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Mazda sees up to 800 sales a month from CX-30

Middle child syndrome: Mazda describes the new CX-30 is the ‘perfect middle ground’ and does not believe it will cannibalise sales of the smaller CX-3, larger CX-5 and related Mazda3 to any great extent.

Sales leakage not a big factor for CX-30 SUV – and $20K+ Mazda2 to hold firm: Mazda

Mazda logo3 Dec 2019

MAZDA Australia is confident its all-new small/medium CX-30 SUV can add almost 10,000 sales to the company’s total annual volume and not eat heavily into sales of the two models it slots in between – the CX-3 and CX-5 – and other compact cars in the stable such as the Mazda3.
 
The company also stands by its decision to raise the price of entry to its Mazda2 light car by more than $5000, taking it past $20,000 (plus on-road costs), with a major update that is expected to hold the model’s market position at its current diminished sales level in the contracting segment.
 
In an interview with GoAuto last week at the Australian debut of the forthcoming new CX-30 and Mazda2, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak said the brand’s fifth SUV (joining CX-8 and CX-9 as well) was expected to produce “not a lot of (sales) leakage, but some”.
 
“We did some research a while ago now and it showed, actually, that there wasn’t much (cannibalisation),” he said.
 
“So, you know, until you get it in the marketplace let’s wait and see what happens, but the bottom line is: we’re adding it because we think there’s incremental volume to be had.
 
“It’s an expansion opportunity for us.”
 
To be released in February, the CX-30 is expected to attract new buyers to the brand and, importantly, prevent others from shifting allegiance after deciding the step from CX-3 to CX-5 was too great.
 
“With CX-3, one of the top reasons for purchase is size, because people love that it’s small, but one of the biggest rejections for that car is (also) size – because it’s small,” Mr Doak said.
 
“What we have found is that while there has been some, the majority of people haven’t stepped up to a CX-5 because they just see that as more of a family, bigger SUV – there is a big gap between them.
 
“So we see that opportunity and that’s why we are saying that there potentially won’t be that much cannibalisation between (the three models), because you’ve got these people saying, ‘Actually, Mazda doesn’t have an SUV that suits me right now.’ So we’re adding something new.”
 
Asked to explain who will buy the CX-30 who are not already looking to purchase a CX-3 or CX-5, Mr Doak said: “Some of those people will be small-car buyers because obviously you are seeing the decline of the small-car market. So, yes, Mazda3, we still say that if we’ve increased market share it’s done incredibly well, but it’s not doing the huge numbers that it used to do.
 
“So I think those people are going elsewhere and we think this car is an ideal alternative for them – somewhere else to go if they are saying, ‘Look, the market’s moved on, tastes have changed, I actually want something more SUV-like’ – and I think this is where the opportunity there is.”
 
Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi said the company expected to sell up to 800 examples of the CX-30 per month, but cautioned that it was still to be tested in the marketplace.
 
“If we get 700-800 (a month), that’s great, but we need to look at the market reaction,” he said.
 
The new consolidated Mazda2 range, meanwhile, arrives in showrooms this month at an entry price point of $20,990 (plus on-road costs) that is way up from the current $15,570 marker and past the once-commonplace $19,990 starting point for larger C-segment (Mazda3-sized) cars.
 
“That’s true, but if you sat in an old 323 versus that car (latest Mazda2), probably the interior space would be the same if not more, and also just the standard of equipment, particularly safety, is head and shoulders above what was ever offered before,” Mr Doak said.
 
“We think, for our customers, who like the Mazda brand, that that’s an important story to have and  to make sure that this car is not in some ways second cousin when it comes to those features. I think people want them. We want to be consistent across our range, therefore we’ve added a lot of spec to this car, and that’s why we repositioned it.
 
“This stuff doesn’t come for free – you’re going to have to pay for it, ultimately – so that’s where we’ve moved and I think that segment is changing rapidly anyway and customer expectation, whether it’s a B (light) car, C (small) car, D (medium) car, SUV, are changing and I think people want more standard equipment.”
 
Asked whether this means Mazda no longer sees the light segment as being price-sensitive, Mr Doak said: “No, I’m not saying that. I think that whole segment will move up as people add more safety equipment. I don’t think we’ll be the only ones doing it.”
 
The Mazda marketing chief said exchange rates also figured in the decision to increase Mazda2 pricing, but said the company remains committed to the segment, that sedan (with 30 per cent of volume) was just as important as the hatchback and that the model line’s sales volume should stabilise with the latest series.
 
To the end of October, 7640 sales of the Mazda2 had been recorded, down 16.8 per cent over the same period last year and representing about 760 sales per month. Over that period, the 2 held a 14.4 per cent share of the segment which placed it third overall, just behind the Toyota Yaris (7916) and further afield from the Hyundai Accent (9499) which is running out of supplies and will not be replaced.

 


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