• Feb 4th 2011 at 5:30PM
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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!

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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago
      I own two of the 388K.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Which years do you own?
      • 4 Years Ago
      I had purchased a used 93 model for my ex wife. I loved driving that car until she ran it under a school bus. I should have known then we were doomed. A lot of my friends think of a Miata as a feminine car, but I suspect none of them actually love driving. The Miata is probably the only true sports car I could afford anymore as a new car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        i always loved it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        When I was kid, I didn't know better.
        I didn't like them, and in fact picked on them cause I'd heard of them being "girls" cars, or "gay guys" cars.
        Now? I want one so much I can't freakin' stand it. And it drive my girlfriend nuts.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Test drove one years ago , fun sports car . Didn't like driving it in downtown traffic . With the top down the bus exhaust poured right in that I was behind and I couldn't see over any cars in front to see up ahead , too low to the ground . Lost interest
      Great for a curvy no traffic road though .
      • 4 Years Ago
      Boxerfanatic, you seem to be up to speed on Miatas, and mentioned the '91 BRG SE. I have one, with 10k, hardtop, and never in rain. jdhegnes@aol.com if you want to talk about it.
      • 4 Years Ago
      They just might hit the million mark, if they don't let that blind idiot, who designed the 2010 Mazda3, anywhere near it. They would have been there years ago if they had created the interior dimensions for anyone but Asians. I have owned four Miatas, but there is simply no excuse for the cramped quarters.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I would still love to see them offer a full coupe version of the Miata. They could give it a side-opening rear hatch like the E-Type. I bet it would actually look like a mini XKE. I've never done a chop of one. Should add it to my "list."
      • 4 Years Ago
      I adore the first Miata, and cant say Ive liked any of the design changes since, but at least Mazda has kept the car's soul in check, and for that I applaud them. Congrats, Mazda!!!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        I agree.

        That said, I'm holding out for that super light next-gen miata they've been trickling info out on for what seems like a century.
      • 4 Years Ago
      So as a country we have spent about $8,000,000,000 (roughly 388,000 x $20,000 each)or so importing these miatas. Besides the obvious loss of the money for some cars to drive around in, I guess that's worth it if everyone enjoys them enough. What else could we as a country have purchased for that much over the past 20 years? A new aircraft carrier group? A few more space shuttles? A new nuclear plant or two? What about other ideas?
        • 4 Years Ago
        You mean: you borrow $8,000,000,000

        some UK historian said in a austrilian conference, by 2030 USA is in dept for 100% and by 2050 for 200%.

        a new civil war?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed about America needing to produce a competitor. Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky are both dead. What American roadsters are there anymore that are affordable?
        • 4 Years Ago
        And your point is?
        • 4 Years Ago
        Drop in the bucket compared to what we've spent on imported beer
        • 4 Years Ago
        Trade is good. Also, we live in a free country meaning people are free to spend their $20k on whatever legal goods or services they want, what right do you have to say that i have to spend it on an aircraft carrier, space shuttle, or power plant.

        Also, where do that $8B is going to end up? US currency eventually finds its way back to the US, often in purchase of bonds or other equities....which can be used to build aircraft carriers etc.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or we could have had one of our car companies make a car like this that people actually want.

        Since the Miata was designed in California and Mazda was controlled by Ford until the last year or so, I guess you could say it was actually.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Or we could have had one of our car companies make a car like this that people actually want.

        Also, this is what happens when you create a product with purpose and don't throw it out the window with the first revision.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I love my '04 MazdaSpeed Miata.

      I really can't wait to see what Mazda will do with the ND.

      - I hope it goes back to its light weight NA roots.
      - The looks of the NB.
      - The build quality of the NC all rolled into one.

      One can dream...

      • 4 Years Ago
      I recently picked up a 1990, my first Miata. I'm now completely converted, it's the most fun I've had on 4 wheels. And I love it, despite it burning a quart of oil per tank and needing a new engine... :-(
        • 4 Years Ago
        I've got a MINT 1990 Miata, True Red and less than 100,000 miles.

        It is honestly the most fun vehicle I've ever owned, and one of my favorite vehicles that I've ever owned.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I wonder what happened to that barn find blue '89 with 14k on it that came by work here last summer.

        Still had original tires.

        Lady's husband died and she wanted to bring it out of storage and put it back on the road. Aside from needing new fluids, and an injector un-sticking, the thing looked and ran perfect.
      • 4 Years Ago
      45% of 900K is not 388K.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Dodge had a small sports car concept sometime back called the Diablo, I believe.
      It looked great, and word was that Chrysler was going ahead with plans to build and sell it.
      The Diablo resembled the Miata somewhat.
      A fine looking machine!
      What happened, Dodge?

        • 4 Years Ago
        @ AladdinSane - The Diablo seemed like a re-work of an early Dodge concept called the Razor - which was supposed to be front-engine, rear drive, light and minimalist - a "true driver's car" that was affordable... I even recall some rumors of a powerplant based on the SRT-4 engine, which had lots of tuning potential. Seems like it never got beyond the concept stage...sadly
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