Scotland has become Mazda UK’s top retail area during 2004. Helped by a very strong dealer network, Mazda’s market share in Scotland has climbed to 2.5 per cent, well ahead of the rest of the UK.
"Scotland is by far our biggest dealer territory and we have very strong representation," said Rob Lindley, sales director of Mazda Motors UK. "Companies like Arnold Clark and Shields in Glasgow are doing really well, though all of the dealers have performed exceptionally and made it a truly memorable year for Mazda in Scotland."
Lindley is particularly encouraged by the calibre of new dealers being attracted to the Mazda franchise. Murray Mazda Edinburgh, part of the large multi-franchise John Martin Group, has just opened sites to the east and west of the capital city to help complete coverage of the country.
Phoenix Mazda, a new £1 million development, also opened in Linwood, Renfrewshire, in the spring and has shared in Mazda’s success during its first year with the franchise.
Lindley now wants the Scottish dealer network to open additional service points, especially in the more remote parts. "There are some places north east of Inverness, like Elgin, where our customers need to have local service points.
"Why is Mazda doing so well in Scotland? It’s a strong retail market for new cars and Mazda always does well in areas of high demand and competitive trading," he commented.
"Our best-seller is the Mazda6. This was Scottish Car of the Year two years ago and really kick-started Mazda’s renaissance in the country. It remains a phenomenal success in Scotland and models introduced more recently, like the RX-8 and the Mazda3, have continued to play a major part in this market."
Mazda’s top-selling dealer partner in Scotland is the fast-growing Arnold Clark group, which has more than 140 branches throughout the UK, making it the biggest private dealership in the country. Its Stirling, Paisley and Aberdeen showrooms sold a total of 245 Mazda RX-8s, 178 Mazda MX-5s, and 544 Mazda6s in the first 10 months of 2004. The group has also just added Mazda’s Kirkcaldy franchise to its portfolio.
"Mazda is a very good product, which is rising all the time," said Arnold Clark Stirling dealer principal Ian Ferguson. "The range is now such that it boasts comfortable, stylish and sporty models at affordable prices, and this is certainly reflected in our year-to-date sales figures."
These sentiments are echoed by staff at Mazda’s long-term Scottish dealerships, such as SDM Mazda in Falkirk, Bickets Mazda in Kilmarnock and Struan Mazda in Perth, who have all served as Mazda franchises for over 20 years.
Brian Aitken, dealer principal at SDM Mazda, said: "Mazda’s presence in Scotland is now at an all-time high. The product line-up is excellent and when, as a dealer, you believe whole-heartedly in the product you are selling, it makes going to work every day truly enjoyable."
To read our in depth road test of the Mazda6 [ click here ]Published 15 December 2004