If there’s a car bound to capture the hearts (and wallets) of Middle Australia in 2014, it’s the newly arrived 2014 Mazda3.
Mazda sold just over 42,000 of the previous model in 2013, making it the second-most popular car in Australia (second only to the Toyota Corolla). The year prior, the Mazda3 claimed top spot with over 44,000 sales.
The old 3 remained a favourite for private buyers: ignore Toyota’s heavyweight strength in the fleet market and the Mazda3 takes top spot for private sales, well ahead of the Corolla.
Now, with the all-new model so vastly improved (check out our first drive review here), is it a sure thing that the new Mazda3 will again dominate sales?
It’s more expensive than its Toyota rival, and with a new sedan coming to boost the Corolla hatch’s healthy sales numbers, it could be yet another close-run contest between Mazda and Toyota.
But, speaking with media this week, Mazda Australia Managing Director Martin Benders said the company expects the new 3 range to sell around 3800 units each month in 2014.
If Mazda can sustain that rate, it will sell more than 45,000 Mazda3 cars over the next twelve months.
And that’s not counting the initial sales rush, which the company expects to to add around 200 more cars per month.
Benders added that Mazda expects to sell an even 50:50 split of Mazda3 sedans and hatches, with the majority of those - around 75 percent - expected to be automatics.
The base model Mazda3 Neo is expected to account for 55 percent of sales, with the SP25 and SP25 GT being the next most popular models.
Mazda’s recently-announced lifetime capped-price servicing scheme is also expected to boost buyer interest, and gives Mazda a competitive edge against Toyota’s three-year/100,000km capped-price servicing scheme.
Look for greater detail on the Service Select program to come on February 1, and catch our earlier report here.