Changes to Mazda Strategy Resulted in Decreases; Leadership Unconcerned

02.13.17 - Mazda CX-9

When you operate a business there may be times when changes you make to the products and services you provide set you back a little before you regain the traction you once had. As long as you are fully aware of that fact before you take on the new venture, you can plan for and be prepared for the lean times that come before the increases. While the entire automotive industry as a whole showed impressive and record setting growth in the US for another consecutive year, Mazda had an overall decrease in sales.

Mazda reported they had a reduction in their sales of 6.4 percent compared to 2015. While there was one more selling day in 2015 versus 2016, this wouldn’t have represented this decrease. The majority of this reduction in sales comes from the movement of Mazda to steer away from fleet sales in order to focus more heavily on retail-only sales which do provide a higher profit margin overall. This movement was expected to cause a change in sales and a decrease, at least for this first year of change, even though the rest of the automotive industry in the US experienced an increase.

Some of the positives that came out of the sales for 2016 to give Mazda something to show they are headed in the right direction are found within the crossover SUV sales. For the year the CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9 all experienced a collective increase in sales of 13.6 percent in December. For the course of the year the total sales for these three vehicles was up eight percent compared to 2015 with a total sales if 146,843. This shows significant promise for the SUVs that Mazda has for us to drive and enjoy.

Individually the CX-5 posted its best ever month of sales in December with 11,989 sold which finished off the year with a total of 112,235 vehicles sold with represents a five percent year over year increase and the best sales year for this SUV. The CX-3 competed its first full year of sales which certainly added to the growth of this group with 18.557 sold for the year. The CX-9 was launched during the year and also had its best December to date with 2,594 models sold. This was an increase over the previous December of 115.5 percent giving the new large SUV a strong foothold.

The SUVs weren’t the only models that made impactful improvements for Mazda. One of the favorites, the MX-5 Miata showed up with a 3.8 percent increase in December with 733 models sold. The interest is high for the roadster with the new MX-5 RF model gaining attention and the full year sales for the entire trim line turning in sales of 9,465 vehicles which showed a 10.2 percent increase over 2015. The MX-5 RF was purchased 314 times in December alone, making it one of the hottest trims on the Miata and certainly one that should continue to grow.

While Mazda reduced its lineup by deleting the Mazda2 and the Mazda5 from the market and refreshed several models while taking the focus off the fleet sales, 2016 turned out to be an overall good year for the brand. Now that changes have been made and Mazda can move forward for this year with the lineup they have, the positive growth should show up this year as Mazda looks to continue to be a solid performer. The foundation of the three impressive SUV models makes it easy to see how Mazda can continue to be a leader in the automotive market.

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