Mazda Motor Corp. has set its highest ever target for the Mazda3 compact car of 500,000 units worldwide, according to CEO Masamichi Kogai. The Mazda3, the automaker’s best-selling model, is also known as Axela in Japan. Last year, it made up about 30% of Mazda's global sales of 1.25 million vehicles.
Of this figure, approximately 40% of the Mazda3 vehicles were sold in North America (the biggest market of the company). At a news conference, Managing Executive Officer Masahiro Moro introduced the Mazda3 for the domestic market and told reporters that the company has to meet this target as it attempts to reach sales of 1.7 million vehicles set in its mid-term plan.
The Mazda3 rivals popular vehicles in the C segment like Volkswagen AG's Golf and Ford Motor Co.'s Focus. Mazda has made a full introduction of its fuel-efficient, profitable Skyactiv technology in the redesigned Mazda3. The vehicle started selling last September in the U.S. and it’s set to be available in Europe this month. It will go on sale this November in Japan.
For the first time, Mazda offers a gas-electric hybrid model that uses Toyota Motor Corp.'s hybrid technology, aside from gasoline and diesel powertrains. Kogai said that the hybrid model will only be available in Japan. Mazda seeks to sell about 60,000 Mazda3 a year in Europe and will offer both gasoline and diesel models. Meanwhile, just the gasoline powertrain is offered in North America.