Mazda Motors UK has celebrated a 38% average increase in profitability across its UK car dealer network during 2017 - despite falling registrations.
The Japanese manufacturer, which secured the Manufacturer of the Year award at last year’s AM Awards, increased its dealers’ average return on sales figure from 1% to 1.4% during the year despite the economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit and the growing anti-diesel sentiment.
Mazda sales director Peter Allibon said that he was “delighted” at the performance of the brand’s 129-strong dealer network, adding: “This success comes from the hard work and dedication we see across our network to deliver an excellent customer experience, it’s also a reflection of improved new car margins and service departments benefiting from an increased vehicle parc.
“Even better, with our latest SKYACTIV technology generation cars now arriving in large numbers into the used marketplace, dealers are also profiting from strong used car performance.”
A statement issued by Mazda said that, in addition to 2017 seeing strong dealer profitability across the network, its top performing quartile of UK car retailers had achieved a 3.33% average return on sales, while the summer 2017 National Franchise Dealer Association (NFDA) survey ranked Mazda in fifth place out of 29 manufacturers.
The successes come in spite of a registrations performance for the year which resulted in declining sales and market share.
The brand recorded a 16.3% decline in registrations, from 39,092 in 2016 to 46,609 in 2017, as market share dipped 0.19ppt market share decline to 1.54%.
Brett Hague, Head of Network Strategy at Mazda UK said that realistic expectations of its dealer partners meant that 2018 would be a year of further growth in the network, despite the sales decline.
Hague said: “Our strategy to be the franchise of choice is focused on practical and right sized facilities that deliver a return on investment for our dealer partners.
“We also work hard to ensure we are easy to do business with and clearly our stylish, good to drive and efficient model range plays a big part in the success story.”
Hage added: “The investment by our dealer partners in our latest corporate identity over the last few years means we have an attractive, premium and modern retailer network that delivers an outstanding consumer experience to Mazda customers.
“I’m also pleased that 2018 will see a number of brand new Mazda dealerships being built by our dealer partners, and I’ve no doubt that our network’s excellent profitability results are a key factor in this continued investment in the Mazda brand.”