Mazda counters industry doldrums with new advanced technology to fuel 26% growth and surpass new vehicle sales of 21,000 units

Automotive Press Releases Monday July 25, 2016 14:53
Bangkok--25 Jul--Mazda Sales

Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd recently revealed its unprecedented market success of the company's business operations in the first half of 2016; Mazda posted new vehicle sales of 21,000 units of its entire model range, a 25.7% growth rate which exceeded expectations – and more importantly catapulted Mazda to the 3rd-best selling brand in the assembler car segment of the Thai automobile market.

Mazda's overwhelming success was attributed to customer confidence in the automaker's unique brand-building strategies which highlights world-class quality of Mazda with the underlying concept of Skyactiv technology. Mazda will introduce new models and its advanced technology in the latter half of 2016 comprising of 3 models to spearhead its annual sales target of over 42,000 units.

Hidesuke Takesue, President of Mazda Sales (Thailand) Co., Ltd, said, "The current overall vehicle market in Thailand is feeling the effects of the economic downtrend since the end of 2015. The first 6 months averaged vehicle sales of about 60,000 units due a barrage of internal and external factors. The first half of 2016 saw total vehicle sales of about 370,000 units, while the latter half is expected to be brighter with a volume of 410,000 units."

Mr. Hidesuke added, "Mazda is confident that the industry will absorb demand of over 780,000 units by year's end owing to positive factors which will drive the total vehicle market to reach the forecasted target. "The factors contributing to the domestic market's annual sales target of 780,000 units are as follows:

ü Private sector consumption and spending of consumer durables increased due to an improvement of household purchasing power from higher agricultural product prices and alleviation of drought problems. Overall consumer spending power of households are gradually improving.

ü Spending of consumer durables in the automobile and motorcycle segments are showing signs of improvement based on increased sales in May and June when compared to the same period last year. After a brief downtrend which coincided with an expansion of automobile leasing during the same period when compared with last year. A key factor that fueled the aforementioned growth came from aggressive sales promotion campaigns that stimulated vehicle sales; in addition to the various new vehicle model launches by Mazda and its competition.

ü The tourism sector expanded 7.6 % over last year which served as the primary stimulus of the local economy of Thailand.
ü The 1st Car policy is entering its 5th year of car ownership, thus creating the opportunity for consumers to consider new alternatives which meet their purchase requirements.

ü Changing customer trends: consumers are looking for a vehicle product that meets their integrated and discerning requirements in function – the vehicle product has to be modern, deliver a sense of pride in ownership experience with more enhanced technology levels.

That said, research results by Mazda revealed that consumer behavior is experiencing a paradigm shift – demand for an automobile capable of delivering a complete range of multi-purpose functions that focus on discerning customer requirements. Customers research product data, conduct comparisons and carefully though-out purchase decisions; or are extra careful in their decision making, while pay interest in the technical details of the vehicle.

Mazda is still adamant in its ability to achieve annual sales volume of over 42,000 units. The local economy is showing signs of improvement starting from the start of the 2nd quarter via new model introductions to the market; in conjunction with more aggressive and effective Aftersales policies which emphasize personalized service for customers as the top priority aimed at strengthening the Mazda brand and transforming Mazda as the automobile brand which customers love.

In the first half of 2016, Mazda will continue its momentum of success when compared to 2015, especially in the first 6 months of this year, new vehicle sales has increased when compared with the same period last year. Mazda's market share of 5.7% is unprecedented and its highest (since Mazda started its business operations in Thailand), more importantly Mazda's sales growth of 25.7% is the market's highest when compared with the same period last year. As the total vehicle market of 370,000 units is contracting, Mazda has achieved sales of 21,160 units for 5.7% market share, when compared to last year's total of 16,837 units. Mazda vehicle sales in the 1st half of this year is divided into the following category segments:

ü Passenger cars 13,500 units, up 23% when compared to last year's total of 10,986 units.
ü Sport Utility Vehicles 4,512 units, up 160% when compared to last year's total of 1,734 units.

The continuous strong sales momentum of Mazda after a barrage of new product launches under the 6th Generation Products, resulting in Mazda achieving 5.7% market share. Mazda captured 13% market share in the passenger car segment, enabling it to clinch the 3rd spot in automobile rankings in passenger car sales. As for SUV sakes, Mazda posted 8.0% market share (including PPV), while achieving 18.6% market share in the SUV segment (excluding PPV).

Moreover, Mazda vehicle sales is still showing positive growth signs and market resilience when compared to other automakers. The aforementioned sales success of Mazda is a result stemming from external factors – Mazda's Skyactiv technology, KODO design concept and the overwhelming customer response leading to word-of-mouth phenomenon.

In addition, Mazda has enhanced its product lineup with new models and attractive sales campaigns aimed at stimulating customer interest – while attracting customers to the Mazda brand at all times. Another success factor is the launching of 5 new Mazda products last year, including model changes, and addition of accessories in 4 models during the first half of 2016; including the effective brand communication of Mazda's ability to surpass the existing limits of drivability resulting in a new unique era and differentiation from the conventional – which was greeted with positive response that exceeded expectations. All of the above met the requirements of every vehicle segment in the truest sense.

