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Mazda Australia expects another record sales year in 2017, with the market’s number-two brand projecting it will move about 119,000 units.

This figure would give the company market share of around 10 per cent, and supplant the all-time full importer record it set last year of 118,217 units.

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Mazda’s strong sales goal will be supported by the rollout of significant new product such as the just-launched, second-generation CX-5 crossover that is expected to remain Australia’s number one SUV, plus mid-cycle updates for the Mazda 2 (this week) and CX-3 (in May).

The Japanese brand — which has an unusually strong foothold in Australia compared to most other markets globally — is off to a strong start in 2017, belying an industry-wide sales drop of 2 per cent to be tracking even, at 30,462 units to the end of March, growing its market share to 10.9 per cent.

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This makes it the clear number two behind Toyota (48,514, 17.4 per cent share), well ahead of Hyundai on 8 per cent, Holden on 7.2 per cent, Ford and Mitsubishi on 6.6 per cent, and Nissan on 5.4 per cent.

Doing much of the heavy lifting is the new CX-9, which is performing “above expectations” with 2314 units over Q1, almost on a par with the Toyota Kluger.

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This more than offsets declines on the Mazda 2, Mazda 3 and Mazda 6, all of which are suffering from the market-wide fall in passenger car sales. The BT-50 (3531) and CX-3 (4555) are tracking about even, while the MX-5 is avoiding major second-year sports-car blues thanks to the still-new RF hardtop.

Despite the market-wide drop of 2.1 per cent so far in 2017, Mazda Australia believes the market will stabilise thanks to a strong second half and hit a new record level of 1.19 million annual sales.

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Recently appointed Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi told us this morning that the company foresaw a slight up-kick in demand over the second half, based on key economic data, forecasts and other drivers such as key new product from multiple brands.

Mazda Australia’s double-digit market share is among the highest in the world, and its model mix is certainly the richest.

MORE: 2017 Mazda CX-5 GT review
MORE: March 2017 new vehicle sales in Australia
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