Mazda back on the rise
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.