As part of a pre-launch stunt, eight Mazda 3s left Hiroshima for Frankfurt 30 days ago. Only six arrived.
The Frankfurt motor show is not usually a big event for Japanese carmakers. It's hard to make a big splash in the backyard of the world's biggest brand Volkswagen, and perennial premium players Mercedes, Audi and BMW. Not to mention competing against sexy new Porsche hybrid supercars.
Still, sometimes a Japanese brand will embark on an ambitious and attention-grabbing stunt in an attempt to steal some coverage from the forty-seven new Golf variants Volkswagen has unveiled.
Like Mazda did this year by driving eight brand spanking Mazda 3s across Asia from Hiroshima to Frankfurt.
It was meant to be a tale of triumph, 15,000km in 30 days, crossing nine time zones and some of the harshest roads on earth. And it mostly went to plan... until Belaruse.
Border control for the once-Russian state east of Poland took exception to the paperwork accompanying two of the Mazda3s, despite Mazda organisers carrying roughly 480 trees' worth of the stuff for just such difficulties.
Long story short, the two Mazda 3s are still stuck in Belarus and Mazda has no idea when - or if - they'll get them back.
We'd estimate they'll be returned about the same time the Border Commander and his wife get sick of them.
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