The people-mover segment has recently expanded to include the all-new Honda Odyssey and will soon see the introduction of an all-new Kia Carnival, and while Mazda has a van that would be suitable for our market - the Mazda 8 or MPV, above - the company’s local managing director Martin Benders told CarAdvice there’s no interest in any such model.
“There’s a bit of new product – the new Carnival [due later this year], the new Odyssey. There’s a bit of movement, but it never gets up near the sales of CX-9s, Klugers and those types of SUVs,” Benders said.
“[That market segment] will have peaks, but [they’re not substantial],” he said.
“There’s a really nice MPV that Mazda makes which is based on the same platform as CX-9. It’s called Mazda 8 in Hong Kong and some markets, and called MPV in Japan,” Benders said of the model that could be offered here.
“It’s a good looking jigger for an MPV, it’s the best they’ve ever done,” he said. “But if you look at that segment, it’s about 10,000 units a year. If you look at the SUV segment, it’s 100,000 units a year. Maybe the large SUVs are about 30,000 or 40,000, but it’s still three or four times the size.”
Benders said the brand is looking to streamline its model offerings in the van segment, which could mean a more global-focused model.
“They’re rationalising that – they’ve got three vans in Japan. They’ve got the MPV, they’ve got the Mazda 5, and they’ve got this Biante which is one only a mother could love,” he said.
Mazda has never offered the 5 model, which is also known as Premacy. That badge has been seen here before, but not since 2003.