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With the release of a new model, automakers generally see a big surge in sales. Mazda may be counting on that, or perhaps they've got a few tricks planned, because the company has announced it intends to sell as many as 30,000 Mazda5 models next year. Last year Mazda sold just 18,500 units of the MPV (commonly called a minivan), a 16 percent drop-off from 2008.

Mazda introduced the second-generation Mazda5 at the Geneva Auto Show earlier this year, and while Mazda exec Thomas Pixton has said that the car's sporty driving dynamics and improved fuel economy will attract buyers, it's not clear if the car will get the same 2.0-liter direct-injection 4-cylinder (with Mazda's start-stop system) offered in Europe.

Mazda has been at the forefront of the MPV segment, competing only with the Kia Rondo. That, however, will soon change with Ford's introduction of the Grand C-Max. Chevy also has it's new Orlando MPV but has decided to not sell it in the U.S., while Hyundai is also rumored to be thinking about the MPV segment.

With increased competition, Mazda is also certain to put some added marketing budget behind the Mazda5, which should help it reach the 30,000 unit mark.

More: Mazda Planning to Double Mazda5 Sales in the U.S. With New Model on
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