Mazda positive about global sales on new compact SUV CX-5
The CX-5 only just landed on our shores in May, and Mazda has already increased their international production for the year.
Despite headlines of “doubled” production numbers, the line is being pushed by 40 000 units per year. With production expanded to an extra plant – Ujina Plant Number One – and upgrades made to the assembly line, the company hopes to meet reported “strong demand for the CX-5 in countries all over the world.”
What makes it special?
This crossover SUV is the first to see the full suite of so-called SKYACTIV tech installed – measures which truly make a difference in fuel economy and emissions. Still, the South African market has stiff competition in this segment, and it remains to be seen whether this “strong demand” will ring true for imports here as well. At R309 000, it’s competing in a class that’s predominantly filled with vehicles with AWD systems. As we’ve noted, the CX-5 is only available in 4×2.
Pushing production, pushing sales
Still, globally Mazda has received orders far over their initial estimates. For that reason, they’ve upped global sales targets for the year from 160 000 to 190 000 units (fiscal year, 2012). Takashi Yamanouchi, president and CEO at Mazda, said:
“I am grateful for the high praise the CX-5 has been receiving from customers all over the world. This production capacity increase… demonstrates that we are working hard to deliver the vehicle to waiting customers as early as we possibly can.”
SKYACTIV engines by the thousands – PETROL & DIESEL
What is doubling is Mazda’s annual production capacity of the SKYACTIV engine, which has been pushed to 800 000 units by October 2012. This includes both diesel and petrol engines. The petrol engine has the world’s highest compression ratio (for a mass production petrol engine), to overcome “knocking.” The diesel engine, in turn, has the world’s lowest compression ratio for a mass production diesel mill. The diesel engine will appear in the Mazda CX-5 first, and in the Mazda 6 at international launch later this year.
Just a sales ploy, or part of the Mazda promise?
Mazda global’s sales target by March 2016 is a whopping 1.7 million units, with 80% of that being SKYACTIV tech units. From this it’s safe to assume that SKYACTIV technology is to become a part of all Mazda products, and not a separate “economy derivative” as seen with the BlueMotion models at Volkswagen.
Read our review of the new Mazda CX-5 2,0 litre Active model in the August issue of Leisure Wheels, on sale 16 July 2012.
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