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New York show: Next Mazda MX-5 to be cheaper?

The price is right: According to Mazda, stripping back the price of the next-generation MX-5 will be a priority for the car-maker.

Mazda says it can do better on next-generation MX-5 convertible pricing

Mazda logo18 Apr 2014

By BARRY PARK in NEW YORK

MAZDA’S global sales chief says the car-maker could do better to get the price of its next-generation MX-5 down ahead of the new car’s launch some time in 2015.

“We could do better in terms of the price-value balance, and all those kinds of things,” Mazda managing executive officer in charge of global sales, Masahiro Moro, said at the New York launch of the chassis for the fourth-generation MX-5 overnight.

“We need to win the heart of the consumer to provide a very stimulating car,” he said.

“I think we have proven that, because when MX-5 launched (in 1989) no market (for compact rear-drive sports cars) existed.

“But we introduced that car in 1989, and suddenly everybody embraces (it) and many competitor cars are introduced after us.

“Consumers had lots of options in this tiny (rear-wheel-drive sportscar) market, but MX-5 has survived.”

According to Mazda Australia, lopping some of the cost out of the current $47,280 MX-5 will become a priority.

“It’s certainly something we want to focus on to make it the right car,” Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders said.

“I agree with Moro-san that we have a lot more potential. If I look at the number of cars they’ve sold in the UK versus the number that we’ve sold over the life of the MX-5, they’ve blown us out of the water by a factor of 10.”“There’s a lot of opportunity there, I would say.”

Sales of the two-seat roadster have topped 900,000 in Britain compared with about 12,000 sales in Australia over the three generations of the car that have rolled out so far, making Australia a “small player” on a global scale.

Mr Benders said Mazda Australia would look to position the car “a little bit better to get the value equation right.”“From what we’ve seen of the development, it’s going to be a really great car, so we’ve got to get it right.”

As revealed in New York this week, Mazda’s new MX-5 dips into the Japanese car-maker’s suite of SkyActiv technologies for the first time, providing a range of lightweight engineering and fuel efficiency measures that it hopes will preserve the two-seat roadster’s fun-to-drive heritage.

Mr Moro said Toyota had deliberately not used high-tech, expensive composite materials in the fourth-generation MX-5 to keep its prices down, although the chassis on show in New York does feature more aluminium components – which traditionally cost up to twice as much as parts made from steel – than the previous generation.

The next-generation MX-5 was expected to face imminent stiff competition from a convertible version of Toyota’s rear-drive 86 2+2 coupe, though slow global sales of the hard-top are believed to have led to the car potentially being placed on hold.

As we know, the Fiat Group will have its own small convertible based on the new MX-5 in the near future.

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