Mazda has begun shipping cars directly from Japan to Britain for the very first time.
The new logistics model, which sees cars arrive at the Port of Bristol, will bring ‘benefits for dealers and customers alike’, said Mazda.
The first shipment of 2,355 cars – made up of 2022 model-year CX-5s, Mazda3s and CX-30s – arrived at Bristol’s Royal Portbury Dock on March 28.
Mazda says that over the course of the next 12 months, the new handling centre will receive a vessel every 10 days or so with 1,000-1,200 Mazda cars on board.
The facility has the capacity for more than 8,000 vehicles and inspects and prepares all cars arriving at the port.
The opening shipment sees Bristol become the fourth port of entry in Europe for Mazda Logistics Europe, joining Barcelona, Antwerp and Zeebrugge.
Mazda said its UK dealers will now have a wider choice of stock for quicker delivery times.
The company also said that by directly importing cars from its Hiroshima, Miyoshi and Hofu plants, it can ‘streamline’ the importing process and avoid the risk of delays ’caused by Europe-to-UK transit issues’.
The Toyota Yaris-based new Mazda2 Hybrid, which is built at Toyota’s factory in France, will begin arriving in Bristol later in the spring, shipping from Zeebrugge.
Mazda Motors UK sales director Peter Allibon said: ‘The team at Mazda UK and our colleagues at Mazda Logistics Europe have worked really hard to update our logistics, port and stocking processes, and this new direct Japan-to-UK operation will bring significant benefits to our dealers and customers.
‘Our dealers will have access to a much wider stock choice within our new central compound, which ultimately provides an optimised logistics journey to support customer choice and delivery times.’
He added: ‘Our new UK compound will allow for a wider range of available stock with a 10-14 day delivery window to a dealership, which will optimise the customer experience with better choice and faster post-production delivery times.
‘With an exciting year ahead of us, with new models like the all-new Mazda CX-60 joining our line-up, there’s never been a better time for us to have this new high-class logistics hub becoming part of our vehicle journey to delivery.’