The company is currently the 12th most popular brand according to orders placed, ahead of Citroen, Volvo and Jaguar.
A survey of data supplied by 20 of the UK’s leading contract hire and leasing companies gave Mazda a 2.3% share of sector business this year, with forward orders signalling a 2.9% share.
Mazda fleet and remarketing director David McGonigle believes the company is well positioned to overtake Nissan and Mercedes-Benz for a place in the top 10.
He said: ‘The Mazda6 has been an immense force in opening fleet doors for the brand.
More open choice lists and the increasing uptake of cash-for-car, personal contract purchase and employee car ownership schemes have boosted fleet registrations of the Mazda MX-5 and Mazda RX-8 as employees choose the car of their dreams.’
LeasePlan manufacturer relationship manager Rob Barnes said: ‘We defleet approximately 40,000 vehicles a year and to have vehicles across all sections of the market spreads the residual risk.
‘To take on board a manufacturer like Mazda, which has such an interesting product range, helps us achieve our aim.’
Wendy Old, vehicle contracts manager at Interleasing, added: ‘The Mazda6, with its high specification and competitive price, offers company car drivers a vehicle that is a bit different.
‘The RX-8 has done very well because it is a true four-seater for the employee who wants a sporty car, but needs to cater for the family, while the MX-5 continues to be in huge demand.’
Mazda’s fleet sales for the year to date have totalled 8,344 units, about 2,500 less than 2003’s full year total of 10,866.