The marque has been always popular in the UK with MX-5 (the world’s best-selling sports car) taking on the mantle of the MG Midget and Austin-Healey Sprite as the people’s sports car, while the company’s no-frills pick-up models remain a popular choice for the agricultural and building industries.
Mazda has developed an attractive model range which includes the new Mazda2, 6 and the rotary-engined RX-8.
The company has benefited from Ford owning a 33% stake in terms of both development and distribution.
Within the aftermarket, there are now a multitude of MX-5 specialists for both servicing and replacement parts which ensures very competitive pricing levels on both, but has Mazda risen to the challenge on this and other models within its range?
The three models we have surveyed this month are a 2001 323 1.3i, 2000 MX-5 1.8 and a 2001 626 2.0D.
The prices are supplied by a Mazda dealership, a newly-formed all-makes internet parts operation, a Japanese parts specialist and an independent factor/retailer.
We have also included the MX-5 prices from an American Mazda dealership to see just how the UK prices compare.
Mazda does not offer a Trade Club scheme and dealerships set their trade pricing on an RRP less discount basis.
The dealership we consulted assured us that these were the best trade prices they would give to a very good independent repairer or fleet operator.
On two of the models the pricing could be considered acceptable, although it falls well short of the competitive prices we are seeing from the likes of Vauxhall or VW.
But the 626 diesel pricing was a throwback to the early days of our surveys.
The problem for any dealership parts operation wishing to exploit the independent repair market is that they have to be seen to be competitive on all fairly common items.
When the part is available from other sources in quality OE brands at a considerably cheaper price then it encourages the customer to adopt the old ‘anywhere but the dealer’ mentality.
Perhaps its time for ‘Club Mazda’ to make its debut.