Amati plans scrapped

The planned 1994 North American launch of the Amati luxury line of cars by Mazda has been called off.The car maker has also stopped development work on a flagship luxury sedan designed for the North American market.Mazda Motor of Japan based...

The planned 1994 North American launch of the Amati luxury line of cars by Mazda has been called off.

The car maker has also stopped development work on a flagship luxury sedan designed for the North American market.

Mazda Motor of Japan based its decision on the worldwide economy and the declining profit potential of the luxury car segment of the automobile market.

A year ago, Mazda announced its intention to enter the luxury car market.

Ad agency Lord Dentsu, a joint venture of Dentsu of Japan and Young & Rubicam U.S., was hired to launch the line south of the border.

A search for a Canadian ad agency has been under way since early this year, and a decision was expected this week.

On the short-list were Toronto agencies bwck, Franklin Dallas, Robert Kyle and Mazda agency, FCB/Ronalds-Reynolds.

The four agencies had put a lot of work into their pitches and each had completed projects as part of the process.

Says bwck President John Burghardt: ‘There is no villain in the piece. We were all working in good faith with good people and something unfortunate happened.’

At the time the project was halted, The Amati Division of Mazda Canada was in negotiation with about 15 Mazda dealers applying for Amati franchises.

Mazda Canada is the No. 3 import car company in Canada.