Mazda is another manufacturer who has managed to turn what was a horrendous 2008 for automotive manufacturers globally into something of a positive. Mazda Australia has posted a 2.7 percent increase in annual sales, improving on its previous record, for a total sales figure of 79,826 vehicles sold.
The result cements Mazda as the best-selling full-line importer for a fourth consecutive year while also tightening its grip on fourth position outright.
Mazda's 7.9 percent share of the Oz new vehicle market was up 0.5 percent from 2007 and was one of the highest increases posted by a top-ten manufacturer.
Mazda Managing Director Doug Dickson put the results into context:
"This is a strong result for Mazda, especially in such challenging times. Mazda outperformed the market by 6.3pc, and was one of only two brands in the top ten to post significant year-on-year growth."
"Our Stylish, Insightful and Spirited passenger cars underpinned Mazda's eighth year of growth in the last nine. Mazda's CX range of SUVs and BT-50 light commercial came close to setting an all-time LCV record for Mazda, too."
The Mazda2, which we reviewed and ended up winning the 2008 TMR Best Drive, Best Value award in the light car category, was another stand out performer for the brand. A 70 percent increase in sales brought total figures to 15,797.
The Mazda3 continued it's strong performance, falling just short of its best year ever in its fifth and final full year of sales before the new model hits dealerships. In total, 33,755 Mazda3s zoom zoomed their way out of dealerships in 2008, contributing to Mazda's unprecedented 10.2 percent share of the Australian passenger car market. The Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6 were all among the top three in their respective passenger car segments.
Dickson trumpeted the year ahead for Mazda highlighting the new Mazda3 and MX-5 Roadster as the models to watch. We've liked what we've seen from Mazda in 2008 and the motoring public tends to agree. We, and others, will be looking forward to what Mazda has in store for 2009.