Mazda achieves highest growth in Thai auto market with 15% sales increase in 2015 seven new models to be introduced this year with 10% sales growth target

Automotive Press Releases Thursday January 21, 2016 10:57
Bangkok--21 Jan--Mazda Sales
Mazda is number 3 passenger car brand in 2015
Eyeing SUV market leadership with 16-per cent share

Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co. Ltd. has announced significant business success in 2015, with a record of 5 new models launched into the market and customers praising the SKYACTIV technology. Mazda sales in 2015 were close to the 40,000-unit mark, reflecting a 15% growth that is the highest in the market, and this year the company is maintaining the sales momentum in order to become a truly premium brand.

A total of 7 new models will be launched in Thailand this year, complemented by full marketing strategies throughout the year. Competition within the Thai automobile market is expected to grow more intense than ever in 2016. Mazda will be launching sales campaigns as well as introducing new retail pricing due to the new excise tax structure, in order to stimulate sales as well as achieve its sales targets.

Mr. Hidesuke Takesue, President of Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co. Ltd., said the automobile market during the first quarter of this year is still affected by last year's economic crunch, and is in a state of recovery before returning to normal situation during the second half of this year.

"Recovery will take place slowly starting from the second quarter and even though purchasing power is still low in general, Mazda is still able to follow its business plans effectively. Mazda believes that the total market will be higher than 800,000 units this year thanks to strong demand in the passenger car and SUV markets. Mazda has proven our capability last year by becoming the third best-selling brand in the passenger car market, and this year the SUV segment will be another important market. Mazda is confident that we will become one of the top brands in this market this year."

Last year's automobile market and economic situation has resulted in changing consumer behavior, with people looking for vehicles that answer to all their requirements, Mr. Takesue said. Consumers are comparing information and making decisions more by themselves, rather than following the market trend. This allows Mazda to increase our communications channels with customers.

"If we look more closely into the market, vehicles priced from Bt500,000 to Bt1 million enjoyed continuous sales growth last year. At the same time, eco cars have been launched by many manufacturers and they have very affordable prices. However, heavy promotions were needed to convince customers to purchase them, and this shows us that it's not only the retail pricing that consumers consider before making placing an order. What actually drive sales in the present day are products that respond to every requirement of the customer, and coming with suitable pricing. This is one of the marketing strategies that Mazda has been using to generate sales in 2015, and the result is thundering success for our brand," he added.

Mr. Takesue said 2015 was a huge success for Mazda, and as the total market finished at 797,000 units approximately (Mazda internal projection), Mazda was able to achieve sales of 39,471 units. Mazda was the only brand in the market with exceptionally high growth of 15 per cent compared to 2014, where Mazda sold 34,326 vehicles for a 5-per cent market share. Sales of each model are as follows.

All-New Mazda2 19,091 units up 181% 8.9% market share
New Mazda BT-50 PRO 8,054 units down 38% 2.5% market share
All-New Mazda3 7,143 units down 20% 17.3% market share
All-New Mazda CX-5 3,832 units down 32% 3.1% market share
All-New Mazda CX-3 1,321 units NA 1.1% market share
Mazda MX-5 28 units NA
Mazda CX-9 2 units NA

Success in 2014 is also attributed to the introduction of 5 new Mazda models in the Thai market, allowing the brand to cross all boundaries and create a bigger difference. These new models received tremendous customer response and were able to answer to all requirements in each segment.

New Mazda models launched in 2015 include:

1. All-New Mazda2 coming with 1,500cc SKYACTIV Clean Diesel and 1,300cc SKYACTIV Gasoline engines as well as hatchback and sedan body styles. Additional models also came with LED headlights, Daytime Running Lights and rearview camera, giving the Mazda2 great value-for-money. The Mazda2 also boasts a segment-best fuel economy of 26.3km/liter (diesel version) and features safety technology all-round, becoming the only sport premium subcompact in the market. Image is enhanced by the Mazda2 brand ambassador Napat Siangsomboon, a highly-talented model and actor.

2. New Mazda BT-50 PRO gets a sportier evolution with the "Tough as Life" concept. It comes with a powerful commonrail diesel engine and was able to create much fanfare in the pickup market with average sales of approximately 700 units per month.

3. All-New Mazda CX-3 is the freestyle crossover that gives a new experience to Thai customers, targeting those with outstanding lifestyles. Attractive KODO design and SKYACTIV technology, plus i-Activesense safety features are joined by a choice of 1,500c SKYACTIV Clean Diesel and 2,000cc SKYACTIV Gasoline. The CX-3 has been creating much hype to the market and is able to generate continuous strong sales.

4. All-New Mazda MX-5 is the iconic sports car which returns with new design that wakes up the sportiness in you. Its exceptional performance provides drivers with fun-to-drive character, with swift response and precise control the "Jinba-Ittai" way. The MX-5 is the world's most popular roadster that makes it into the Guinness Book of World Records.

