Mazda’s plucky fourth-generation Mazda2 hatchback has proved popular here at AM, but is there a chance the car was overlooked by many due to the brand’s lively 2015 launch schedule?
Mazda introduced six new models last year and Amarjit Shokar, dealer principal at Romford Mazda, believes some missed out on their spell in the limelight amid the flurry of activity.
He said: “In sales terms, the Mazda2 does well for us, but there is no doubt in my mind that it could do a lot better.
“It has a great standard specification and real premium quality that people can see as soon as they step inside, so we can really sell it against the key rivals if we get people in for a test drive.
“The one thing it is lacking is promotion from Mazda itself. Many people just aren’t aware that the car exists as an alternative to the Fiesta and Corsa.
“Last year was so busy for the brand. We were moving from one launch event to the next. It was exciting, but I can’t help think that the Mazda2 missed out a little as a result.”
Shokar said customers had picked up on the Mazda2’s ease of use and that one driving instructor was proving a valuable ambassador. With three Mazda2s already bought, he is considering replacing his fleet of Vauxhall Corsas in a deal that could result in 30 sales.
Romford Mazda’s most popular 2 is the Sport Nav, which makes up the majority of the 15 versions sold each month, on average.
Overall, the Mazda2 is meeting sales expectations, but still lags behind the market leaders. SMMT figures showed 8,963 new Mazda2s were registered in 2015 – up 16% year-on-year despite its March launch date.
Mazda told AM that 97.1% of those were petrol-powered with the Sport specification accounting for 53.5% of the take-up (4,799). The SE-L was bought by 35.6% of customers (3,196) while just 10.8% (967) opted for the entry-level SE.
Ford registered 133,434 Fiestas in 2015, however – cementing its position as the UK’s biggest-selling car – and Vauxhall’s Corsa recorded 92,077 registrations during the past 12 months.
Perhaps Mazda needs to turn some of its attention from the headline-grabbing MX-5 roadster and promising CX-3 SUV to give its B-segment competitor a chance to stand up and be counted in 2016.