Mazda back on the rise

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - MOTORING -

ONLY a few years ago, Mazda seemed to be fac­ing an un­cer­tain fu­ture when Amer­i­can gi­ant Ford re­lin­quished its con­trol over the Ja­panese car maker due to the 2008 world fi­nan­cial cri­sis.

But, as it turned out, Mazda’s sub­se­quent gam­ble of in­vest­ing in new fuel-ef­fi­cient tech­nolo­gies has paid off well for the com­pany.

Re­cently, Mazda an­nounced pos­i­tive re­sults for the first-half of this year with the com­pany rak­ing in a healthy op­er­at­ing profit of ¥74bil (RM2.3bil) and achiev­ing a sub­stan­tial rev­enue growth to ¥1,254bil, with a global sales vol­ume fore­cast of 1.335 mil­lion units for the fis­cal year end­ing March 2014.

News from across the globe has been largely pos­i­tive, es­pe­cially in Malaysia where the brand has ex­pe­ri­enced its high­est ever sales so far.

Un­der the lead­er­ship of Datuk Ben Yeoh, ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Ber­maz Mo­tor, the sole dis­trib­u­tor of Mazda cars in Malaysia, the Mazda brand is ex­pected to ex­pe­ri­ence a strong resur­gence in the coun­try over the com­ing months.

The big­gest high­light of the year for Mazda is the for­ma­tion of Mazda Malaysia, a joint ven­ture com­pany with the Mazda Cor­po­ra­tion, to un­der­take man­u­fac­tur­ing ac­tiv­i­ties on our shores.

The lo­cal as­sem­bly of the CX-5 has proven to be a suc­cess, with more than two-thirds of the units pro­duced in Malaysia now be­ing ex­ported to Thai­land – this in­cludes the 2.2L diesel vari­ants, 2.5L petrol vari­ants as well as the 2L petrol vari­ant.

“The suc­cess of the lo­cal as­sem­bly op­er­a­tions will lead to more com­pletely knock-down (CKD) pro­grammes be­ing planned for both the Malaysian and Thai mar­kets,” says Yeoh.

On the lo­cal front, Ber­maz Mo­tor has an­nounced that it achieved its goal of sell­ing 8,000 cars this year in Oc­to­ber, and the com­pany is bullish about next year’s prospects with the in­tro­duc­tion of the new Mazda 3 C-seg­ment sedan.

Yeoh be­lieves that Mazda’s cur­rent and up­com­ing prod­uct line-up is in the right stead to ben­e­fit from the poli­cies that will be laid out in the up­com­ing Na­tional Au­to­mo­tive Pol­icy (NAP), which in­dus­try ru­mours sug­gest will be fo­cused on en­ergy-ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cles (EEVs).

“With the in­tro­duc­tion of the new NAP, we be­lieve there will be changes in cer­tain leg­is­la­tion and tar­iff com­po­si­tion to en­cour­age en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly ve­hi­cles and EEVs. By next year, all Mazda prod­ucts will have SKY­AC­TIV tech­nolo­gies and to meet the gov­ern­ment’s ob­jec­tives for lo­cal in­dus­trial ac­tiv­i­ties, Mazda Malaysia will em­bark on a few more CKD pro­grammes,” he says.

Min­is­ter of In­ter­na­tional Trade and In­dus­try, Datuk Mustapa Mo­hamed re­cently said that the new NAP will be an­nounced on Jan 15.

Be­sides adding new mod­els to their line-up, Ber­maz Mo­tor will also be con­tin­u­ing their ef­forts in en­hanc­ing their own­er­ship pro­grammes by im­prov­ing their fa­cil­i­ties and ex­pand­ing their ge­o­graph­i­cal cov­er­age in Malaysia.

The new Mazda 3.

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