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Mazda predicts steady year-end haul

Keeping up: Mazda says it is happy with its BT-50 pick-up (left), while the CX-8 (below) has added incremental sales.

CX-8 and other SUVs keeping Mazda sales on pace with its 2017 year-to-date total

Mazda logo17 Sep 2018

MAZDA Australia expects its annual sales volume to remain steady at around 116,500 units this year, with key SUV models including the all-new CX-8 seven-seater keeping the market’s number-two brand on an even keel in the final quarter.

 

To the end of August, Mazda has recorded 79,004 sales which is 0.7 per cent – or 531 units – behind the same period last year, but enough to keep it well ahead of third-placed Hyundai on 65,010 units.

 

Mazda had a bumper August on the back of its annual ‘M Day’ sale – which is usually held in September but was moved forward this year – and finished the month with 10,740 sales, up 26.2 per cent.

 

The brand’s best Australian sales result was in 2016 when it sold 118,217 and nabbed a 10 per cent market share for the first time, but sales fell last year by 1.6 per cent to 116,349 units.

 

Speaking with GoAuto at the launch of the refreshed MX-5 range in northern New South Wales this week, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said the company was where it expected to be at this point in the year and highlighted the strength of its SUV sales.

 

“Sales are absolutely in line with forecast,” he said. “I mean, obviously we have a couple of products in the back half of their model cycle. It is just model cycle dependent. We are comfortable with where we are at.

 

“CX-5 goes from strength to strength, as does CX-3. The areas where the market is strong with SUV, we are going great guns. It is just a model cycle thing and we are absolutely where we thought we would be.

 

“The addition of CX-8 is great. It is a good thing for CX-9 because they are selling off each other. So we have been happy with it.”

 

Without giving an exact target, Mr Doak said Mazda’s 2018 result would be “around the same kind of number” as last year.

 

He acknowledged that the overall new-vehicle market was down this year and predicted that there would be aggressive action taken by manufacturers towards the end of the year in an effort to meet targets.

 

“Obviously it is a little bit softer,” he said. “I would imagine it would be a very aggressive end to the calendar year for all brands as they try and hit their targets for the year. So it will be a happy time for customers, but a very aggressive one from the car-makers. We are on track and we have got a plan. We are strong in the markets that are strong at the moment.”

 

Since its launch in June, Mazda has sold 713 CX-8s, which has added incremental volume and helped keep overall sales steady for the year.

 

Mazda’s other large seven-seat SUV, the petrol-powered CX-9, has dropped by 8.1 per cent so far this year.

 

The mid-size CX-5 is still the country’s best-selling SUV on 18,679, an 8.1 per cent increase over last year, while the CX-3 crossover has dropped by 4.2 per cent

 

While combined 4x2 and 4x4 sales of the BT-50 pick-up are down by 2.3 per cent this year, Mr Doak said he was pleased with the uptake since it was overhauled in April.

 

“BT is lifting and obviously we brought out the local update and that has been well received. Hopefully it continues and it would be nice to get more of that growing segment. But overall we are happy with the sales. And as part of our mix it does very well.

 

“Ultimately the number doesn’t compare to the number of the sales leaders in that segment. But we are very happy with BT-50 and if there is more opportunity then we will certainly see if we can deliver it.”

 

Of the BT-50 range, the 4x2 variant punches above its weight, commanding a 12.3 per cent share of its segment compared with the 4x4 which is only holding 5.4 per cent.

 

Mr Doak said the BT-50 4x2 has always been a strong seller and highlighted the value of the current model.

 

“I think it is well priced for a start. I think people recognise that it is a strong brand and fundamentally a very competitive offering. So I think a combination of those things and historically it has always done very well in that space. It just continues on,” he said.

 

“It offers a lot of ute for the money, basically.”


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