Mazda Canada and USA made a quick and nearly spontaneous decision earlier this year, and I think it was the right one.
By late 2014, the automotive media was abuzz with Mazda’s near future intentions on introducing three very key compact products: the all-new 2016 Mazda2, MX-5 and CX-3. Many of us wondered how this relatively small company was going to manage such a monumental task. Mazda even put on a big party during the Montreal Auto Show to inaugurate the arrival of their little "2" champion.
Then we learned that Mazda pulled the plug on the 2 launch for 2015.
The question was not exactly why as much as what were the details that led Mazda to make this wise decision. There are a few parts to the answer, and I’ll give you a brief breakdown of the two major points.
1- The CX-3
The principal reason is the arrival of what will most likely turn out to be a bestseller in the newly formed hotly contested small crossover utility vehicle segment: the all-new 2016 Mazda CX-3.
As this segment blossoms, manufacturers that manage to get their foot in the door early on are more than likely to get a larger portion of the sales pie, which is expected to continue to grow by roughly 20% within the next year.
The CX-3 is designed to offer more of everything (or nearly) over the competitors here, and the odds that it does succeed are very high. The subcompact car segment is not expected to grow and profit margins are far slimmer than in the CUV category.
2- Pacing themselves
As I’ve said, Mazda is not a large car manufacturer like Toyota and such; it is not in the habit of launching two or more new vehicles per year. The introduction of a new product is the best way to get noticed and to get media attention. This year, Mazda’s got two huge launches: the CX-3 and the all-new MX-5.
The CX-3 will undoubtedly be Mazda’s champion for the 2015-‘16 calendar years, while the MX-5 will be the sweetheart. The momentum behind the CX-3 and MX-5 will help support the promotion of the Mazda2, and thus Mazda’s work will be half done. Whether or not the car will be a hit is another thing. However, I’m sure the Mazda2 will bring its A-game once launched.
The logic behind the decision is evident and will surely pay off big time in the short and long run. I for one think this is a brilliant move.