12 Feb 2018 | 11.55 am
Interview: John Perry, Managing Director, Mazda Ireland
His favourite Mazda is the CX-5
12 Feb 2018 | 11.55 am
The new Mazda CX-5 SUV is a further step in the brand’s premium direction, says John Perry, Managing Director of Mazda Ireland
WHAT KIND OF YEAR DID MAZDA HAVE IN 2017?
It was a challenging year but Mazda still achieved growth of 2.04%. We launched the new Mazda MX-5 RF with a 2.0-litre petrol and retractable metal roof, and the all new Mazda CX-5. This SUV was first launched in 2012 and has received many facelifts and improvements since. The all-new model has again raised the profile of the brand. Interior quality improvements and new safety equipment allow us to compete as an alternative brand and is a further step in the premium direction.
WHAT WAS MAZDA’S MOST POPULAR MODEL IN 2017?
The Mazda CX-5. The all-new CX-5 is bolder and loaded with improved technology, but hasn’t lost the original CX-5 DNA. A host of new features, such as radar cruise control, auto opening/closing tailgate, projected heads-up display and active lane assist, make it one of the most complete SUVs in a very competitive segment.
WHAT IS THE BEST MAZDA EXECUTIVE BUY?
The Mazda6 is our flagship saloon and the car of choice for fleet customers as well as families. The powerful and efficient engines, coupled with G-Vectoring, allow for one of the best-driving large saloons on the market. For 181, we are offering a number of cost-saving offers, including up to €2,000 worth of upgrades, €3,500 on Eco upgrades, 3.9% APR or three years’ servicing.
WHAT IS MAZDA’S BEST FLEET BUY?
Mazda6 remains a favorite premium saloon for fleet customers and is truly a driver’s car. It offers more features and spec than premium brands, but the same comfort, reliability and refinement for a much lower cost. SKYACTIV technology ensures drivers get top-class efficiency without compromise on power, while G-Vectoring refines the handling of an already great driving machine.
WHAT IS YOUR BEST FAMILY BUY?
The Mazda3, Mazda CX-5 and Mazda6 are all quality family buys. The Mazda CX-5 remains a top family pick, with ample space for passengers and luggage and a suite of safety features. The Mazda6 loses little in safety features and space, so it is a personal preference of SUV over saloon.
WHAT NEW MODELS ARE ON THE WAY IN 2018?
We will have one or two new models in 2018, but these will be kept under wraps until early next year. 2019 will be a very exciting year for us, as we launch some new ground-breaking technologies, along with the start of our seventh generation product range.
WHAT’S YOUR VIEW ON THE FUTURE FOR DIESEL CARS?
Diesel still has a place in the market. Mazda will launch its SKYACTIV-X technology with our seventh-generation range, along with diesel-powered engines. This will ensure that Mazda’s efficiency is top class until alternative fuels arrive in the near future.
HOW HAVE STERLING WEAKNESS AND IMPORTS AFFECTED BUSINESS?
Sterling’s decline against the euro has had an unfortunate impact on the Irish motor industry, though Mazda is in a better position than the rest of the market. Price is always a factor with any large purchase but what some consumers may not realise is that the cost saving by importing a car involves additional risks and loss of initial customer service.
WHAT’S YOUR PERCEPTION OF BUYER SENTIMENT?
There is a slight uncertainty in the market with the current Brexit situation, the weakened pound and negative press on diesel. The economy is in good shape and the new car market is still positive, so we are in a good position regardless of the uncertainties that may be holding people off buying now.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE MAZDA CAR?
The Mazda CX-5 has always been a personal favorite of mine. I’ve been really impressed with the improved quality and handling, and the bold new styling. It’s the Mazda I choose to drive.
Mazda CX-5 (pictured)
Engine: 2.0-litre SKYACTIV-G Petrol 165ps 2 WD
Price: From €28,995
Pix: Jason Clarke