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Frankfurt show: Mazda just starting CX-4 homework

Looker: Mazda’s Frankfurt show car might find an audience among couples who want an SUV without the family-ready boxiness.

Mazda Australia needs to be convinced new crossover will not hurt CX-5 sales

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Mazda logo17 Sep 2015

By RON HAMMERTON in FRANKFURT

MAZDA Australia says it would need to be reassured that a stylish, medium-sized crossover vehicle based on the Koeru show car would find solid sales volume without cannibalising its similarly sized, top-selling CX-5 SUV.

The slick crossover show vehicle – revealed this week at the Frankfurt motor show – has not been confirmed for production, let alone earmarked for Australian showrooms.

However, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak told GoAuto on the show stand that if the vehicle did reach production, the Australian organisation would take a close look at it.

“There are no plans to import it into in Australia, but now that it is out and about and the reaction has been very positive, we will certainly do the research around it,” he said.

GoAuto has been told the vehicle will be called CX-4, should it proceed, although Mr Doak assures us no name has been locked in.

The mid-sized vehicle sits on a similar wheelbase to Mazda’s top-selling CX-5, and has similar dimensions except for a 210mm lower roof.

However, the styling is deliberately more sporty and premium, as well as less boxy than the practical CX-5 that is the darling of Australian families.

Mr Doak said Mazda Australia would need to look at how the vehicle would slot into its line-up, what incremental volume it would add and if it would cannibalise sales from other models, particularly the CX-5 that is Australia’s top-selling SUV.

“If we did it, we would need to be comfortable that it would be telling a different story to CX-5,” he said.

“Obviously we would want to sit down with the guys from powertrain and ask what powertrain it might have etcetera, as that will dictate starting price,” he said.

“You’d want to have all those discussions before you committed to it, but our colleagues in other parts of the world will be having the same discussions.

“Right now we are really are only starting to discuss this now, and we have no firm plans to introduce the car.”

Mr Doak said he had recently seen a graph that showed a growing number of Australian couples having zero children.

“So, does that kind of change in Australian demographics change the idea that this car is talking to a different audience, one that does not want a more practical kind of SUV shape?” he asked.

“Again, we will find out in our research who this car will speak to.”

Mr Doak said that if the vehicle was slated for production, he could not see it appearing in showrooms for about two years.

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