Mazda won’t challenge Toyota for top spot on Australian sales charts

Mazda won’t challenge Toyota for top spot on Australian sales charts

Australia’s second-most popular new vehicle brand, Mazda, says it is unrealistic to imagine it could overtake market leader Toyota and take the top spot.

Over the course of 2016 to date, Mazda Australia has sold 30,449 new vehicles, up 7.7 per cent. Toyota is down 5.1 per cent over the same period, though remains well ahead on 46,493. Third-placed Hyundai is well back on 24,402 units, up 3.3 per cent.

There’s no other market where Mazda does so well on a relative basis — its 10.7 per cent market share is unheard of. Like all car-makers, some of this 2016 volume comprises registered vehicles now on-sale as dealer demonstrators. Numbers games…

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Interestingly, if you look at the areas where Mazda invests most of its resources, the gap narrows. The combined passenger car and SUV sales of Mazda are 26,889, compared to 33,259 for Toyota. The latter’s lead in light commercials is sharp — 13,234 to 3560.

All of this is more notable because unlike Toyota, Mazda has a comparatively small presence in the business, government and rental fleet markets — BT-50 ute aside— and relies more on more lucrative private sales.

If you factor in these purely private sales, meaning people buying their own cars, Mazda might well give the mighty Toyota a shake. Mazda also only offers eight models, whereas Toyota has 20. That’s quite a market coverage discrepancy.

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Mazda therefore leads a number of segments outright — the Mazda 2 is the top light car, the Mazda 3 is edging the Corolla in the small car market, the CX-3 is the best-selling small SUV and the CX-5 is king of the medium SUV segment.

However, number one position still isn’t calling. We spoke this week with Mazda Corporation’s visiting global director and senior managing executive officer, Yuji Nakemine, who said that goal wasn’t viable.

“No I don’t think with the current portfolio we cover all segments… it’s not something we put as a goal, to be number one.

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“Number one is Toyota, having 17-18 per cent share, maybe I think Toyota is very strong in also fleet business. To overcome Toyota, it’s really a stretch in my view, we continue to focus on retail, our customers will not be disappointed.

“Frankly speaking, targeting Toyota as number one brand is not really something I’m desperately pursuing.”

That said, Mazda Australia remains determined to grow its market share, partially on the back of the new CX-9, which it wants to be much stronger in the lucrative large SUV market.

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Nakemine said 10 per cent overall share was good, but the company could reasonably expect to do even better.

“I see opportunities there, I’m sure… if there is no local manufacturing (by the end of 2017, Ford, Holden and Toyota will have sht their local plants) all of the brands are going to compete based on the same import business model. We will have a level playing field for all brands.

“I see opportunities. I think maybe we should move ahead, because 10 per cent (market share) is a good number but still there are also still customers out there.”

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