New SUV will probably do without a stripped back entry-level model as most private buyers are interested in more fully equipped models.
The just-unveiled Mazda CX-30 is unlikely to be offered with a true base or entry model when it arrives in Australian showrooms in 2020.
The company’s new model structure follows on from revamped pricing of the latest Mazda 3, which also no longer offers a stripped-back entry-level model.
Speaking to CarAdvice at the Geneva motor show today, Mazda Australia boss, Vinesh Bhindi, explained the reasoning behind dropping the entry model of the Mazda 3, a decision he says will likely be carried over to the CX-30.
“With Mazda 3, when we looked at our private customer base, 90 per cent of them decided or chose not to look at our entry model,” Bhindi says.
“So, at that point we decided, well, let's spec and bring options to the table for the majority of buyers, which means if we don’t have an entry grade in our catalogue, it’s okay because our customers have told us it’s not something they want to consider.
"They do consider what is value for money and a good value proposition, but entry is not where we are.”
The Mazda 3’s strong success rate with private buyers is something Mazda Australia is hoping to repeat with the CX-30, which sits between the CX-3 and CX-5. By going exclusively after the private segment, Bhindi believes it can leave fleet buyers, who are more often interested in the base models, to other manufacturers.
“I am not saying the industry doesn’t have entry grades, the industry does, it is probably sizeable but it’s for a different audience. Rental cars, and maybe an entry grade car for first-time buyers.
"We are not giving up a huge amount. What we are giving up from the catalogue is one option, what we are bringing to the range is multiple options. I would say CX-30 would take a similar path, but too early to say.”
Mazda’s image amongst private buyers is one that is slightly more upmarket than other mainstream brands, a point Bhindi says will be emphasised with new models.
“Amongst the private buyers we do understand that [slightly upmarket] is the position. Our newer models, with Mazda 3 and CX-30 will actually take another step up, not just with the quality, but the options we offer, standard safety, the features that consumers find a must for convenience, the technology they just want.”
As for how much the new CX-30 will cost, that remains to be seen.
The new Mazda 3 now starts at $24,990 before on-road costs, up $4500 over the outgoing Neo Sport base variant.
Given that, it’s likely the CX-30 will have a similar or, perhaps, a slightly higher starting price point, but will come packed with plenty of features that would otherwise be missing from an entry model.