Class-leading residual values for the all-new Mazda3 are set to send the Japanese marque’s fleet sales into orbit in 2004 following a record-breaking 2003.
Fleets choosing the newly-launched lower-medium sector contender ahead of a raft of rivals including the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Peugeot 307, Renault Mégane, Nissan Almera and Vauxhall Astra will save themselves around £2,000 over three years/60,000 miles in some cases, according to residual value experts CAP Monitor.
Couple that residual value bonanza with ultra-competitive three year/60,000 mile wholelife costs from Fleet Audits, and list prices that undercut almost all competitors, and the Mazda3 will be a cash winner with fleet decision-makers and company car drivers alike.
Mazda fleet sales almost doubled to more than 11,000 units last year largely on the strength of the multi-award winning Mazda6, which delivered operational savings to fleet managers and tax savings to company car drivers.
Following the success of Mazda6 in the fleet marketplace, Mazda went on to win additional new corporate business with the Mazda2. That success is now continuing with the arrival of petrol-engined hatchback Mazda3 models in showrooms.
Saloon and the first diesel engine models will join the Mazda3 line-up in June and initial residual value projections suggest that the Euro IV-compliant 1.6-litre 109ps diesel model will be as high as its 1.4-litre 84ps, 1.6-litre 105ps and 2.0-litre 150ps petrol-engined counterparts.
Fleet sales are expected to initially make-up around 30% of total Mazda3 sales, increasing with the March 2005 arrival of a second Euro IV-compliant diesel engine model.