China’s ongoing shuffle sees Mazda as a surprise victor image
China, the world’s largest auto market, registered its first negative sales month in June after more than two years of growth, but the growth slowdown has not turned every automaker into a victim.
The recent consumer behavior shift has taken Chinese car sales into first gear after rolling full steam ahead in the near past, but the situation has also sent Mazda, the tiny Japanese automaker, on a victory road. The fifth largest Japanese automaker has posted numerous records and its only headache today is how to keep up with demand. The brand has discovered its sporty design strategy has clinched an emerging class of Chinese motorists that have decided to drop out of copycat acquisitions and the traditional idea that well established makes, such as Volkswagen AG, are the only ones doing great cars. “Other cars are either too round or stocky, but the CX-5 has more of a flowing character,” told Reuters a customer that acquired the Mazda sport utility vehicle after considering other options. Chinese car registrations have soared just 1.4 percent during the first six months of the year, the slowest growth rate in six years. The economy has been growing at its slowest pace in more than two decades and the country’s industry body added the stock market rout also weighed on consumer demand.
Mazda in turn had its best half year in history, jumping 17 percent on the Chinese market, thanks to surging demand for the CX-5 sport utility vehicles and sedans such as Axela and Atenza, with the company struggling to keep up with demand among certain models. Naturally, the brand has just around one percent of the overall market and its sales cannot suffer comparison to the likes of Volkswagen or General Motors.