Mazda to Reinvent Target

by : Kraig Johanssen

Deputy Managing Director of Mazda Sales (Thailand) Company Bruno Charvet said yesterday that an economic arena that forces consumers to spend and consume with greater awareness is in trouble due to the declining domestic automobile sales.

He assured the public that the company will religiously keep an eye to the continuously severing situation. He further said that any automobile market is subject to fluctuations. This means that whether they are in a good economic environment or not, there are always external factor that affect the business so any thing can happen. He added that in 2005, the local market was wealthy but became unhealthy in terms of sales in 2006 as well as this year. But with his thought of auto market sales fluctuations made him react that the scenario was not anymore a surprise.

Except for motorcycles, domestic automobile sales in the five months to May dropped 14.3 percent year-on-year to 239,292 units. Sixty-seven thousand four hundred seventy-six (67,476) units were accounted to cars; while the 171,816 units were accounted for commercial vehicles that included 150,319 one-ton pickup trucks. The figures were based on the compiler of sales figures for the industry - Toyota Motor (Thailand) Co.

The continuously declining sales were blamed to the slow economic growth, lack of certainty in the political outlook, and unease situation in the southern border provinces. All these resulted to a weaker consumer confidence: delayed decisions to purchase new cars and greater mindfulness in spending.

Mr. Charvet said that the company would have to reinvent its sales target since the overall market is not performing well.

Nonetheless, the company will try its market share to remain at the existing levels regardless how the entire automobile industry sales turn out this year. The company is therefore implying that Mazda must force higher sales volume so that existing market share will be maintained.

At, 3.7 percent, Mazda has set a market share goal for BT-50 one-ton pickup truck and 4.6 percent for the Mazda 3 sedan. This year, Mazda targets to achieve sales of 16,500 units wherein 13,000 would be BT-50s and 3,500 units would be Mazda 3 sedans.

As of last month, Mazda vehicles' sales had already grown 13 percent from a year earlier. As of May the company sold 6,655 units.

With these figures, Mr. Charvet said that Mazda anticipated that at the end of this year, its sales would reach 16,500 units as targeted.

Just recently, the company introduced a small alteration in the Mazda 3 to energize the domestic automobile market.

Sureethip La-ongthong, the Marketing Director, said that the latest Mazda 3 offered both 1,600cc and 2,000cc engine categories. All are equipped with premium-grade accessories the same as those found in the European brand leaders.

The ''activematic'' gearbox indicating gear mode, volume-control buttons on the wheel, projector headlights, fog and tail lights with LEDs, automatic air-conditioning system, a 6-CD/MP3 player, two front airbags and remote-control keys are the accessories included.

For the 1,600cc version, retail prices start from 816,900 baht and 1.019 million baht for the 2,000cc version.

About Mazda Motor Corporation

A Japanese automotive manufacturer, Mazda is based in Hiroshima, Japan. The company is expected to produce 1.25 million vehicles per year as of 2006. Its sales are evenly divided among Japan, Europe and North America.

Thirty three point four (33.4) percent of Mazda's controlling interest is owned by Ford Motor Company.

Mazda Motor Corp. is the company behind every .