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Mazda MX-5 Miata Sales Are Down Nearly 50 Percent This Year

Judging by the most recent sales report from Mazda, it looks as though the Miata isn’t always the answer. The petite sports car had a weak first quarter of the year considering deliveries plummeted by 45.5 percent compared to Q1 2023. Only 1,411 Americans bought the tossable roadster through March 2024.

It was particularly bad for the soft-top version since demand declined by 66 percent to 457 units whereas the hardtop RF went down by 23.5 percent to 954 units. Yes, the RF deliveries were more than double those of the standard Miata. Looking at the bigger picture, the situation is not that bad considering 2023 was an excellent year for the MX-5 after shipments grew by 45.4 percent.

Seeing the glass half full, there is still hope 2024 will be a good year for the diminutive rear-wheel-drive machine. Mazda has launched an “ND3” featuring some mechanical changes, including a new steering rack with reduced internal friction and an asymmetrical limited-slip differential. The power steering has been tweaked and the Club version gets a Track mode.

Elsewhere, the separate daytime running lights are now incorporated into a pair of sharper-looking headlights. At the back, the taillights have been discreetly revised as well. Fresh wheel designs and the Aero Gray paint round off the changes on the outside. Stepping into the cabin, the outdated infotainment has made way for a more modern 8.8-inch setup with built-in Alexa functionality.

Although the fourth-generation Miata has been on sale since 2015, the ND3’s launch means it’s sticking around for a few more years. MX-5 Program Manager Shigeki Saito says the plan is to keep the car on sale for as long as possible before having to rework the model to meet new regulations. Meanwhile, “cool special editions” are in the works. Perhaps one of them will be a 35th anniversary model considering the NA hit the market in 1989.

Should there be a production version of the gorgeous Iconic SP concept with a range-extending rotary engine, it’s unclear whether that will be a next-gen MX-5 or a superior sports car. Mazda has set up a dedicated team of 36 engineers to work on a rotary engine, signaling its intention to come out with something more fun than the MX-30 e-Skyactiv R-EV crossover.

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