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Mazda forecasts overall market growth for 2015

New baby: Mazda’s CX-3 crossover arrives in March and should give the company some growth this year, according to local boss Martin Benders.

Buoyant economy, new models to help drive market up to 2013’s levels – Benders

Mazda logo23 Jan 2015

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

MAZDA is predicting a stronger overall market this year, on the back of several key new models in growing segments, underpinned by steady consumer confidence.

According to Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders, continuing healthy economic conditions should help ensure new-vehicle sales come close or match the 2013 record high of 1.136 million units, after last year’s two per cent dip to 1.113 million units.

“Our forecasts suggest there is enough strength in the economy – despite all the baggage that you may read about – that the industry should be able to pick up some of what it lost during 2013 and 2014,” he told GoAuto at the CX-5 Series II launch in Melbourne this week.

“Going into 2014, we lost about 23,000 units… going into 2015 we will pick some, if not all, of that up. So getting back up to the 2013 level is what we expect.”

Mr Benders added that the nascent small SUV segment would help drive this year’s growth, aided by the introduction of Mazda’s upcoming CX-3 and the new Honda HR-V into that segment.

“Now that won’t be uniform, I think,” Mr Benders said. “Certainly the small SUV segment’s got some more growth. That went up some 16 per cent last year. That’s still got some growth in it with HR-V and us going into it.

“There’s also still some growth in utilities.” The light-commercial market, which was down 3.2 per cent in 2014, is also expected to recover this year on the strength of new iterations of the Nissan Navara, Mitsubishi Triton and Ford Ranger.

Mazda’s own LCV, the BT-50, trailed its key rivals in 2014 with a total of 13,051 sales, but a refreshed model with updated, and more aggressive styling is on the way in late 2015.

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