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Mazda confident on CX-5 supply

Mr popular: Mazda is generating high levels of initial interest in its new CX-5, both in Australia and overseas.

Unprecedented early interest shouldn’t hurt supplies of CX-5, says Mazda Australia

Mazda logo22 Mar 2012

By MIKE COSTELLO

MAZDA Australia is confident it has secured adequate supply of its new CX-5 petrol and diesel range, despite unprecedented levels of interest both here and overseas.

Last week Mazda Japan announced that it had taken more than 8000 orders for the car in its first month of sales – eight times the monthly target of 1000 units.

Meanwhile, Mazda Australia public relations manager Steve Maciver told GoAuto at this week’s launch of the CX-5 diesel that local interest is currently running at unprecedented levels.

“Levels of interest (people registering their interest with Mazda for CX-5) is running at about three times the previous best for any Mazda car,” he said. This includes the 3 sedan and hatch, Australia’s reigning top-seller.

Despite sourcing the CX-5 from the Hofu plant in Japan, Mr Maciver told GoAuto that Mazda Australia would retain its projected supply levels, partly due to its strong standing in the global Mazda family.

“We’ve been a leading market for quite a while in terms of market share,” he said “and with that in mind we’ve been expected to do quite well with CX-5.

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“The demand so far has certainly outstripped what we anticipated, however we did anticipate a very strong demand for this car on launch, and with that in mind we made sure we had plenty of stock coming through.”“I’m not in a position to share numbers at this stage as to exactly how the order rate is going for this particular month, but we’ve anticipated that demand at launch for this car was going to be strong and with that in mind we’ve got plenty on the ground.”

Australia is one of Mazda’s strongest global markets in terms of overall share – it is currently the number one full-line importer here and has the nation’s reigning top-seller in the 3 – and it has set itself the ambitious target of 1000 sales per month for the CX-5.

This figure, which is the same as the Japanese figure, would place it among the medium SUV segment’s top players like the Nissan X-Trail, Toyota RAV4 and Subaru Forester.

Mr Maciver said there was even scope to possibly ramp up supply should strong early interest in Australia translate to higher than anticipated sales, telling us that “when demand is higher than anticipated, we can go to Mazda Corporation and see what can be done in terms of getting more supply if that’s what we need.”

As we reported from our first drive of the new CX-5 diesel (see separate story linked below), the potent SkyActiv oil-burner is only available in mid-range AWD Maxx Sport and flagship Grant Tourer guise.

As such, the cheapest diesel CX-5 is $39,040 – $3000 more than an equivalent-spec petrol and more than $11,000 greater than the entry-level front-wheel-drive Maxx petrol.

When asked whether Mazda Australia would contemplate introducing a cheaper diesel engine in either Maxx guise or 2WD, Mr Maciver said the brand had opted away from this because it saw diesel buyers as more likely to shell out for higher-spec variants than look toward the more price-sensitive lower end.

“We’ve got a two engine strategy,” he said, “the petrol engine serves a purpose as a price-leader initially, and will be more than adequate in terms of performance for probably the vast majority of buyers that are going to be using this for city of urban driving.

“The diesel engine is really being introduced as a premium engine, and its there as our performance engine. As you know there’s always a premium of diesel over petrol (in the CX-5 this is $3000) so we’ve obviously got to sit and do the sums and work out the market equations and work out where we thing we can sell particular models.

“We think the demand for diesel is going to sit within the higher models in CX-5, its going to be higher involvement customers, be more performance-oriented customers, and we believe those type of customers are going to be looking for Maxx Sport and Grand Touring.

“Never say never to anything, but its not on the cards at the moment, although of course we do listen to customer feedback we move through the model cycle of any Mazda product.”

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