Mazda appoints marketing chief following management reshuffle

Mazda Motors UK has promoted Jeremy Thomson to become its new marketing director following a management reshuffle.

Thomson succeeds Rob Lindley, who becomes dealer operations director. Phil Waring is promoted to managing director from dealer operations director. Both moves were precipitated by the departure of previous managing director Jim Muir to become vice-president of sales for Mazda Motors Europe.

Waring, Lindley and Thomson were part of the team brought over from parent company Ford to establish Mazda Motors UK in August 2001 after it regained control of UK distribution from independent importer MCL Group.

Sales had plummeted under MCL’s distribution, which failed to put funds into marketing the cars. All three worked on Mazda’s current strategy, which has seen a resurgence in sales with a rise of 43 per cent. Mazda is being repositioned as the sports marque within the Ford stable of brands, capitalising on the continuing success of its MX5 sports car.

Thomson’s 12-year tenure at Ford included a variety of marketing jobs, including a term as direct market manager for the UK. Last month, Mazda promoted its European president Stephen Odell to become its global marketing chief (MW May 1).

Later this year Mazda will launch its revolutionary RX8 sports car in the UK together with the Mazda 3, a replacement for the 323 in the hatchback sector.

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