Two-pronged attack for Mazda fleet growth plan
13 November 2009
Alibon will boost daily rental in 2010
Mazda is looking to the new lower medium 3 model plus increased daily rental activity to grow its market share in 2010.
"In the core channels we need to do as much as we can and in the others we'll do as much as is healthy," Mazda fleet boss Peter Alibon told BusinessCar.
The new Ford Focus-rivalling 3 was launched earlier this year, and Alibon admitted it has taken some time for the new model to gain traction in the marketplace.
"The 3 has never done much damage in fleet before," he said, claiming there were 10 upper medium Mazda 6 models sold into core fleet channels for each previous-generation Mazda 3. "I'm realistically looking for [a ratio of ] 1:5 if we get close to the numbers set out for us to do but I aspire for 1:3."
Alibon also pointed to the sector being ultra competitive, with "a lot of money thrown at it by manufacturers".
"We've got good product but it's very price driven," said Alibon, who is also looking to take drivers eyeing a VW Golf or Audi A3, as well as those downsizing from the likes of Ford Mondeos and Vauxhall Insignias. "When you're competing in those segments you've got to get the message across about our levels of specification," he said. "What we offer is a good alternative, and people looking to downgrade out of premium would look at Mazda as a potential."
Daily rental also features on the horizon for next year, with Alibon looking to place around 1500 cars into short-cycle business.
"We're looking to re-engage, and are working on detailed plans for quarter one next year to do a level of major daily rental - a healthy level and mix of vehicles we can sell without impacting on RVs," said Alibon. "It is part of a strategy to get a presence, get cars on the road and to get good used stock," he said, pointing out that the remarketing manager is also the person at Mazda responsible for signing deals with daily rental firms, so that they will be dealing with the cars when they come back.
The plan is for 150 cars a month for 10 months of the year (the other two months are when Mazda's captive internal fleet changes over) with no more than half of the volume in any month being the same model.