Mazda6 in price clamp

More peo­ple are mov­ing down to petrol mi­sers, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - News -

PRICE cuts of up to $3920 are be­ing used to bait buy­ers flee­ing from large cars. Mazda has dropped the price of its mid-sized Mazda6 by be­tween $1750 and $3920 to try to stop peo­ple go­ing di­rectly from a big fam­ily six to a fuel-miser com­pact.

It says sales of its new 6, rated best in class by cars­Guide, have not hit the tar­get of 1000 de­liv­er­ies a month and this has prompted a new move on value.

It has also acted on com­plaints from ex­ist­ing own­ers of the 6, which went on sale in Fe­bru­ary, with a loy­alty bonus.

‘‘To me, this is not a panic at all. This is about en­sur­ing we main­tain our po­si­tion in the mar­ket place,’’ Mazda Aus­tralia man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Doug Dick­son says.

‘‘The seg­ment in which the Mazda6 com­petes has gone back­wards. It’s im­por­tant. Mazda6 is core to us.’’

It is the first time in me­mory that Mazda has re­duced prices. It has pre­vi­ously boosted value with ex­tra equip­ment at no ex­tra cost.

Dick­son says private buy­ers have skipped the medium-car class as they quit gas guz­zlers. The move is af­fect­ing all brands, not only his.

He says car prices are also un­der pres­sure from ris­ing prices for raw ma­te­ri­als, in­clud­ing en­ergy.

‘‘The dol­lar ex­change rate is re­ally only part of the equa­tion when it comes to pric­ing. We look at what’s hap­pen­ing in the mar­ket place,’’ he says.

‘‘We’re ba­si­cally repo­si­tion­ing the Mazda6 to en­sure we re­tain our po­si­tion as the lead­ing im­porter in the class. The over­all strat­egy is to pro­tect our po­si­tion.’’

Dick­son be­lieves the price cuts will lift sales of the 6 to about 1100 cars a month, but he does not say which of his ri­vals are likely to suf­fer as Mazda im­proves.

The move is likely to spark a range of value-added moves by Mazda’s ri­vals, though the an­nounce­ment of the cuts on Tues­day took them by sur­prise.

‘‘That’s en­tirely up to them. What oth­ers do in the mar­ket place is their pre­rog­a­tive,’’ Dick­son says.

The cuts drop the Mazda6 Lim­ited Sedan by $1750 to $27,990.

The flag­ship Lux­ury Sports hatch is down by $3920 to $42,990 with Ac­tive­matic trans­mis­sion. Other mod­els are in be­tween. The loy­alty pack­age for ex­ist­ing own­ers de­pends on the car they bought, but Mazda prom­ises free sched­uled main­te­nance, or free sched­uled main­te­nance and an ex­tended war­ranty.

Sales push: the Mazda6 is tak­ing a price cut be­cause its seg­ment is go­ing back­wards.

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