Thailand serves as focus of Mazda's Southeast Asian push
- November 30, 2012
Published: 29/11/2012 at 12:00 AM
Bangkok Post / Newspaper section: Business
Mazda plans to achieve its midterm sales target in Southeast Asia of 150,000 units a year by 2016, with Thai sales representing two-thirds.
SkyActiv, Mazda’s fuel-saving technology and Kodo design will help the Japanese carmaker to reach its goal, said Masahiro Moro, Mazda Motor Corporation’s executive officer for global sales and marketing.
The company stresses its design and technology, which provides more eco-friendly travel compared with competitors, he said.
”Mazda has a unique direction and standpoint,” said Mr Moro.
”We will not compete in areas where everyone is playing while we focus on creating a clear difference through our products.”
Mazda has started producing the Kodo-inspired CX-5 compact crossover and will introduce it to the Thai market in the second half of next year.
Mazda has set a sales target in Asean of 150,000 units a year over the next three years with Thailand accounting for 100,000 units annually.
”Thailand is an important market for Mazda, and we need to launch products in a timely manner to create variety in our line-up in response to customer needs,” said Mr Moro.
Mazda achieved record sales of 42,000 units and a 5.3% market share last year, making Thailand the sixth-ranked country among Mazda’s markets.
”Our sales target for 2012 in Thailand has been raised to 70,000 units, a 70% increase, and we believe the final results will be even higher,” the executive said.
Mazda is poised to introduce seven new models globally in the next three years including the CX-5 but has yet to decided whether that model will be built here.
AutoAlliance, operator of the assembly plant in Rayong, is capable of stepping up production or expanding capacity, so Thailand could potentially produce the CX-5 locally.
So far, Mazda has joined with a local partner, Bermaz Motor Bhd, the sole distributor of Mazda in Malaysia, to produce the CX-5 for Malaysia in next year’s second quarter.
But a spokesman for Mazda Sales (Thailand) said the CX-5 built in Malaysia will serve only local demand, and the parent company will consider building the new model in Thailand.