AM Online

Mazda plans for 20% growth this year

Mazda UK is planning for growth from a base of 26,200 sales in 2012 and has set bold, but sales objectives on the back of introducing cars to new segments and entering new sales channels.

“After five years of challenging business conditions I finally feel we have turned the corner and we are in charge of our own destiny,” said Jeremy Thomson, managing director, Mazda UK.

Thomson believes a product-led recovery will be led with the roll-out of Mazda’s sixth generation Skyactiv technology models. He is forecasting sales in the 2013 financial year (FY) of over 31,000 units.

“While a 20% growth might sound ambitious, it is all growth from our new generation cars. There’s nothing in our forecast that worries me,” he said.  “Our network is reporting exceptionally strong interest in our cars and customer offers.  Independent surveys and data from our media partners backs that up and order take is strong.”

The decision to cut the sales network from 157 to 135 outlets to boost sales per outlet and improve dealer profitability, combined with run-out of previous generation Mazda6 and short supply of the globally popular Mazda CX-5 compact crossover were the main factors affecting the 2012 sales performance.

“However, our capacity for growth has never been greater. Skyactiv technology has given us a point of difference to other makes. Winning the What Car? Green SUV Award with the Mazda CX-5 proved that – it’s the sort of award that a few other manufacturers might have expected to win,” he said.

Sales Director Peter Allibon added that although year-on-year sales were down last year, Mazda UK “achieved its planned registration volumes for the year - we are now looking up.

“The newly-launched Mazda6, second of the Skyactiv technology models after the CX-5 crossover, is doing well in the fleet sector with weekly order take getting close to the levels the previous generation Mazda6 enjoyed in its heyday and when the segment was much larger,” he said.

“Our plan of 7,500 Mazda6 sales in the 2013 financial year is now looking like a conservative number as we can go beyond that as natural demand builds,” said Allibon.

“There has been very strong global demand for the CX-5 and we have not been able to get enough to meet the UK demand. We sold almost 3,100 in FY2012 and we’re planning for more than 6,000 in this financial year as supply of the car ramps up,” he said.

Read more analysis on Mazda's plans for the UK in AM's face to face interview with Jeremy Thomson.

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