CX-3 shot to the top of the small-SUV sales charts and has enduring appeal beyond the narrower product ranges of its rivals. Bigger CX-5 rounds out an SUV duopoly. The Mazda 3’s sales suffered in the wake of the CX-3’s storm, but it’s still the brand’s top seller by far, while the 2 continues to impress. Indeed, few Mazdas miss their target (although the BT-50 continues to underperform) and that adds up to a big tally.
*Figures to the end of October 2015
All-new CX-9 arrives in the second quarter of 2016 and brings modest volume potential in a segment where Hyundai, Kia and Toyota have enjoyed recent success. Also expect a hard-top MX-5 later in the year. But it’s the mild update to the top-selling 3 in the second half of the year that offers the most potential. Before then Mazda may sharpen deals to protect against increased small-car price competitiveness.
The ute market is booming and the BT-50 has largely failed to capitalise in the face of recent new arrivals and updates from competitors, including its mechanical twin, the Ford Ranger. Some of Mazda’s key models also look set to come under sustained attack. The CX-3 is up against small cars fighting the small SUV onslaught (Hyundai being the most obvious), while the CX-5 has to fend off new or freshened rivals.
Teacher’s pet; enjoys new challenges. Mazda has plenty to work on for 2016, such as increasing its slice of the ute market. The challenge will be doing it while not upsetting the serenity of the core model range, something central to Mazda’s ongoing success.