Mazda Australia’s updated Mazda2 light car has jumped a significant $5500 in entry-level form, but the Japanese brand believes the move upmarket is a justified one.
Speaking to CarsGuide, Mazda Australia marketing boss Alastair Doak said the repositioning of the its cheapest model is in line with buyer expectation and the brand’s push upmarket.
“I think our customers, and our direction, is that we want to have more standard features, and when you do that, obviously the price point goes up,” he said.
“We thought that was an appropriate time, and to keep it consistent with the new generation of product – Mazda3 kind of set that, established that position in the marketplace.
“We thought we should pull Mazda2 up as much as possible – the (new) entry model is a Maxx Plus in the old nomenclature.”
It is understood that the outgoing Mazda2 Neo – which kicked off at $15,570 before on-road costs – made up around 40 per cent overall light-car sales for the brand.
For the 2020 model year, the Mazda2 will open at $20,990 for the renamed G15 Pure hatchback and sedan with a manual gearbox, making it just $1720 cheaper than the mechanically related CX-3 small SUV.
However, Mazda Australia boss Vinesh Bhindi said expectations are that the added equipment will mean higher resale value, and therefore better long-term value for the customer.
“You got to keep in mind, in particular when we look at safety technology; it is our view that the consumers who are buying cars with safety technology, when in three to five years’ time – and in some cases longer, especially in our case being private buyer focussed – when they bring that car back to the market, if it doesn’t have the safety features that we’re making standard right now … you can imagine the value impact they will have on the asset, he said.
“Yes, the entry price goes up, but it comes with the value equation, safety features, convenience features and other technologies with it.
“It really is protecting the investment, more so than not having, and you will remember the days when airbags and ABS first came out, they were expensive luxury items, and then eventually it became standard, and there was a point in time where cars without those features were seen as something that did not meet consumers expectations at the time.”