Mazda is not planning to build cars in Europe despite posting increasing sales in the continent. According to Mazda Europe chief executive Jeff Guyton, the carmaker believes that cost efficiencies are gained from a large plant, adding that this could outweigh the benefits of local production.
Guyton told Automotive News Europe that their intention is to have manufacturing scale, which provides scale economy and quality through repeatability.
Mazda posted a 5.4-percent increase in sales in the first six months of 2013 in the first half in the EU and EFTA countries to 74,419 units, boosted by strong performance of models like the CX-5 crossover and new Mazda6. The carmaker was also able to hike its market share to 1.2 percent, according to industry association ACEA. Mazda currently imports all its vehicles sold in Europe from Japan.
According to Guyton, Mazda is unlikely to ever sell enough vehicles in Europe to justify constructing a site in the continent. He noted that Mazda would need to sell around 200,000 units of a single model to justify the building of a local site.
He said that in Mazda’s best year in Europe, the carmaker sold only around 320,000 cars in its whole range. He said that if he could double that sales record, local production may make sense in Europe. He said that at the moment, building cars in the region doesn't make sense. Mazda will introduce its new Mazda3 compact hatchback and sedan in Europe at the end of 2013.
Mazda3 is distinct for not offering a downsized gasoline turbocharged engine as it features the carmaker’s SkyActiv technology. Guyton said that Mazda focuses on "real-world fuel economy" gained by its SkyActiv technology of lightweight engines, transmissions, body and chassis.