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More ‘premium’ Mazda3 targets private buyers

Mazda3 predicted to be best-seller among private buyers for 11th consecutive year

Mazda logo22 Feb 2019

MAZDA will continue to target individual customers rather than fleet sales in 2019 after the Mazda3 small car achieved best-seller status among private buyers for its 10th consecutive year.
 
Now starting at $24,990 plus on-road costs – $4500 more than the previous point of entry – the Mazda3 has seen a significant price rise across the board, with Mazda saying that it is positioning the small car as a more “premium” offering with the new generation.
 
While its arch rivals including the Hyundai i30 (from $19,990), Toyota Corolla (from $22,870) and Kia Cerato (from $20,990) offer significantly less expensive base models to attract fleet buyers, Mazda will instead offer a stronger equipment list as standard to appeal primarily to private buyers.
 
Speaking at the reveal of the Mazda3 in St Kilda, Victoria, this week, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak justified the price rise by saying that $4000 worth of standard equipment has been added.
 
“The level of quality has been vastly improved, reorienting it to a more premium position, setting a new benchmark for the small car segment,” he said.
 
“For context, five of the now-standard technologies were previously only offered on the top-spec Astina grade, including radar cruise control and lane-departure warning.
 
“The safety equipment on the entry-level G20 Pure is exactly the same as the much higher-spec G25 GT.”
 
Last year, the Mazda3 ranked second in the Australian passenger car segment with 31,065 vehicles registered, a 5.0 per cent drop year on year.
 
The Mazda was beaten out by the Toyota Corolla which recorded 35,320 (-5.4%), but topped the Hyundai i30 (28,188), Volkswagen Golf (19,076), Kia Cerato (18,620) and Honda Civic (13,470) in the small car segment.
 
Mazda expects to maintain its 16 per cent segment share in 2019 despite overall small car sales decling 9.5 per cent last year as other segments, including small SUVs, continue to pinch sales from the once-top-selling market.
 
Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi recognised the decline of the small car market, and vehicle market as a whole, but was confident local new-car sales will regain momentum.
 
“I think that this year, the market will be lower because of what is happening in the economy, but I think there will be steady growth in Australia when you look at the long term” he said.
 
Current Mazda3 units have entered run-out, with Mr Bhindi suggesting supply of third-generation models will quickly dry up ahead of the new-gen version’s launch in April.
 
“We’d like to have a few more (current Mazda3 units), but we’ll have to be see how we go” he said.
 
“It’s going to be close.”
 
The new Mazda3 will arrive in mid-to-late April in hatch form, and the sedan is set to follow sometime mid-year, with the former expected to take up 60 per cent of volume.
 
“We’re predicting the Evolve to be the highest volume seller over all, with the 2.0-litre G20 option sighted for 30 per cent share, while the 2.5 G25 option will achieve around 12 per cent,” said Mr Doak.
 
“The value-packed G20 Pure grade is expected to be the second highest seller at 25 per cent, while the higher-spec G25 Touring will make up 11 per cent, G25 GT – 12 per cent, and G25 Astina – about 10 per cent.
 
“Automatic will remain the most popular transmission and the refreshed hatch is expected to be the most popular body style.”

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