Sales ambitions for the new Mazda CX-3 compact SUV may be compromised by supply issues due to strong worldwide demand.
Speaking with CarAdvice at the launch of the CX-3 in Canberra, Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders noted high demand for the new nameplate from all world markets, hinting at potential supply problems for the little SUV in Australia.
Currently built exclusively in Japan, the Mazda CX-3 is the latest arrival in a segment that is experiencing strong sales growth not only in Australia but in North America and Europe as well.
Australia is a very important market for Mazda – last year the local launch of the Mazda 3 was the brand’s first priority after its home market of Japan.
However with a slight dip in the Australian dollar against the Yen, and a comparable rise in both Euro and US currencies, the larger markets present a strong case for supply priority over Australia.
“It is a concern,” Benders said. “We are obviously campaigning hard for our allocation but with better value being presented by Europe and North America, Australia will not be Japan’s top priority.”
Mazda Australia has set the goal of selling 1000 extra vehicles per month off the back of the CX-3 launch.
Market growth and demand is there, but if Australian buyers simply cannot secure cars, combined with strong product offerings from Honda and Renault and new models on the way from Jeep and Fiat, there is a risk that potential CX-3 buyers will look elsewhere.
Initial interest appears strong in the Mazda 2-based crossover, however. Mazda Australia says there have been 35,000 requests for more information and 8500 hard sales leads for the CX-3. By comparison, the recently launched 2 city car had 4000 leads.