At a February 2 press conference in Tokyo, Mazda executive officer Yudai Aoyama said that the company was considering introducing a gasoline model of the CX-3 to boost its sluggish sales in Japan.
Speaking of the sales situation, Aoyama said, “Because there hadn’t been any new products until now, our strategy for 2016 was to make improvements to existing models. We started with an updated version of the Mazda3 in July. This boosted sales as planned for the Mazda3 and Mazda6. Where sales were sluggish was with the CX-3 segment.”
He said, “For the CX-3 and Mazda3, diesel became the driving force, but this segment’s strength is the ability to move around easily in short distances or urban areas. Since it appears that customers are looking for a better value, we are considering a gasoline version in order to focus more on high-volume sales.”
He further said, “Because we have limits to CX model production capacity, we are set up to produce only diesel models domestically. Through high volume sales of the gasoline version of the Mazda3, we hope to recover our CX-3 sales by offering customers safety, driving performance and luxury interior. We will expand the CX-3 grade for high volume sales in the medium term.”
Written by Tetsuya Komatsu
(Translated by Greg Scott)