Mazda is about to enjoy its best time in more than a decade as it launches five new generation models globally in less than three years.
That’s the prediction of UK Managing Director Jeremy Thomson who describes the unprecedented product offensive as “rebooting” the marque.
The rapid pace of launches is the biggest since the launch of the previous generation Mazda6, Mazda3 and Mazda RX-8 during 2002-04.
“We’re predicting good times ahead while the rest of the industry is predicted to be relatively flat,” said Thomson.
“Over the next 18 months to two years we will continue our very strong product-led growth which sends out an exciting message to our dealers,” he added.
That recovery in sales comes on the back of the successful launches of Mazda CX-5, new Mazda6 and the forthcoming all-new Mazda3 – all with Mazda’s groundbreaking SKYACTIV technology.
Sales are running 10 per cent ahead of the original planned for the year resulting in Mazda reacting quickly to add production to their programme to relinquish stock and meet future demands. “While we would rather run with one car too few than one too many, we also need to ensure the network can fully capitalise on the increase in sales opportunities,” said Sales Director Peter Allibon.
In the first 10 months of 2013, Mazda sold 27,800 cars, 16 per cent up on the same period in 2012 according to SMMT data.
The restructuring of the dealer network is also paying dividends, boosting sales per outlet and increasing profitability.
Average new car sales through each dealership are expected to quickly return to pre-crisis level as total annual volume approaches 40,000 units, explained Allibon.
That growth will also help boost dealer profitability which is forecast to be better than the average for the industry next year and return to the top quartile as sales of the new generation of SKYACTIV models reach over 70 per cent of the total mix next year.
“A combination of growth, dealer profitability and the increased kerb appeal of the SKYACTIV models are encouraging dealers to upgrade to the premium, fresh and 21st century feel of the new corporate identity – a look that was piloted in the UK earlier this year and will make Mazda stand out in multi-franchise outlets,” explained Allibon.
“Meanwhile, the growth momentum continues with Mazda’s position as a franchise of choice being reinforced further by the fact that there are more companies who want to become a Mazda dealer then there are open points,” concluded Allibon.