Mazda 323
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Auto Shipper for Mazda 323 This vehicle has been pouring out of an assembly plant in Hiroshima, Japan, although they were also assembled in Taiwan, Malaysia, South Africa, Colombia and New Zealand. The Mazda 323 is Mazda's subcompact family car as it is known in Europe, North America, New Zealand and Australia, and later was known as the Mazda GLC. Again, even later, it would be known as the Mazda Protégé in North America, which was produced in Japan between 1976 and 2003. The first 323s were styled by Italy's Giugiaro and shown in 1963 as the Mazda 1000 Berlina. The next generation was among the first Mazda cars sold in the United States.

This was just the beginning of a very beautiful sales history for Mazda. In total, 10,589,052 examples of this car were sold worldwide which is nothing short of miraculous. In North America the 323 was typically more expensive than its entry-level competitors such as the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, as this was partly due to its manufacture in Japan. This is perhaps another reason why it is not as ubiquitous as these cars. A perennial favorite of United States car magazines, the model is well regarded for its spirited handling. It was also the first small Japanese car to cross over to the EPA "compact" class in 1990 when the 4-door started going by the name Protégé. This model formed the basis of the Ford Laser and the Meteor in Asia, Australia and other markets. It was known as the Mercury Tracer in the United States and from 1991, the Ford Escort in all of North America. In South Africa, this model was known as the Etude. The Ford Focus-based Mazda3 replaced this platform for 2004, though Mazda still contributed much to the project. It is funny to think that all these competing brands assist one another in their projects.


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