Mazda to focus on achieving first-class RVs
While the carmaker says that its Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-7 have already been ranked by the influential opinion-informers either at the top of their respective segments or in second or third spots depending on market, it is looking to expand this to other models.
Nicola Murphy, manager total cost of ownership and fleet operations at Mazda Motor Europe, said: 'In the short term, our aim is to have Mazda models ranked in the top half of our competitor set. In the mid-term, Mazda models should always be in the top three.'
However, Mazda acknowledges that due to loyalty to domestic brands in some markets, it will be difficult to achieve a chart-topping position in all countries.
Key focus areas for the company include incentives given, volumes and sales channel mix, pricing strategy and vehicle running costs.
Ms Murphy added: 'Each country is focused on long-term end-user and leasing sales to both large fleets such as major blue chip companies, as well as local small and medium enterprises. We aim to keep business with rental companies to a planned volume and carefully manage vehicle disposal so as not to have a negative impact on residual values.'
Commenting on Mazda's rental strategy, she said: 'Rental sales, if used correctly, can play a significant strategic role in improving a vehicle's profile at launch and increasing fleet and consumer demand for Mazda, as drivers take to the road in a model they may not previously be familiar with.'
She added: 'A combination of all these actions, while continuing to work closely with the Mazda product teams to make sure that both residual values and total cost of ownership are key criteria when developing new models, will enable the brand to achieve its residual value and total cost of ownership aspirations.'
Steffen Schick, managing director of EurotaxGlass's Global Services Division, said of Mazda's announcement: 'Starting from a loyal retail customer base, Mazda has carefully grown its presence in the fleet sector helped by a stringent approach to depreciation management, which has helped protect residual values and thus also build the brand. We feel confident that the current brand-building activities will contribute to a further improvement of residual values.'