Australia’s top full importer, and the second top-selling car brand overall behind Toyota, has been operating (and steadily bursting out of) a now-pokey building down the road from this new site since 2001.
Back then, Mazda Australia had 130 staff and was the market’s number seven brand with 34,126 annual sales. Last year, it sold 114,024 and finished second, while that same office housed 215 staff.
In 2016 so far, Mazda sales are up above the market average amount, growing 7.7 per cent. Its market share is 10.7 per cent, and its sales are 20 per cent higher than the number three brand, Hyundai.
The new site fits Mazda Australia’s profile better, and also gives it a place to store its collection of classic Mazdas, including racing and road-going RX-7s, classic NA and NB MX-5s, a cream Cosmo and a rustic Capella.
Naturally, the swanky and extremely expensive new HQ brings with it the expectation that it’ll justify the expenditure. Mazda Australia is acknowledged by the company’s senior-most global executives as “best practise” already, but the pressure is still on.
Speaking at the opening, after a ceremonial breakfast Saké, Mazda Corporation’s visiting global director and senior managing executive officer, Yuji Nakemine, said 10 per cent was good, but the company could reasonably expect to do even better.
“I see opportunities there, I’m sure… if there is no local manufacturing (by the end of 2017, Ford, Holden and Toyota will have sht their local plants) all of the brands are going to compete based on the same import business model. We will have a level playing field for all brands.
“I see opportunities. I think maybe we should move ahead, because 10 per cent (market share) is a good number but still there are also still customers out there.”
Architecturally-designed, the new five-star green-credentialed HQ in Mulgrave will house Mazda Australia’s national and Victorian headquarters, and includes a new training centre that more than 750 Mazda dealer technicians annually will use to update their skills.
Mazda was recently set up as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO) allowing it to offer nationally accredited training courses delivering a Certificate III Light Vehicle Mechanical Technology qualification.
In addition, plans are in place to expand the dealer network from 130 to 134 within the next 12 months, positioned in high population growth corridors.