquarters near Dartford in Kent. Timothy Tozer, who was managing director of Mazda under the previous regime, is currently seeking a new job.

The news of Lindley’s appointment is to be announced at a Mazda national dealer conference on Thursday. Mazda global sales and marketing chief David Thomas is flying in from Japan to talk to the dealers about the changes in the UK.

The company says it now plans a “proper” launch for the new MX5 sports car, which went on sale in the UK earlier this year. It also intends to sell more cars in the UK, and increase its £12m advertising spend. J Walter Thompson handles Mazda’s advertising business across Europe.

Mazda is 33 per cent owned by Ford.

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