A surge in fleet sales looks set to help Mazda drive back to pre-recession levels of business over the next 12 months.
Total volume delivered in the UK is on track to reach in excess of 50,000 units after a 45% leap in corporate registrations during the last three months, Fleet News can reveal.
"Our sales in the corporate sector are running at three times the increase seen in fleet business across the industry so far this year and I expect that to continue - fleet has become a very substantial part of our operations,” said Mazda Motors UK managing director Jeremy Thomson.
"It is so good to get away from the perfect storm we had to endure from adverse currency exchange rates, ageing product lines and the post-scrappage collapse. This is our transformation year."
By the end of September, Mazda will have launched refreshed versions of the Mazda6 and CX-5 sport utility and introduced its new Mazda2, CX-3 and MX-5 models.
In addition, it will have rolled out a major redesign of its 137- strong dealer network, complete with a new corporate identity.
Thomson continued: "We're at the cusp of the busiest time in our history and having gone through a particularly tough period, my aspiration is to continue posting all-time best results in Britain.
"When we used to sell 50,000 cars, Mazda was in a different place in the market with products at different price levels.
“We launched the Mazda6 in 2002 at £1,000 less than the Ford Mondeo but today, that model is more aligned with the Volkswagen Passat.
"Our brand has moved, and getting back to that volume represents a stretch over where we've been before. But our growth will continue to come from what I know is in the product and technical cycle plan, which represents constant innovation over the next three years.”
Speaking in Spain at the media launch of the CX-3, Mazda's first B-segment SUV contender, Thomson said the brand had moved from being a predominantly retail supplier to having the broader product portfolio to support a 50% fleet mix.
"The growth is not coming from the high cost, high volume sectors like Motability and daily rental -it's coming from the core fleet user chooser and contract hire sectors and the broadening of our portfolio in terms of Skyactive technology,” said Thomson.
“Instead of offering Eco engine options, we have an umbrella solution for greater efficiency.
"In retail, we outsell both the Insignia and Mondeo and that tells me that what people want to drive is strongly aligned to where we are taking the brand in styling, technology and packaging.
“We're never going to be the biggest discounters in fleet, but we will always seek to have competitive solutions for the managers and their drivers - our aim is to offer a near-premium choice at the price of mainstream products.”