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Mazda Aims For Bigger Slice Of CUV Sales, Shoots For 50 Percent U.S. Sales

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On: Wed, Sep 23, 2015 at 9:41AM | By: Carl Malek

Mazda Aims For Bigger Slice Of CUV Sales, Shoots For 50 Percent U.S. Sales

With the recent surge in CUV sales, it is no secret that many automakers are recalibrating their plans to take full advantage of the increased demand. Mazda, in particular, has been eying recent developments and wants at least 50 percent of its U.S. sales to be CUV products, with the company aiming to achieve this ambitious goal in two to three years. This is key, as the company is trying to recover from a recent sales skid that came as a result of overreliance on the sale of low margin compacts.

This revelation came to light during an interview that was conducted by Automotive News with Mazda's Global Marketing Chief, Masahiro Moro. Moro revealed that he would like to see the company achieve an annual sales rate of over 300,000 units in the U.S. According to Moro, the quickest and simplest route towards that goal is by increasing the amount of CUV sales especially in the U.S. market where consumer demand and hunger for fresh CUV offerings has helped sales surge for many automakers. Looking at Mazda's current numbers, they are actually not that far off from achieving that lofty target. At the moment, sales of the Mazda CX-3, CX-5, and the CX-9 represent about 40 percent of Mazda's current U.S. sales. However, a key problem is that the CX-5 is currently doing the bulk of the work with the CX-3 just being launched, and the bigger CX-9 scheduled for a redesign of its own.

Prior to the appearance of the CX-3 and CX-5, Mazda was too dependent on sales of compact models like the Mazda3, a sentiment that was shared by Moro during the interview. The Mazda3 did account for 46 percent of sales back in 2010. But many customers who bought one saw it as a stepping-stone purchase and would leave Mazda for another brand when it came time to purchase a replacement vehicle. This highlights a broader problem with brand loyalty with Mazda's currently at an all-time low. Moro believes that CUV buyers will be much more likely to stay with the brand and that a strong showing in this segment could inspire buyers in other vehicle segments to stick with the brand when its time to purchase their next vehicle. The company also trimmed some necessary flab from its lineup with the recent announcement that it was discontinuing the quirky but slow-selling Mazda5 minivan.

It will still be a tough road for Mazda in its quest to restore some of its relevance in the automotive marketplace, but if the small Japanese firm can fortify its CUV sales and reach its sales target, it could allow the company to expand its sales push to other vehicle segments, especially in the mid size sedan segment, which has also seen a resurgence in demand from buyers. The Mazda6 is currently the brand’s only entry and while it has been vastly improved over prior generations, it is still behind segment leaders such as the Honda Accord, Ford Fusion, and the Toyota Camry.


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