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Mazda aims at small business buyers for BT-50

Group deal: Mazda Australia sees growth potential in construction companies and rural businesses, but says it won’t chase the big accounts.

Small-to-medium businesses the target for Mazda's updated BT-50 line-up

Mazda logo29 Sep 2015

MAZDA Australia has engaged the services of a dedicated fleet manager to bolster the fortunes of its recently updated BT-50 range, but claims it won’t go after the heavy-user market.

The company's corporate and business fleet senior manager Tim Crilly told GoAuto that the ramping up of the fleet program coincided with the launch of the facelifted BT-50, and the opportunity for small-to-medium fleets is one that has always existed for the brand.

“We're not going to actively go and chase the heavy users, government, rental and mining business,” he said. “We’re looking at business buyers, people who genuinely buy for their work rather than just someone who has an ABN (Australian Business Number).

Mr Crilly said that the target audience would be buying up to fifty units per business, but small businesses buying less than ten vehicles would also be on the radar.

“We've traditionally sold quite well in that segment without really engaging it at all,” he explained. “We think there's a lot of upside by engaging it, trying to work on how to sell to those types of customers. We see that as where the opportunity is if we engage with that segment better than we ever have. That's where we think we'll get some incremental sales.”

Dealerships will play a crucial part of securing the business, said Mr Crilly.

“Mazda's entering the fleet space in a Mazda way,” he said “What we want to do is train and arm our dealers so they're in a position to go out and chase some of that (business),” he said. “Do some outbound activities from the dealerships in their plans, because this is where these small businesses sit.”

Some of the country’s biggest purchasers of pick-ups are in the government, resources and primary industry sectors, and rivals like Toyota have specifically targeted those businesses during the development of its newer pick-up products like the HiLux. Mr Crilly says that Mazda won’t pursue that business.

“It's not something we're actively going to go and chase,” he said. “We'll never be in the rental space. We'll never go out and do a big price list just for governments. If governments come to us and want to buy the car, we could work something up for them specifically, but we won't ever go and actively chase that.

“Some of that area of the business, not necessarily good for your brand and your residual position.”

Mr Crilly, whose background includes stints at BMW Australia and Toyota Australia, reiterated that the BT-50 would be the only Mazda vehicle offered on a fleet basis.

“The only time you'll say fleet for Mazda is for a BT-50,” he said.

The company will also focus on rural buyers, dividing its marketing campaign accordingly.

“It is a far more important car in the bush than perhaps it is to a city dealer,” he said. “We're going to do a little bit of different work, but we'll work with all those dealers to make sure they're armed and do what they have to do to get out there and see those potential new customers.”

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