“We’ve got 20,000 hand-raisers for the car, people that are saying ‘keep me informed about it’ and we have over 5000 who want us to speak to them when it goes on sale," Doak said.
“With Mazda 2, we had about 4500 people at launch, so the numbers for CX-3 are very strong," he said. "As you do, you hope to get cleverer as you do each launch.
"Those numbers are very strong, we’re very happy with them and that’s because we haven't really done any kind of solid pre-launch campaign," he said.
Indeed, the interest level in the car appears huge, as CarAdvice's video review of the 2015 Mazda CX-3 has attracted nearly half-a-million views in just over a month.
“The amount of interest certainly is probably more than we expected, only because it’s an all-new nameplate in a new segment for us. You go in there with very low expectations of people's awareness," he said.
“Having seen the reaction from us, from dealers and from [the media], it isn’t a great surprise. We are very pleased with where it’s at."
In terms of the sales aspirations for the car, Doak suggested the key will be making sure it is positioned in the correct price bracket with the right spread of models available for buyers to choose from.
Mazda has already confirmed it will offer front- and all-wheel-drive versions of the CX-3, as well as the choice of a 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder or 1.5-litre turbo diesel four-cylinder engines with manual and automatic transmission options. “We have robust plans. We do some very intense research for these sorts of things and working out what is a reasonable number. Hopefully we’ve got that right," he said.
Asked if the CX-3 could steal the thunder of the CX-5 - the nation's best-selling SUV in 2014 - Doak indicated that the company wasn't too concerned about some cross-shopping occurring in showrooms.
“I don’t see it impacting sales of CX-5 very much. The research on CX-3 showed that the people who buy CX-5 are in that time of their life where they’ve got young kids or a pram in the back and baby seat. CX-3 really is a proper size down on CX-5, so there will be minimal impact on volume for CX-5," he said.
The all-new 2015 Mazda CX-3 goes on sale in April. Expect pricing to start in the low-$20,000s.