Mazda claims franchise success

There are now 160 Mazda dealerships across the UK and only three territories without a Mazda dealer – the lowest out of any brand.

Mazda owns 2.4 per cent of the UK market, but the brand is steadily growing according to Mazda UK Managing Director Jeremy Thomson.

He said: "Return on sales for most of the 160-strong network is above the industry average and actually increased last year from an average of 0.8 percent to 1.5 percent.

"This is not just attributable to having the right dealers in the right place selling the right products but also to a number of business innovations."

Mazda topped the Automotive Sector in UK Customer Satisfaction Index by the Institute of Customer Service and Thomson believes this has led to more people wanting to buy from Mazda dealers and more demand for franchises.

Dealers describe Mazda UK’s approach to business as ‘an absolute breath of fresh air,’ and have praised the company’s understanding and commonsense approach to retailing.

In total, twenty new dealerships joined the Mazda network in 2009, which includes five Perrys Mazda dealerships in Barnsley, Huddersfield, Blackburn, Portsmouth and Preston.

Thomson says some of the most recent franchises have had up to nine different dealers interested in selling Mazda cars and he has promised a ‘significant new partner’ will be announced later this year.

The growth in franchises has been backed up by strong sales performance as the company sold 50,000 vehicles last year for only the second time since it came to the UK in 1969.

Sales were boosted by the popular Mazda MX-5 roadster and the facelifted Mazda6 hatchback and estate models.

"It is very rewarding to see the faith both our traditional smaller family-owned franchises as well as the big groups have in Mazda and I am sure points to even better times ahead for us despite the challenges 2010 will bring," continued Thomson.

He added: "Mazda can justifiably claim to be the UK’s franchise of choice."