Make / Model Search

News - Mazda - CX-90

Mazda won’t abandon affordable models

Premium push won’t push cheaper Mazdas out, says Mazda Australia boss

14 Aug 2023

MAZDA Australia won’t turn its back on more affordable models in its quest to push towards a more ‘premium’ brand status.


The company has recently launched two unprecedentedly expensive new models – the Mazda CX-60 midsize SUV, which ranges from $59,800 to $85,500 plus on-road costs, and the new CX-90 large SUV, starting from $73,800 and topping out at $93,655 +ORC – which have been criticised for pushing the brand beyond the realms of affordability for mainstream customers.


Mazda Australia managing director, Vinesh Bhindi, told GoAuto at the Australian launch of the CX-90 this week that the company understands that it needs to be mindful of the budget constraints of buyers, and that these new so-called “Mazda Premium” models are part of a push towards a more upmarket position, but that it is not a wholesale brand repositioning for Australia.


“What Mazda Premium brought to the table is that next step to retain our consumers, our fans within the brand,” he said.


“Now, Mazda Premium is not luxury-luxury. It means we are giving something that's different, whether it's technology-based, powertrain-based, driving dynamics, which we talk about rear bias [all-wheel drive underpinnings] the materials used the luxury elements within our cars, but the value proposition has to stack up.


“We still intend to remain a mainstream appeal brand in Australia but offering more – that's the plan. So, when you, when you look at CX-60 and CX-90, that's what it's trying to achieve, that's what it's planned to achieve,” he said, inferring that customers who wanted something a bit more premium when stepping away from a CX-5, CX-8 or CX-9 may have instead shopped with other marques.


Mr Bhindi confirmed that the company is not intending to abandon more attainable options for buyers who aren’t willing or able to spend more for a Mazda, and one such example is a new-generation replacement model for the top-selling Mazda CX-5 midsize SUV.


“We've confirmed there will be a next generation CX-5 replacement – now, let's not get into the debate of what it's going to be called, but in terms of size, packaging value proposition of where it sits, you know, Mazda Corporation has confirmed there is a next generation,” he added.


“When you think about it, only a few months ago we offered CX-5, CX-8, CX-9. Now our plan is moving towards offering a CX-5, CX-60, CX-8, CX-90, and – for a little while longer – CX-9.


“But when that stops production Mazda CX-80 will join. So, we end up offering more choices. Today's not the day to talk about those missing puzzle pieces … but you can just have a guess on how it's going to fill the space.”


The brand, however, does have some ageing examples in its more affordable model range, with the current-gen Mazda2 having launched way back in late 2014, and the 2-based CX-3 light SUV having been around since early 2015.


Those models have been updated and altered over the years since then, with recent refreshes for both models due in Australia imminently. 


Mr Bhindi, however, could not confirm if there will be new-generation replacement models for either of those cut-price models – the Mazda2 starts from $24,410 +ORC, while the CX-3 is a touch more affordable based on the current model range, from $23,510 +ORC.


“I can't confirm if a new model is in the works,” said Mr Bhindi, while pointing out that there is an updated model coming soon.


“We constantly update. So (affordable cars are) not about to be abandoned.


“If you look at all the announcements from Mazda Corporation where their priorities are, we are currently seeing the fruits of their priority of the large product platform.


“But it's also documented that their next priority is what we call the scalable architecture, which is really designed for BEV technology. And scalable by definition means small and big.


“But really, we can't talk much about which models [will be] offered, but that's their next priority. Our plan, from an Australian point of view, is that whatever products Mazda is manufacturing, we fight to bring all of it to Australia.


“Yes, there's a couple of models not available to us, like the CX-50 – it's just not made for a right-hand-drive market. But it doesn't stop us asking.


“There's a couple other things, but generally speaking from a model point of view and technology point of view, we always work towards mounting an argument or business case to say, how can we make this available to Australians? Even if it's niche. Yeah. And in some cases it is very niche,” he said.


The brand currently has 14 different available models in Australia, but the heavy lifting is being done by the affordable CX-3 light SUV when it comes to sales. It has seen a jump of 56.3 per cent year-to-date, up to 9593 units.


That means it accounts for almost one-in-five new Mazdas sold so far in 2023, with the brand amassing 58,731 units to the end of July this year.

Read more

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

Mazda articles

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here