Lay out the sil­ver ser­vice

Capped costs make Aus­tralia’s true favourite an even bet­ter buy

The Courier-Mail - Motoring - - News - PAUL POTTINGER CARSGUIDE ED­I­TOR

OWN­ERS do it any­way, now it’s of­fi­cial — your Mazda need be ser­viced but once a year. Bet­ter yet, ev­ery sched­uled ser­vice is capped for the length of own­er­ship.

A new capped price pro­gram, Mazda Ser­vice Se­lect, does away with the out­dated six monthly/10,000km for an an­nual pro­gram that — ac­cord­ing to fig­ures sup­plied by the car maker — makes the al­limpor­tant new Mazda3 one of the cheap­est com­pact cars to own (see ta­ble).

The pro­gram is in­tro­duced next week with the new 3, to be im­ple­mented on all mod­els by June. The 10,000km limit re­mains but, rather than pay for twice-yearly ser­vic­ing, own­ers need to re­turn to the dealer an­nu­ally.

“Mazda Ser­vice Se­lect means our cus­tomers are not locked into a sched­ule that may not re­flect their driv­ing habits,” Mazda man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Martin Ben­ders says.

“The av­er­age num­ber of kilo­me­tres trav­elled by our cus­tomers has dropped from 15,000km five years ago to 13,000km to­day.

“That means a typ­i­cal Mazda cus­tomer will only have to ser­vice their car ev­ery nine months or so, mean­ing just four rather than six trips to their dealer over three years. Mazda Ser­vice Se­lect main­tains the 10,000km ser­vice in­ter­val as the vast ma­jor­ity of our cus­tomers are pri­vate buy­ers.

“They have told us and con­tinue to tell us that they think the 10,000km in­ter­val pro­vides a reg­u­lar safety and tech check of their ve­hi­cle, en­sur­ing both its longevity and stronger re­sale value.”

From next weekend a full list of ser­vice prices will be view­able online. The price of ev­ery sched­uled ser­vice is capped for the life of the ve­hi­cle.

Ben­ders em­pha­sises this dis­tin­guishes it from the ma­jor­ity of capped ser­vice pro­grams which ex­pire in five, but usu­ally, three years.

Carsguide had un­stint­ingly crit­i­cised Mazda for ad­her­ing to an out­moded ser­vic­ing model — to the ex­tent of be­ing ready to dis­qual­ify the Mazda3 from Car of the Year con­sid­er­a­tion.

How­ever, Ben­ders at­tributes the change to none other than the brand’s buy­ers who were in gen­eral sim­ply ig­nor­ing the six­monthly stip­u­la­tion.

“Cus­tomer feed­back (was) the rea­son,” he says. “Ser­vice pric­ing is not the most crit­i­cal $5325 $5971 $6098 $6700 $6823 $6850 el­e­ment and the vast ma­jor­ity are happy, but some are look­ing for a pro­gram not tied to a strict six-month in­ter­val.”

Ben­ders says the pro­gram is de­signed for the brand’s over­whelm­ingly pri­vate own­er­ship — a tacit jab at the Corolla. The Toy­ota edged the out­go­ing 3 for the best sell­ing car of 2013, though its num­bers are swelled by fleet sales.

Like the den­tist but less pain: The com­ing Mazda3 hatch, left, and sedan need only an­nual ser­vic­ing

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