Mazda Australia wraps busy 2018

mazda car badge 2018

The year is about to wrap up and for Mazda Australia 2018 was another successful, and very busy one.

The Japanese manufacturer, consistently the second-best selling car brand in Australia, launched 12 new or updated models into the market through the year.

These included the new addition to the Mazda range, the CX-8, as well as updated versions of the MX-5, CX-3 and BT-50.

We were in Melbourne yesterday for a function with the Mazda Australia team where details of another updated model were confirmed – the big-selling CX-5.

For 2019, Australia’s most popular SUV gets a new engine option – the 2.5 litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol unit as found in the CX-9.

Delivering 170kW and 420Nm, the SkyActiv-G engine will only be available in the higher grade GT and Akera models with prices starting from $46,970.

It takes the number of different variants of the Mazda CX-5 to 14 with four engines now available (2.0 litre and 2.5 litre naturally aspirated and 2.2 litre turbo-diesel), as well as a manual transmission (base model only), and 2WD and AWD options.

The Mazda CX-5 also picks up an enhanced version of the impressive G-Vectoring Control system, it now delivers, according to Mazda, a smoother feel when working to help stablize the vehicle on wet and slippery roads.

Updated suspension settings also feature, along with some interior tweaks – in cluding new climate controls.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto now also feature in the mid-size SUV as standard.

Lastly, and by no means least, the Mazda CX-5 also boasts a full suite of safety and driver assist features as standard across the range for 2019.

These include:

  • Smart Brake Support (SBS)
  • Mazda Radar Cruise Control (MRCC)
  • Driver Attention Alert (DAA)
  • High Beam Control (HBC)
  • Lane Departure Warning (LDW)
  • Lane-keep Assist System (LAS)

Priced from $29,770, some minor price increases feature across the 2019 Mazda CX-5 range.

Meantime, Mazda Australia Managing Director, Vinesh Bhindi, says he can’t see the brand moving away from having traditional passenger cars in the line-up.

At a time when Australian car buyers increasingly move towards SUVs, Mazda’s passenger car models, Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6, all lost ground in the sales race this year.

Mr Bhindi saying a lot of people, himself included, still enjoy driving a car more than an SUV and that he felt there would always be a place for hatches, sedans and even wagons in the market.

“So long as the models (i.e. Mazda 2, 3 and 6) are available to us we will offer them here,” he said.

The Mazda Australia boss also said he expected a similar sales result for the brand in Australia in 2019.

Until the end of November, Mazda delivered 103,151 new vehicles to Aussie buyers, a 4.6% dip on the same period last year.

Mr Bhindi saying a number of factors have led to the slowdown in the local car market this year, including the drop in house prices in the major cities and the tightening of lending rules in the finance industry following the banking royal commission.

But he said business and confidence is still good, or improving, in Australia and this should see the car industry enjoy another solid year in 2019.

And what else is on the horizon for Mazda? The local boss said he was looking forward to welcoming the new-generation Mazda3 to showrooms around mid-2019.

While a new BT-50 is also in the pipeline, and Mazda could be about to reintroduce a rotary engine…although this time the Wankel engine will be used only an electrical generator in future hybrid models.

“We will continue to bring to market models that provide a source of joy and excitement and that ingnite emotions.” Mr Bhindi promised.

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