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Mazda bucks capped-price service trend

Uncapped: Mazda Australia will not introduce a capped-price servicing scheme, despite the fact that a number of its competitors have.

Capped-price servicing not on the cards for Mazda Australia

Mazda logo1 Nov 2012

AUSTRALIA’S top-selling full-line vehicle importer, Mazda, has ruled out joining the growing list of rivals offering capped-price servicing plans.

Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson told GoAuto this week that such a plan is more suitable to companies with high fleet sales, unlike Mazda, which sells a larger than average percentage of its vehicles to the more profitable private sector.

Furthermore, he said the company preferred to promote its cars rather than schemes like the capped servicing or low-interest finance plans – the latter in vogue among a number of retailers this year.

“One you start to promote capped-price servicing, you move away from promoting the car,” he said, stating that the average customer visits a dealer 1.6 times a year and that servicing costs were not necessarily their number one priority.

Mr Dickson said the company already published recommended servicing prices on its website, arming customers with the knowledge of what to expect when their local dealer hands them a servicing bill.

The majority of Australia’s top ten automotive brands now offer capped-price servicing, which gives greater transparency by requiring participating dealers to charge an identical amount for equivalent services.

Fellow top ten brands Toyota, Holden, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan and Mitsubishi all now offer capped plans on their vehicle range, with terms of between three and seven years.

Top European brand Volkswagen, meanwhile, last month entered the fray by offering fixed pricing on servicing its Up city-car to alleviate the perception that its cars are expensive to service.

The company confirmed the Up offer was a toe-in-the-water ahead of a potential roll-out to other models.

Mazda is the nation’s biggest full-line importer, with 77,862 sales to the end of September putting it on track to be the first full-importer in Australian motoring history to clock up 100,000 annual sales.

The Mazda3 small car is on track to this year take the title of Australia’s most popular new car for the second year running, with 32,434 sales to the end of September.

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