The success of the Mazda2 and newly-launched Mazda6 helped lift production at Mazda's Japanese factories by 23.1% in April compared to April 2007.

Total production of Mazda2 – known as Demio in Japan – was 15,920 in April, a year-on-year increase of 165.9%.

Mazda6 – Atenza in Japan – was up 63.1% year-on-year at 13,661 units while CX-7 saw a rise of 60.4% year-on-year to 5,191 units.

These successes helped lift Mazda's passenger car production for the first four months of the year to 366,983 units, an increase of 22.5% over the first four months of 2007.

Overseas production also showed healthy increases for the month, up 24.7% compared to the same month in 2007 thanks mainly to strong demand for Mazda6 (up 51.5% year-on-year at 10,475 units), BT-50 (up 30.9% at 5,787 units) and Mazda3 (up 16.3% at 3,923 units).

Exports from Japan were remarkably robust for the month with Europe leading the way showing a year-on-year improvement of 92.6% at 33,487 units. This takes the total number of Mazdas exported to Europe in the first four months of 2008 to 119,095, an increase of 35.2% over the same period last year.

MMC also reports that its passenger car sales in Japan are up 2.6% so far this year at 82,746 units. Mazda's share of the total Japanese market in April (including the micro-mini segment) was 4.4%, unchanged from April 2007.