Mazda slips 7.1% as little minivan is phased out

The end of the road has arrived for Mazda’s little minivan.

The Japanese automaker reported today that its U.S. sales fell 7.1 percent last month to 27,157 units, largely because of a phase-out of the six-seat Mazda5. Mazda sold just 551 units of the Mazda5 in July, down 64 percent, and plans to retire the model later this year as yet another casualty of a market shift toward crossovers.

It was a “transitional month” for Mazda, North American sales chief Ron Stettner said in a statement. But with the new CX-3 subcompact crossover and MX-5 Miata roadster going on sale this summer, he said, “look for both to bolster sales.”

Mazda stopped building the Mazda5 for the U.S. market at its hometown factory in Hiroshima, Japan, in June. The company plans to sell its remaining inventory of U.S.-spec minivans until the supply is exhausted a few months from now.

A few months after that, Mazda will have something new for families: a redesigned CX-9 crossover, scheduled to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

Excluding the Mazda5 and the Mazda2 subcompact, which is also being pulled from the U.S. lineup this year, Mazda’s sales held steady in July. Sales of the Mazda3 compact car and CX-5 compact crossover rose 1 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

Overall this year, Mazda sold 186,153 vehicles in the U.S. through July, up 0.3 percent.

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