Mazda to ramp up corporate sales profile in Europe
At present, around half of all Mazda's European fleet sales are in the UK and the Netherlands, where the company has seen its established corporate focus pay dividends with year-on-year rises in volumes to around 20,000 units. This has been due to a strong focus on both the leasing sector and end-user blue chip fleets. The success in winning corporate sales business in these markets means that this strategy is being used as the template for Mazda's European fleet development.
The manufacturer has said that it is looking to win cross-market corporate sales and increase business-sector penetration in a string of individual countries.
To that end, Simon Monks, who has more than 12 years' experience in fleet and aftersales in the UK and across Europe, has joined Mazda's European Fleet Operations team as manager, international corporate sales, and a second international corporate sales manager will be appointed shortly.
Speaking of Mazda's strategy, Mr Monks, who reports to James Hopkins, director, European fleet operations, said: 'Across Europe we are working to raise awareness of the desirability and attractiveness of Mazda in the eyes of company-car drivers, while making fleet decision-makers aware of the competitiveness of vehicle total cost of ownership figures and residual values versus rival models. Mazda has a strong brand image in a number of countries but particularly Austria and Switzerland, and we must capitalise on that and encourage fleet managers and company-car drivers to experience our complete model range.'
'A combination of a comprehensive and dynamic vehicle line-up,' he continued, 'featuring sports styling, high specification, a range of performance engines with low emissions as well as a powerful cost of ownership package has been successful in securing fleet business. We believe that message can be replicated across Europe as we take the brand to an increasing number of leasing companies and international fleets.'
While the main European fleet focus is in the core markets of Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and the UK; Mazda Motor Europe also currently supplies vehicles into fleets in a number of other countries including Austria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Sweden and Switzerland.
The European Fleet Operations department secures new international business from its base at Mazda Motor Europe's headquarters in Leverkusen, Germany. Fleet success is also being won at a national level by dedicated fleet departments located in Mazda's key European markets.
Mr Hopkins said: 'The fact that we are currently co-ordinating a tender that will see vehicles supplied into 24 different European markets underlines our capability.'
The European's team philosophy is to "think globally and act locally" with tenders responded to and contracts managed centrally, but vehicles supplied at a national level with each country's fleet department forming a personal relationship at a local level.
Crucially, virtually all of Mazda's national sales companies are subsidiaries of Mazda Motor Europe and not run by independent companies, which is the route taken by many rival manufacturers.
Mr Hopkins added: 'That is a major advantage when we are co-ordinating pan-European fleet arrangements. We are one Mazda working for the benefit of each of our corporate customers.'