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Mazda sets CX-3 sales at 150,000 annually

Sales star: The Mazda CX-3 lands on local shores in the second quarter of next year and the company is hoping for 150,000 global sales each year.

CX-3 crossover is starting cautiously as Mazda tests a new market strategy

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Mazda logo24 Nov 2014

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS in LOS ANGELES

MAZDA has bargained on finding about 150,000 buyers every year for its all-new CX-3 as it breaks into the increasingly busy sub-compact-SUV segment.

Joining an every more crowded club that will also see the Honda HR-V and Renault Captur enter the Australian market in the next three months, the Japanese car-maker is remaining conservative about how many CX-3s it can sell.

While it won’t reach the heights of its highly successful CX-5 big brother, some Mazda insiders told GoAuto the company is confident that the Mazda2-based crossover will easily strip forecasts, particularly in Europe, where rivals such as the Captur and Nissan Juke continue to attract big sales numbers.

Mazda Motor Corporation managing executive officer in charge of global sales Masahiro Moro confirmed the sales predictions for the CX-3 with reporters at this month’s Los Angeles motor show.

“With CX-3, this is still a developing segment, but I’m sure globally this sub-segment will grow over time,” he said.

“And I hope our CX-3 sales will grow the sub-segment growth.

“My gut feeling is that CX-5 sales will remain higher than CX-3, and this is because the segment size differences, especially in the USA and Canada… (but) probably C-segment growth will slow down as demand switches to the smaller crossovers.

“We are targeting 150,000 CX-3 sales annually, but next year it won’t be that figure because we still ramping up production.”

In Australia the smallest Mazda crossover may have a harder time coaxing buyers out of the medium and large SUV league.

While the VFACTS-defined compact-SUV segment is up 17.4 per cent year-on-year to the end of October, almost 75 per cent of those are made up of older models that are probably going to migrate to the larger class above as they are based on small rather than light cars.

These include the Hyundai ix35, Volkswagen Tiguan, Nissan Qashqai and Mitsubishi ASX.

While the most popular of these – the Hyundai – is running at just over 15,000 sales this year, the most popular actual B-segment sized combatant, Holden’s Trax, has only managed to find 4912 takers.

Nevertheless, Mazda CX-3 program manager, Michio Tomiyama, is confident that his new baby’s design, driveability and quality will change peoples’ minds, especially as it will be available in diesel and all-wheel drive as well as the usual petrol and front-drive formats.

“The CX-3 will lure downsizing SUV buyers globally,” he said.

“We are hoping to widen and expand new customers and hoping that many people will accept this vehicle. I also believe that the size of this is most acceptable globally, and it has fun to drive element and stability of driving and Mazda’s characteristics.” The Mazda CX-3 arrives in Australian dealerships in the second quarter of next year.

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