Mazda CX-5 Closes in on 100,000 Units per Year, CX-3 Incoming

Posted by Stephen On Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

Throughout 2013, we were eager to point out what a great position Mazda was in. All of their most recent vehicles have received stellar reviews (eg. the new Mazda3 and Mazda CX-5) thanks to their breathtaking design and efficient SkyActiv technology suite.

Well, it turns out, we were right, and the numbers most clearly show it when you look at sales of the Mazda CX-5: During 2013, Wards Auto reports that 79,544 of Mazda’s redesigned CUVs rolled off US dealership lots, an 83% improvement over 2012. Mazda NA CEO Jim O’Sullivan believes that the Japanese automaker will keep the CX-5 snowball rolling in 2014, and hopes to break through the 100,000 units-sold mark before the year is up. That would put it officially into the top tier of CUVs, sharing company with other six-figure vehicles like the RAV4, Rogue and CR-V.

According to O’Sullivan, this staggering increase in sales – which extends across much of their lineup – is due to a number of contributing factors. Improved brand awareness in the US, a favorable yen-dollar currency conversion, a growing automotive industry, and of course a new Mazda plant in Salamanca, Mexico have all helped Mazda reach new heights of success.

But, there’s more…

Mazda is also reportedly looking to expand their SUV lineup with a new competitor in the compact crossover category. This new crossover would apparently slot in right below the Mazda CX-5, and thus be named the Mazda CX-3. It would also likely be based on the next-gen Mazda2 city car, a new version of which we’ll see before the end of Q2 (possibly in Geneva).

This report comes from the Japanese financial newspaper, Nikkei, and although Mazda has gone on the record calling the story “purely speculative”, the prospect of a Mazda CX-3 makes sense. In fact, if you look back to 2012 at an interview between CarAdvice and a Mazda official you’ll find the following quote: “We are now developing a more compact SUV [than the CX-5] – more for Europe and we must imagine emerging markets [such as] Eastern Europe, South America, India, etc.”

Furthermore, in the recent interview with Wards Auto, O’Sullivan explains that “We’re seeing really good, organic growth from our current-generation Mazda3 customers that have bought maybe (the old compact) Protege, then Mazda3, (and) now (are) moving into crossovers and the CX-S …[A smaller CUV] is something Mazda is always looking at. For us, we think there’s growth in small crossovers.”

Unfortunately, our current information indicates that if the Mazda CX-3 eventually does come to be, it will start its life in Japan-only, and only then would it be transferred throughout Europe. There is no indication anywhere that the US will ever see the CX-3, although it would seem like a waste. And, we already know that the new 2015 Mazda2 will be built primarily in the Mexico plant, so it would make sense that a Mazda2-based vehicle would also be built there.

Either way, we’re all stuck sitting on our hands for now. We’re really at the mercy of Mazda on this one, but hopefully we will learn more about the potential Mazda CX-3 when we see the Mazda2 city car, ideally at next month’s Geneva Motor Show. Until then, thanks for reading!

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