Speaking to CarAdvice at the Mazda technology forum in Frankfurt this week, the recently appointed boss of Mazda Australia, Vinesh Bhindi, said there is no simple answer to why Mazda does so well locally, but it's a mixture of multiple factors.
“My belief is that - and I have been here for almost 23 years - is the [business] consistency,” Bhindi said.
“The Mazda brand has been present in Australia for a very long time, and even in those periods where we weren't as large as we are now, we were still recognised as a quality product. But I think over the decade the things that the Mazda network, our dealers, our staff, the support we’ve had from Mazda corporation - it really adds up to where we are.”
In the first half of this year, Mazda remains the second-best-selling brand behind Toyota, with sales up 2.3 percent to 71,024 units. It comfortably leads traditional market podium finishers Ford and Holden, and is in fact competing with Hyundai as its closest competitor on numbers.
That sales success is as much about the dealer network and infrastructure as it is the product, Bhindi says.
“The product is exactly how the Australian consumer wants it and desires it.”
Perhaps the biggest key to Mazda’s success remains its focus on the private buyer, and less so on fleet sales.
“[It’s] not changing focus where our energy goes which is the private buyer and those are the keys things and it’s the same product going globally from the same factory.”
Bhindi confirmed Mazda will continue to stay away from the fleet market, and the brand is renowned for not discounting its vehicles to meet targets.
“Our focus is private buyer - mums and dads - that’s where our strength is and that's where our focus is. Fleet is not our focus.”
The Australian market remains a very important region for the Japanese brand, which in return also means our market has had larger input into the product than otherwise would be viable, with Mazda engineers spending a fair bit time in Australia understanding the market conditions and requirements.