MAZDA is facing unexpectedly high volumes of customers booking in to retrofit their vehicles with the recently released Apple CarPlay and Android Auto upgrade. The retrofit has been so popular that its stock levels may not be able to keep up.
Following months of speculation, Mazda Australia confirmed a scheme to retrofit some 370,000 vehicles with the smartphone mirroring apps would become available to interested customers in late October.
Any Mazda fitted with the MZD Connect infotainment system, which was first introduced locally in early 2014, can have the retrofit installed at a cost of $494.98.
During a wide-ranging interview, Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak told Wheels demand from customers for the retrofit has exceeded expectations.
“It is early days, but obviously people appreciate the connectivity, ease of use, and element of safety that it brings as well. You aren’t tempted to start sending a text message on your phone since you have voice to text, and that’s important,” he said.
“The demand for the retrofit has outstripped how many [units] we have brought in, so we have already gone back and ordered extra batches.
“Demand has been strong, and well received [by customers].”
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Doak was hesitant to admit the retrofit was now on backorder and customers were having to wait longer than expected, instead stating that Mazda has had to increase its stock to match the demand.
“We can get supply, so it’s just a matter of managing it out of our warehouse. We can see the orders coming in, so we are trying to keep up with them as best we can,” he explained.
While admitting there could be wait times for customers wanting to get the smartphone retrofit installed, Doak stated there won’t be extended queues.
“There will be some people that say ‘I had to wait a couple of weeks’, but it is not a long wait if they have to. We are managing it best we can.
“The demand has been stronger than we initially anticipated.”
The updated CX-9 large SUV, and the recently upgraded CX-5 medium SUV now have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto installed as standard. Mazda’s BT-50 dual-cab ute also has smartphone mirroring, while the rest of the local range is fitted with the MZD Connect infotainment system.