Officials at a Japanese car firm are drawing up plans for a major assault on the UK fleet market.
Dealer leasing plans are in place and visits are being arranged to every contract hire company and fleet customer during November to pave the way for the new Mazda6 saloon and tourer range to be launched next year.
“We lost our competitive edge as tailpipe emissions became more of an issue for company car tax payers but things are different now – this new range catapults us back to the front of the queue.
“With a powertrain that delivers 108g/km from a 2.2-litre diesel motor developing 152PS, we have effectively moved ahead of the BMW 320d, the car of choice for so many people in the sector.
“It puts us back to where we should be in the heartland of the business and gives us the chance to become a very persuasive player. I want us to make the most of this opportunity,” said Mazda UK and Ireland managing director Jeremy Thomson.
Speaking at the debut of the wagon version in Paris, he claimed the styling and new technology packaging of the cars would help Mazda bridge what he called the ‘non premium to premium gap’ in the sector and revealed that over the next two years, the entire Mazda range will adopt Skyactiv technology with current Ford-PSA engines being replaced by new Mazda units.
“This is a range that defies convention to bring together qualities that are seemingly incompatible. As the first car to involve a capacitor to use brake regeneration energy to power its electrical systems, it makes a big step to demonstrate how our Skyactiv technology brings a new proposition to the fleet managers and company car driver.
“From lagging behind with a fleet share of less than one per cent, we now have the credentials to win 10 per cent of the segment. Our fleet team will see all existing customers and I’m taking our retail team off the road to give support. This is a major re-start of a business that’s always been important to us,” he said.
Available from late January, the range will be priced from £19,569 o £28,045.