Mazda - Wheels Report 2016

Mazda CX-5

Mazda was on track for a sales record in 2016, with 120,000 cars in sight. SUVs were again strong, with the company producing two of the top three in the country.

And while the Mazda 3 won’t take the overall sales crown, it’s still one of the country’s top-selling models and has achieved that with strong natural demand (rather than from big discounting). That said, car sales came off for Mazda, with the 2, 3 and 6 together down a few thousand units.

RANK: 2ND
2016 SALES: 120K
2016 YTD RESULTS: 108,446 sales, up 4.0%, 10.0% market share
2017 FORECAST: 123K
RANKING: 2nd; 123,000 sales (up 2.5%), 10.3% market share
GRADE: A+

Opportunities

It’s all about incremental growth for Mazda in 2017. Each of its models are very strong in their classes, so Mazda has to keep plugging away to maintain momentum. A new Mazda CX-5 arrives around April, so the changeover will be crucial for keeping the popular model at the top of the SUV sales charts. The BT-50 ute remains a big opportunity and Mazda is increasing its focus on small businesses, such as tradies, who tend to gravitate towards other brands with bigger fleet deals. Despite its ‘zoom-zoom’ image, Mazda has a lacklustre performance-car range, so there’s plenty of opportunity there, though don’t expect it to materialise in 2017.

Challenges

Maintaining the current momentum and improving on what is a very strong model range that’s sold very well. As we’ve seen in the past (from Honda, Holden, Ford and others), that can change quickly, so it’s important Mazda maintains its focus on cars and customers. Mazda has no sales duds, each car pulling strongly in its class. Its SUV range, for example, consists of only three models (CX-3, CX-5 and Mazda CX-9) yet Mazda is the second-biggest SUV brand in the country behind Toyota (which has double the models). The challenge for Mazda is keeping the cars fresh and enticing enough against often newer competition.

Summary

Happy customers, happy dealers and growing sales; life for Mazda Australia is rosy for now. But the brand has to keep the accelerator pinned to the firewall and avoid getting complacent.

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