Mazda is expecting to top its sales target in Europe this year, to be buoyed by new models including the CX-5 crossover and Mazda3 hatchback. Mazda posted a 24-percent climb in sales in Europe in the first five months of 2014, disclosed Jeff Guyton, head of Mazda's operations in the region.
That is way beyond than Mazda’s expected gain of 7 percent full-year growth rate in Europe, with sales pegged at 170,000 vehicles. Mazda posted an 18-percent surge in deliveries in 2013 in a market that dropped 2 percent.
The European car market is recovering from a six-year slump that prompted a two-decade low in sales in 2013. Guyton expects the European market to grow modestly this year at around 3 percent. He noted that the auto industry in the region has already bottomed out, which means that from next year forward, carmakers will get a “little bit more constant growth."
Guyton remarked that he wants the Mazda6 to play a greater role in the carmaker’s lineup in Europe, which is currently led by the CX-5 and Mazda3 compacts. The CX-5 crossover remains Mazda's best-seller in Europe with a 38-percent growth to 25,444 in the first five months, according to data from JATO Dynamics.
It is followed by the Mazda3, at 20,251, and the Mazda6 at 14,691. Mazda is also seeking to target new sets of customers since the market's growth is seen to remain limited. He said that Mazda has additional opportunities particularly in company car fleets, noting that the level of technology and design and functional performance of the Mazda6 is already there.
Mazda posted a 25-percent gain in sales in the EU and EFTA markets in the first five months of 2014 to 76,956 units, according to industry body ACEA. Thanks to the sales surge, Mazda managed to up its market share to 1.4 percent in the first five months of 2014, up from 1.2 percent in the same period in 2013.