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Mazda CX-5, BT-50 demand outstripping capacity

Mazda Australia is in danger of becoming victim of its own success, with the company unable to keep up with high demand for its CX-5 and BT-50 models.Mazda Australia managing director Martin Benders told CarAdvice the company is pushing to increase supply of the CX-5 and BT-50 to maintain the strong sales momentum achieved by the models in the first half of the year.

“We’re still likely to see over 105,000 total Mazda sales by end of year,” Benders said. “[But] the CX-5 has been an issue because global capacity was originally set up to produce between 140,000-150,000 units – whereas now demand is at over 200,000 units.”Particularly popular is the 2.5-litre petrol CX-5 that launched earlier this year. A spike in sales led dealers to shift orders away from other variants, creating a shortage of diesel models in showrooms.

Supply issues with the BT-50 are largely the result of additional demand for the vehicle in Thailand, after local subsidies were offered for first-time car buyers.The fact that Thailand’s industry-led incentive has recently finished should open the door to further allocation for Australia.Ute sales are currently booming in Australia, and with 4×4 variants top of most buyers’ lists, the Mazda boss wants the BT-50 to have bigger slice of the pie.

“We think we should be closer to the numbers that Ford is doing with the Ranger,” Benders said, referring to year-to-date sales that see the BT-50 trail the Ranger 8393 units to 12,344.

“With the current-generation BT-50 we think we have a more than competitive product, but we’re still only fifth in the segment so that indicates we could do better with more supply.”

Benders added that the BT-50 with the six-speed automatic transmission was the model that was resonating most with the local market.“That variant accounts for around 40 per cent of BT-50 sales and it’s still growing, so we should have more autos coming on stream in the second half [of 2013],” he said.

Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013

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