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Big new parts distribution hub for Mazda

Mazda Australia boosts parts operation, builds customer-centric servicing offerings

10 Feb 2020

MAZDA Australia is building a state-of-the-art, 37,235-square-metre parts distribution hub in Melbourne’s north that will be 50 per cent larger than its existing facility and is due for completion in time for Christmas.


The company is also rolling out new customer-centric servicing offerings including a video walk-around of the vehicle while it is on a hoist with technician commentary about its condition, as well as a while-you-wait maintenance option offering completion of a full scheduled service within one hour.


In addition, from next month Mazda Finance will introduce a new “guaranteed future value” lending option with repayment terms of up to four years under the Mazda Assured banner.


Located in the northern Melbourne suburb of Epping, the new Mazda Australia parts distribution centre will be located about 10km east of the existing site in Somerton and benefit from easy access to the Hume Highway.


Mazda has committed to a ten-year lease of the new facility, which will come online in early 2021 and is being developed by Frasers Property, which also built the Japanese brand’s new Australian headquarters that opened in 2016.


The climate-controlled new facility will include six loading docks, six roller doors, a pair of 36-metre drive-through awnings and full drive-around access for semitrailers.


Announcing this new parts centre during the CX-30 small SUV launch in Victoria this week, Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi said the facility “will allow our staff to continue to deliver industry-leading customer service through the timely and accurate distribution of vehicle parts in a safe, purpose-built environment”.


Building on the rollout of Mazda’s latest major CI (corporate identity) update to provide dealerships with a more upmarket feel and level of service – including what Mr Bhindi described as “a more premium lounge experience with coffee, breakfast, Wi-Fi and kids’ play area” – the company has accredited 50 dealer workshops to deliver ‘Quick Smart’ servicing.


“This is a development using customer insight at its core,” said Mr Bhindi. “Quick Smart servicing is a free option when booking your service whereby you can have the whole experience turned around in an hour, including a car wash.”


He explained that vehicles booked in for a Quick Smart service would be allocated a pair of technicians in order to complete the job in a shorter timeframe while the customer took advantage of the dealership’s newly upgraded lounge facilities.


For those leaving their vehicle behind for a conventional service, Mr Bhindi said almost 30 dealerships were now equipped with the ‘Mazda Vision’ video feed that updates customers on tyre and brake wear, as well as highlighting any other maintenance and repair tasks that need authorising over and above those included in regular scheduled servicing.


“Mazda Vision makes the servicing experience more transparent so that customers not only know how much they are paying up-front, they also know what they are paying for and can see the condition of their car first-hand,” said Mr Bhindi.


The system sends a link to a customer’s device, which they can click to access the video feed and instantly approve any additional work that may need doing.


“Overall it is a faster and more transparent solution,” said Mr Bhindi.


As reported, the Mazda Finance lending brand established last year has been adopted by more than half of all Mazda dealerships and will next month roll out the Mazda Assured product that like similar “guaranteed future value” schemes provides customers with a fixed final ‘balloon’ payment at the end of a loan term of up to four years, provided the vehicle meets agreed kilometre allowance and has been subject only to fair wear and tear.


Having identified the tight automotive credit market as a reason for slumping car sales to private buyers car sales, Mr Bhindi confirmed to GoAuto that the Mazda Assured interest rate would be calculated based on each customer’s financial circumstances and that lending regulations allowed lenders to determine “their own ways to evaluate risk”.


Mr Bhindi agreed that it was undesirable for Mazda Finance to be positioned or perceived as a sub-prime lender and said offering a “quicker, easier” car loan was “just not on the cards”.


“As Mazda Finance will come to market, we will understand the risk and I suppose offer the consumer a solution which currently they have to find outside the Mazda ecosystem,” he said.

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