The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 is smashing all-time Australian sales records, but proving just as invaluable is its ability to lure much-needed younger buyers to the badge.
The biggest year for the 27-year old Mazda MX-5 badge in Australia is 2006, when the then-new NC managed 1468 units.
But since August 2015, the new ND has managed 1251 — and remember, the 2.0-litre version didn’t launch until December, so the 1.5 carried the flag. Over a few months, it even reined as Australia’s top-selling sports car.
But perhaps more encouraging has been the demographic split. For the NC in its first year after launch, 76 per cent of buyers were aged 50 or above, with 32 per cent among this sub-set over 60. Just 7 per cent were under 39 years, and none were under 29. Remarkably bad for a fun sports car.
By contrast, 27 per cent of the ND’s buyers so far have been 39 or younger, with 14 per cent under 29. Mazda figures show that 19 per cent were 40-49, 28 per cent were 50-59 and 26 per cent were over 60 years. This is a much more desirable demographic breakdown for Mazda.
Clearly those big price cuts of about $15,000, to the current 1.5 starting price of $31,990 plus on road costs, paid dividends — a feat enabled in some part by the addition of the new base 1.5.
That said, since the 2.0-litre (from $34,490) launched in December, it has accounted for 65 per of deliveries, though after the initial rush phase the ledger is expected to balance a little.
Equally pleasing for Mazda must be the gender split. The old car was quite male-dominated, but 40 per cent of the ND buyers so far have been women. In terms of colours, 45 per cent of buyers have purchased the hero hue — Soul Red.
From early 2017, the whole Mazda MX-5 range will get a kick along when the new RF retractable fastback launches from about $38,000. Read about that car and watch our short video from the world premiere in New York.