Mazda UK is anticipating an increase in company car demand from outright purchase fleets and contract hire and leasing businesses this year.
The brand has successfully increased its penetration of public and private sector fleets that fund vehicles through outright purchase, Mazda Contract Hire and specialist leasing providers.
Last year those 'core' end-user fleet registrations accounted for 6,497 units out of total Mazda fleet registrations of 10,648 vehicles - up from 6,061 and 10,498 respectively in 2009.
This year, Mazda Fleet and Remarketing Director Peter Allibon is forecasting that end-user fleet registrations will be close to 7,500 units. That is equivalent to a 15 per cent rise in 'core channel' sales, which will be helped by:
- More Mazda franchise dealers focusing on their local fleet marketplace as they tap into the marque's Business Development Programme, which sees centres working in tandem with an outsourced specialist sales team to target corporate sales
- The introduction of a Fleet focused Mazda6 derivative that will be arriving later this year
- The arrival of the New Mazda5 1.6-litre 115ps turbo diesel with emissions of 138g/km
As a result of Mazda tightly managing its other fleet channels, including daily rental and Motability sales, Allibon is predicting that total fleet sales will be slightly down on 2010 levels.
However, he said: "Our relationships with end-user fleets and leasing companies continue to strengthen and that is manifesting itself in rising demand for Mazda cars. Consequently, end-user fleet registrations as a percentage of Mazda's total fleet sales will rise this year and account for at least 70 per cent of overall corporate volumes."
Last year Mazda's corporate sales team, which focuses on the management of major end-user accounts, reported registrations totalling 3,081 vehicles - a near 20 per cent increase on 2009's equivalent figure of 2,572.
Allibon said: "Such a significant increase was tremendous and we will be looking to continue to grow that element of our sales in 2011 alongside our leased business and small fleet volumes through our franchise dealers."
Mazda's success in increasing its corporate sales year-on-year despite seeing a reduction in total new car sales in 2010 to 45,449 registrations (2009: 47,934) was reflective of the overall new car market which saw a rise in registrations to fleets and small businesses along with a decline in private sales which was driven by the removal of the Scrappage scheme.
The Mazda6 was the model that put Mazda on the fleet map in the first decade of the 21st century, Allibon said: "The model continues to be Mazda's fleet best-seller, meanwhile demand for the Mazda3 keeps rising and corporate registrations of the Mazda2 and MX-5 also rose in 2010.
"Mazda delivers stylish and sporty vehicles at a competitive price with strong wholelife costs. This is continuing to prove an attractive proposition to fleet decision-makers and company car drivers. Additionally, specification-adjusted prices make the Mazda product range even better value versus our rivals."Published 3 February 2011