In terms of vehicle assembly, last year Mazda was able to achieve all targets, substantially with production increase for both the domestic and export markets. Engine and transmission plants were also built in Thailand and started operations last year. Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co. Ltd. was opened in late 2015, further proving Thailand's importance as a production and export hub for Mazda, apart from facilities in Hiroshima and Hofu in Japan, as well as in China and Mexico. The new production facilities in Thailand will enable Mazda to supply enough vehicles for its 44,000-units sales projection in this market in 2016, reflecting a 10% increase from last year. Mazda is also hoping to achieve a 5.5% market share this year, its highest ever in the Thai market.

Mr. Takesue added: "Factors that enabled Mazda to achieve tremendous success and over-the-top sales performance last year were the confidence of customers towards the Mazda brand, which has been strengthened significantly. The Mazda brand is a premium brand that customers can easily experience in every dimension, whether it is the beautiful KODO design that reflects the driver's taste, or the powerful engine and excellent driving dynamics. Among the innovations offered are the MZD Connect online system, i-Activesense safety system plus fuel-efficient and eco-friendly SKYACTIV technology. Suitable pricing and great value are also contributing factors, along with showrooms and service centers offering excellent service to customers both before and after sales."

Due to the new carbon dioxide-based excise tax structure which took effect since January 1 this year, retail pricing of Mazda models in 2016 has been increased as well as lowered according to the model, with Mazda absorbing part of the burden and offering increased equipment level for customers as follows:

1. All-New Mazda2: New pricing has been announced since December 2015, with price dropping by Bt21,000 after entering the Eco Car Phase 2 program that carries stringent environment and safety standards. From the previous 17-per cent excise duty, the Mazda2 now enjoys 14-per cent duty thanks to its exceptionally low CO2 emission of under 100g/km, resulting in the lower retail pricing.

2. New Mazda BT-50 PRO: Although the excise duty for pickup trucks is raised for certain models and body styles due to CO2 requirements, Mazda confirms old pricing for the BT-50 PRO, making it easier for customers to own a Mazda pickup.

3. All-New Mazda CX-5: Presently there is no price change as the new pricing will be announced for the new model to be introduced in the near future.

4. All-New Mazda CX-3: No change in pricing that was first announced in November 2015, with E85 gasohol compatibility and passing the emission levels required by the new excise tax, allowing customers to enjoy this freestyle crossover at reachable prices.

5. New Mazda3: Price increase from Bt5,000 and Bt14,000, with increased value from additional equipment that not only helps lower fuel consumption but also CO2 emissions effectively. Apart from E85 compatibility, the Mazda3 comes with i-Stop, rearview camera, and Smart Keyless System for the 2.0C model upwards, while the 2.0SP also gets beige/black seat and door panel upholstery for a sportier appeal.

Thee Permpongpanth, Marketing Director, added: "This year Mazda is preparing to launch as many as 7 new models to expand our product lineup and reach more customers. "After being successful with penetrating the various customer groups in the passenger car range last year, this year Mazda will work on a new group of customers, targeting those with unique and outstanding characters. We will also concentrate on looking after the customer and providing the highest satisfaction in order to create brand loyalty, leading to old customers helping us find new customers by sharing their positive experience with the brand. In addition, building the brand image to become outstanding and building up product strength in every segment is also important. We will concentrate on four key pillars that are Mazda's trademark which are SKYACTIV technology, KODO design, MZD Connect and i-ACTIVSENSE. Brand loyalty will be achieved by offering high-quality products.

In terms of after sales service, last year Mazda opened a new parts distribution center in Thailand which is also its largest in the Asean region, and carried out crucial developments aimed towards excellence and superior standards, giving confidence to customers that they will receive the best products and services from us. Mazda will not be just a brand that customers choose, but will be a brand that is loved by the customers who will recommend Mazda to their loved ones as well. This will also lead to the growth of the Mazda community in Thailand.

"As for our sales growth this year, we need to look back at what happened last year – we found that most of the customers with high purchasing power are based in Bangkok. We have adjusted our strategy to suit customers in Bangkok and upcountry, in order to create fluency in the work process. As for Mazda dealers who are the brand representatives all over the country, much work has been done in maximizing their potential so that they can move ahead effectively and generate sales. Every showroom plays a part in strengthening the Mazda brand and helping Mazda to achieve premium brand status, with future growth ahead. We are planning to introduce dealer management policies to achieve high standards that we will maintain countrywide. You can expect to see a new Mazda showroom concept which is more contemporary and reflects Mazda's premium brand status," he said.

"With the great success that Mazda achieved, the company is also determined to give back to Thai society with even more CSR activities. We will concentrate on education and transferring knowledge that is beneficial for motorists in Thailand," he added.

"These are the driving forces that will take place and continue our success story, making Mazda a brand that customers cherish and trust," Thee concluded.

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