Mazda continued its run during the first quarter as one of Europe’s fastest-growing carmakers. At 50,221 units, new registrations of Mazda models were up by more than 10,000 between January and March, or 26.3 per cent versus the same period in 2013. It was the largest gain of any volume automaking group in Europe, propelling Mazda’s market share to 1.5 per cent from 1.3 per cent one year ago*.
This came in spite of a resurgence in passenger car sales across Europe, where the overall market posted a year-on-year rise of 8.1 per cent. In fact, Mazda outpaced the individual markets in virtually every single country during the quarter. In percentage terms, Portugal recorded the biggest advance for the company at 141 per cent. Poland was next (up 62 per cent), followed by Sweden (+60 per cent), Spain (+47 per cent), Denmark and Ireland (both +44 per cent), Austria (+42 per cent), the UK (+38 per cent), and Germany (+24 per cent). Mazda also posted double-digit gains in Finland, France and Slovenia**.
Behind the growth: Mazda’s convention-defying new generation of cars, all of which feature the company’s revolutionary SKYACTIV Technology and stunning KODO designs. Lightweight, fuel efficient, safe and exceptionally fun to drive, but without compromising on Mazda’s characteristic reliability and class-leading ownership costs and resale values, the popularity of these highly acclaimed vehicles has helped drive the carmaker back to sustainable profitability.
The company completed the European rollout of the all-new Mazda3, its latest model, during the first three months of the year. The new compact has been an unequivocal success, most notably in Sweden – where first-quarter sales of Mazda’s compact increased by a factor of five – as well as in Denmark, Austria and Germany. The other two new-generation models have been very successful, too: Turnover of the Mazda CX-5 tripled in Denmark during the quarter and doubled in Ireland. In fact, demand for the compact SUV, as measured by customer orders in Europe, remains just as strong as it was at the model’s launch two years ago. And orders for the Mazda6, which has also been selling well, continue to grow by the month. Mazda plans to keep the momentum going with an aggressive launch programme of additional new models.
“We grew consistently last year in a contracting market, and now that car sales in Europe have picked up, we’re still outperforming the market by a wide margin across diverse geographies,” says Mazda Motor Europe COO Philip Waring. “Each successive positive quarter further underscores the sustainability, depth and vision of our approach, which is to supply unconventional and uncompromising cars that are within reach of a large share of the population.”
* Source for European figures: www.acea.be (European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association), New Passenger Car Registrations, EU28 + EFTA (excluding Malta)
** Sources for national figures: www.statistik.gv.at (Statistics Austria); www.bilimp.dk (Danish Car Importers Association); www.aut.fi (Finnish Automobile Sector Information Centre); www.ccfa.fr (French Automobile Manufacturers Association); www.kba.de (German Federal Motor Transport Authority); www.beepbeep.ie (SIMI Motorstats, Irish Motor Industry), www.pzpm.org.pl (Polish Automotive Industry Association); www.autoinforma.pt (Automobile Association of Portugal, Data Centre); www.ads-slo.org (Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Importers of Slovenia); www.anfac.com (Spanish Association of Car and Truck Manufacturers); bilsweden.se (Swedish Association of Automobile Manufacturers and Importers); smmt.co.uk (UK Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders)