16 April 2015
Dave Leggett | Waikato Times
It's the last piece in the Mazda jigsaw puzzle, the missing card in the Mazda deck.
The CX3 completes the set for the Japanese car maker, the latest new model that gives it representation in all the most important segments of the new car market.
The Mazda lineup consists of the small Mazda2, the compact Mazda 3 and the medium-sized Mazda6. And then there's the medium-sized crossover SUV in the form of the CX5 and the fullsized CX9. In the light truck area there's the BT50 ute and just to prove the company can build a competent sports car there's the MX-5, soon to be launched in third generation form.
Now there's a completely new model, the CX3, and it as important as any of those models.
This new car falls into the small SUV segment, the fastest growing in the new car market.
That segment is already making up about 9 per cent of new car sales, double the share it had five years ago and that's likely to continue to rise as more car makers bring out their own models to sate public enthusiasm for this type of vehicle.
So the CX3 couldn't have come at a better time for Mazda, already on a roll with their best model lineup yet.
In New Zealand Mazda had a huge 2014 riding the wave of booming new vehicle sales. It sold more than 8100 new vehicles last year and this year its success has continued with sales up by 8 per cent in the first quarter. Mazda New Zealand managing director Andrew Clearwater says the brand will break the 9000-unit barrier for the first time by year's end.
He sees the CX3 as one of the key models in the car maker's sales drive as the New Zealand public continues their love affair with lifestyle vehicles. He is already predicting the latest model would emulate the success of the larger CX5, the biggest seller in its segment and Mazda NZ's second most important model behind the Mazda 3.
Clearwater expects the CX3 will dominate the small SUV segment, his optimism helped by the pre-release enthusiasm for the new model from customers and a positive reaction from its dealers whose orders already stretch out for the next three months.
Mazda NZ expects the CX3 will make sales of about 1150 units in its first year.