Mazda North American Operations reported a sharp decline in fleet sales for 2013, as the company returned to more normalized fleet sales levels following a unique deal with Enterprise Rent-A-Car in 2012.

Mazda reported its best retail sales since 1994. Overall, Mazda sold 283,947 vehicles in 2013, representing a 2.5% increase from the prior year. The Mazda3 was its leading seller with 123,361 units.

Mazda's sharpest increase came with the CX-5 compact SUV. Mazda sold 79,544 units (an 83.6% increase from 2012) of the CX-5, which debuted with the 2013 model year.

Mazda sold 20,976 fleet vehicles in 2013, a 58% decline from the 50,580 fleet vehicles sold in 2012, spokesman Nick Beard told Automotive Fleet. In 2013, the automaker launched redesigned versions of its Mazda3 and Mazda6 cars, as well as refreshed models of the CX-5 and CX-9 crossover SUVs.

"There is always a balance between fleet and retail sales," said Beard. "As is common in the launch year of a new vehicle, retail demand was strong for all four vehicles—hence the reduction in fleet sales for the year."

Mazda's 2012 fleet sales numbers were bolstered by an agreement with Enterprise to provide service- and body-shop loaner cars that was not continued in 2013, Beard said.