Mazda vehicle products that spearheaded the brand's success in the first half of 2016 consisted of the following:

1. The 2016 Mazda2 passenger car features the Skyactiv Clean Diesel engine with a 1500 cc displacement and the Skyactiv petrol 1300 cc which is offered in hatchback and sedan variants; additional models feature new LED headlights and rear view camera, and the Day Time Running Lamp technology which includes the new Excise tax price structure for automobiles capable of achieving fuel efficiency and are environment-friendly.

2. The Mazda2 has lowered its price tag based on the new Excise tax which enables for affordable ownership. The Mazda2 now features excellent value, value-for-money and earned its way into the hearts of the customer by becoming the best-selling Mazda model.

3. The New Mazda CX-5 is packed with Mazda's 4 Key Pillars, the KODO design concept, Skyactiv technology, I-Activesense safety system, and the connection to the world of communication with the ultimate MZD connect system.

4. Mazda offers the Skyactiv Clean Diesel 2200 cc engine in the 2WD and AWD versions; the Skyactiv petrol 2000 cc with enhanced premium sporty features with the newly designed LED front lamps which adds movement to the SUV segment and higher sales volume on a continuous basis.

5. The addition of a higher equipment level for the Mazda3 passenger car consists of the i-Stop feature which contributes to improved fuel efficiency.

6. Customer deliveries of the legendary Mazda MX-5 Roadster in January marked the end of the long anticipated wait for enthusiasts who have had a fascination for this iconic roadster which has helped brand image for the Mazda brand.

Mr. Hidesuke said, "The latter half of 2016 will see Mazda emphasize the incorporation of technology in its products to enhance driving performance and fuel efficiency to meet the discerning functional needs of customers and stringent standards. As for Mazda's plan to increase sales volume this year, Mazda will emphasize stronger image and value for the brand. This will be combined with sales promotion campaigns to stimulate sales."

He added, "Based on Mazda's first half year performance in 2016, it is clear that Mazda is an automaker with the highest growth rate resulting from successful measures designed to strengthen the brand and focused effort to position itself as a premium brand which Mazda initiated in 2015," Mr Hidesuke then commented, "And in the latter half of 2016, Mazda is still confident of its ability to grow its business continuously by achieving annual sales of 42,000 units by year's end with 5.4% market share and the 3rd best-selling brand in the passenger car segment."

Thee Permpongpanth, Marketing Director, said that apart from the 4 Pillars of Mazda which is developing continuously, "The latter half of 2016 for Mazda will see the introduction of new technology to Thailand and an emphasis on creating various values of the Mazda car being delivered to customers. Such values consists of functionality of emotions and happiness to create value for the Mazda ownership experience...meeting the needs of the younger generation who want more than a car but demand a product that reflects their individual personality and the creation of a unique lifestyle along with a fun-filled motoring performance,"

Mr. Thee added that apart from the perfection of engineering functionality, the product quality of Mazda strives to raise its world class quality standard to be one and the same all over the world. Through Mazda's production line which uses a single platform all over the world, and a single global production standard which caters to building customer confidence in Mazda's quality for customers all over the world."

Apart from the unprecedented sales success of Mazda this year, Mazda will place top priority on its Aftersales service operations, customer service strategy aimed at creating the best customer ownership experience of a Mazda car, development of human resources in sales and service with an emphasis on servicing customers. At the current moment, survey results indicates that Mazda has improved its Customer Satisfaction Index in Aftersales service when compared to 2014 ratings in the area of technical service advisors and service reception centers. This is a positive sign which reflects the devotion and determination of Mazda towards taking care of the Aftersales service needs of the customer, especially in the area of Cost of ownership. Mazda has continuously improved its operations as seen in the 2015 JD POWER survey which Mazda ranked 1st in the Passenger car category for SSI or Sales Satisfaction Index.

Mr Thee Permpongpanth added that Mazda's journey was driven by sheer determination till today, "Mazda is not merely a brand chosen by the customer but a brand that they love and will recommend to the ones they love until it expands to a larger community that loves Mazda. The current customer base of Mazda has always been an integral part of the brand itself. We organize customer activities and Mazda Lovers Club every year…our objective is to encourage customer participation and inherit the special relationships between the brand and customer on a continuous basis."

Examples of aforementioned activities are the Mazda Motorsport Day and the Jinba-Ittai Academ, both aimed at promoting love and special bond with the Mazda brand until the customer becomes a Brand Ambassador. The Mazda Brand Ambassador is an important voice, while other activities to be held this year will promote good relations with customers – after Mazda achieved success in penetrating customer groups of every passenger car segment this past year.

The following resulted in current customers creating new customers which eventually grew into a tight-knit family that shared good customer experiences from generation to generation.

The past success and determination to reach the designated goal in the future, armed with a steadfast mission objective, total confidence in the economy of Thailand, development of new advanced technology transfer to the local market economy of Thailand – all of this is what will drive Mazda to unchartered territories in the latter half of 2016 – to bring upon even more success to a brand that is determined to earn the confidence and trust from now till eternity.


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