Industry sales sustainable at 100k says Mazda NZ boss

Industry sales sustainable at 100k says Mazda NZ boss

Even though new car sales are starting to plateau, Mazda New Zealand managing director Andrew Clearwater believes that more than 100 to 130,000 units a year is sustainable.

“Private buyer confidence is high,” says Clearwater. “And with the growth in value of the residential housing market in Auckland, which is the region that accounts for 40% of new car sales, people can afford to finance a new vehicle.”

“New cars now offer very good value, the exchange rate is sitting where we think it should, and there is now the perception that with the current warranties on offer, buying a new car is much better value than buying a secondhand one,” says Clearwater.

Clearwater says that poor public transport options in Auckland and positive immigration continues to stimulate the new vehicle market as well as fleet sales.

“We’ve sold more new Mazda cars year-to-date in 2015, than the full year in 2009,” says Clearwater.

“The growth may be slowing in light commercials but passenger is still healthy. Mazda has enjoyed a growth in sales rate of 22.3% well ahead of the market at 4.8%, and we have grown sales now consecutively for 26 months.

“We currently sit in third place in new car passenger dales and in fourth place overall behind Holden.

Clearwater says that if sales of passenger cars to the daily rental companies were taken out of the equation, Mazda would be sitting at number two behind Toyota, and Holden would be in third place in overall sales.

“Rentals make up a very small part of our new car sales business but we do need to have some presence there, however our discount level is not as generous as the other players in this field,” says Clearwater.

“Operators such as Hertz are prepared to pay a bit more for a Mazda vehicle because they see the demand from their customers for such a vehicle.

“But it’s got to be a win-win situation for both, and it’s incremental business that does help to showcase our product to a different audience,” he says.

The recent launch of the small Mazda CX-3 SUV has also strengthened the companies retail offer according to Clearwater.

“People have shopped the CX-3 online but when they’ve come into the showroom they’ve seen it’s not quite right for their needs, but our sales people have been able to offer them a Mazda2, or a Mazda or a CX-5,” he says.

“It’s fabulous for us to have such a strong range of smaller cars, people can walk in the door and if what they thought they wanted wasn’t right, there will be something else on the floor that is.”

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