The firm saw its fleet business grow by 50% in 2004, with about 16,000 units sold out of a total of 49,000 units. Fleet sales have tripled since 2002. By 2007, if sales hit their target of 70,000 units, fleet sales will reach 25,500. David McGonigle, Mazda fleet and remarketing director, said: ‘Our brand awareness in the corporate sector has been growing daily and this has resulted in tremendous sales success.
‘We are two years ahead of the plan drawn up when Mazda Motors UK was established in 2001. One of the goals in 2004 was to establish itself in the UK leasing sector. That aspiration has been achieved with Mazda now poised to enter the top 10 manufacturers in terms of advance orders from leasing companies.’
Three key areas it believes are responsible for its success include its expanding line-up, particularly with the new Mazda6, Mazda3 and RX-8, strong wholelife costs and a significantly-enlarged dealer network, currently at 150 sites, and expected to expand to 167 by the end of 2005.
But McGonigle insists that the growth will not be at the expense of core values essential to any fleet supplier, such as fleet service and particularly residual values.
He said: ‘We will achieve our sales targets through natural growth, particularly among user-choosers. We will not force sales by buying business because that will destroy residual values and the performance of defleeted Mazdas in the used car market is one of the strengths of the brand that is recognised by fleets and leasing companies.’
As part of this programme, the company is looking at remarketing end-of-contract company cars directly to its franchised dealer network.