Mazda UK’s fleet sales have more than trebled in the past three years and grew by 22% year-on-year in 2015 to more than 19,000.
These registrations account for 30% of the brand's overall sales, said Steve Tomlinson, head of fleet for Mazda.
“For a manufacturer that has constraints on supply, it doesn’t make sense to chase some of the high cost fleet volume that’s available," he said.
“We’re predominantly retail out of choice and it wouldn’t make sense for us to change that.”
According to the SMMT, the overall UK market is evenly split between fleet and retail sales; those same figures give Mazda a 42:58 fleet to retail share.
This, said Tomlinson, “is because the SMMT counts fleet as any car registered to a business, which we don’t.”
He added that because Mazda doesn’t offer any commercial vehicles, an A-segment model or any electric or hybrid cars, several big fleets are closed to the manufacturer.
"Our sales figures demonstrate how we punch above our weight in the sectors and fleets we gain access to," said Tomlinson.
Mazda UK sells a small volume of cars to the daily rental market to help increase the awareness of its cars among potential buyers.
“It’s limited and it’s profitable, and it will never be more than 5% or 6% of our total volume,” he added.
Mazda also supplies cars to Motability.
“Again, compared to our overall volumes, Motability makes up a relatively small proportion of what we do, it’s a legitimate channel because people have to make a choice,” said Tomlinson, adding that Motability accounts for more than 10% of total UK sales (some 274,000 units in 2015).
“It’s only about 5% of our total at around 2,500 units so we could definitely increase this volume if we had the appetite.
"Currently we offer all-new Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6 on the scheme.”
Mazda’s best fleet seller last year was Mazda6 at 5,590 units.
“It’s in a segment that is declining year-on-year, but having benefited from a substantial update last year, the Mazda6 is still proving to be a popular choice which, considering it is competing in a market that has seen the launch of many new models in the past 12 months, is very encouraging.
“Heading into 2016, I am very happy with Mazda’s position within the UK fleet market and putting the 1.5-litre Skyactiv-D into the Mazda3 will significantly increase the appeal of the model to those fleets who prefer their drivers to run vehicles with a sub-2.0-litre engine.
"With CO2 emissions from 99g/km, this will make the car more popular with drivers who place low BIK taxation near the top of their consideration criteria.
"I’m confident that the addition of the Mazda3 1.5-litre diesel derivative to Mazda’s already extensive corporate vehicle choice list will enhance our fleet appeal even further.
“On top of that I’m sure it’ll open doors to fleets that were previously closed to us. In a UK marketplace that now sees 42% of C-segment diesel sales delivering sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, fitting our 1.5-litre Skyactiv-D engine into the Mazda3 is great for potential fleet sales growth in this sector."