Look at the sales charts and, overall, Mazda Australia and its current eight-vehicle line-up is hitting the mark with buyers, helping the local division lay claim to the title of second-highest-selling brand in the country, and more than 10 per cent market share. But it's so far done so with only one commercial model – the Mazda BT-50.
“I think that the context is that we very publicly say that we are about the private buyer and that we believe our product, our dealer experience, and our aftersales experience is very much tailored to a private buyer,” Mazda Australia public relations senior manager Karla Leach told CarAdvice.
Speaking to CarAdvice at a recent Mazda MX-5 generations drive event in Northern Victoria, Leach acknowledged that while a broader range of commercial vehicles could boost sales further, for now at least, the brand is focussed on its existing models.
“Our product range really strongly correlates with what private buyers are looking for, so at the moment, we think we have the best line-up that suits our target customer.
“Obviously, the market moves and consumer tastes change, and we’re always monitoring and gauging that, but at the moment, we feel that the line-up that we’ve got at the moment best reflects where our customer’s demand is, and where we feel we best meet the needs of the Australian market.”
Proudly responsible for the top-selling medium SUV in the country – the CX-5 – as well as the third-best-selling small car in Australia – the Mazda 3 – year-to-date, Mazda can also claim the best-selling small SUV with the CX-3, second-best-selling light car with the Mazda 2, and third-best-selling medium car with the Mazda 6.
Conscious of Mazda’s smaller “footprint”, research and development capability, and production capacity compared with other, larger, manufacturers, Leach said the marque simply isn’t big enough, at this stage, to expand its commercial range beyond the BT-50 – currently the country’s seventh-best-selling ute/pick-up.
“Even at full capacity, where we are now, we can’t be everything to everyone, just by pure nature of the size of the organisation,” Leach said.
“So I suppose… what we do, we do well, and we focus on that core. And I think that that’s probably part of the success of where Mazda sits at the moment, because we’re quite focussed on the resources that we do have.”
Ranging from $25,570 to $53,790 (before on-road costs), the BT-50 is offered in single-, freestyle-, and dual-cab configurations, with 4x2 and 4x4 drivetrains, and a choice of two diesel powerplants – a 110kW/375Nm 2.2-litre four-cylinder and a 147kW/470kW 3.2-litre five-cylinder.
For context, Mazda has no direct rival for the likes of the Citroen Berlingo, Fiat Doblo, Ducato, or Scudo, Ford Transit, Hyundai iLoad or iMax, LDV G10 or V80, Mercedes-Benz Sprinter or Vito, Renault Kangoo, Master, or Trafic, Suzuki APV, Toyota HiAce, or Volkswagen Caddy, Crafter, Multivan, or Transporter.
What do you think though? Would you consider buying a Mazda-badged commercial vehicle other than a ute/pick-up? Let us know in the comments section below.