New 3 to boost Mazda's fleet presence
06 April 2009
Author: Tom Webster
Mazda 3 rear
Mazda is aiming squarely at the fleet market with the launch of its new lower medium hatch, the 3.
Mazda's managing director Jeremy Thompson said: "The old 3 didn't get into fleets, but this one will because of the diesel engines."
Thompson said the brand's target customer was the end user that is looking for something a bit different: "We have just launched this engine range in the 6 and we are advertising directly to user choosers.
"We are aiming at people looking for an alternative to the mainstream choice."
He predicted business drivers would take a significant chunk of 3 sales, saying: "We expect to sell 11,000 to 12,000 this year, with a third going to fleet."
Residual values, traditionally an area where Mazda is strong, are expected to be unaffected by the running out of the old model.
"We have sold out of the old Mazda 3 so we don't have that problem," he said.
Thompson predicted the 150PS 2.2-litre diesel would be the most popular version for company buyers, but the sub-120g/km 1.6-litre diesel will also be of interest, as will the stop-start petrol engine that is expected in two months' time.