20th anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata live in Geneva
20th Anniversary Mazda MX-5 Miata special edition – Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda has announced that the automaker has turned out 900,000 units of its MX-5 Miata since the car first put tire to pavement in 1989. Of that astronomical number, a staggering 45 percent were sold here in North America, which means that 388,000 of the droptops have been shipped to our continent over the past 22 years.

Mazda attributes the vehicle's success to its ability to adhere to what made the convertible a sales winner in the first place – offering basic sports car appeal with one of the highest fun-per-dollar ratios of any vehicle out there. Since 1989, the convertible has undergone two complete redesigns and a slew of minor updates along the way. The MX-5 crested the 500,000 unit mark back in 1999, and sales of the winsome roadster continue to march on impressively. Click past the jump to check out the full press release on the occasion for yourself. Thanks for the tip, The Typical Guy!


Related GalleryGeneva 2010: Mazda MX-5 20th Anniversary

Photos by Drew Phillips / Copyright ©2010 Weblogs, Inc.

[Source: Mazda]
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Press Release

-MX-5 Miata reaffirms its position as the most popular sports car ever made-

IRVINE, Calif. (February 3, 2011) – The world's best-selling two-seat roadster, the iconic Mazda MX-5 Miata, continues to set the bar even higher for the competition today, reaching a new milestone of 900,000 units produced. Nearly 45 percent – more than 388,000 units – of those were sold in the United States since the car launched in 1989.

The MX-5 made its global debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show and has since received several facelifts, seen many limited and special edition versions, been named "Car of the Year" multiple times around the world and topped countless "Best Sports Car" lists. But its soul has always remained that of a pure sports car, dynamically engineered and tuned to produce driver happiness, whether on a short trip from point A to point B or on extensive S-curve searches. The Zoom-Zoom driving experience evoked by the MX-5 is not lost on consumers, and has always been within their reach with the roadster's affordable pricing.

"As we head toward the next production milestone of one million units, Mazda is committed to further evolving the MX-5," said Seita Kanai, Mazda Motor Corporation (MC) senior managing executive officer, research and development. "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."

The first-generation MX-5 Miata (1990-1997 model years) was equipped with a 1.6-liter, inline four-cylinder engine that produced 116 horsepower and 100 lb-ft of torque. A removable hardtop was optional and initial color choices were red, white and blue. The starting price was $14,000, and early production of the affordable, grin-inducing roadster could not meet the enthusiastic demand of consumers. A redesigned second-generation model was unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1997 (model years 1999-2005 – there was no 1998 model-year car) and the third generation model was introduced at the Geneva International Motor Show in 2005 (model years 2006-present).

Currently equipped with an MZR-series 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder engine, today's MX-5 produces 167 horsepower (158 for automatic transmission) and delivers 140 lb-ft of torque. The soft-topped Sport model starts at $23,110 with top-level, Power Retractable Hard Top Grand Touring models starting at $28,550.

"Since Mazda launched the original MX-5, it has undergone two complete product redesigns and a series of upgrades," said Nobuhiro Yamamoto, MC program manager, MX-5. "Its enduring success is due to the strong support it enjoys from fans around the world, and I will strive to keep the MX-5's spirit alive while evolving it into a car that will be loved by even more people."

The 500,000th MX-5 Miata was produced in 1999 and sold in the United States. In 2000, Guinness World Records recognized the MX-5 as the world's top-selling sports car, a distinction that has been further solidified with every 100,000 additional units built in 2002, 2005 and 2007. The 900,000th unit is a soft-top, six-speed manual-equipped Copper Red MX-5, and destined for Germany.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.