CX-4 not being counted on here

An all-new Mazda crossover positioned between CX-3 and CX-4 won't be sold in New Zealand – and potentially isn’t needed anyway, the distributor suggests.


ANOTHER addition to Mazda’s CX family just revealed ahead of its full debut next month won’t be available here but isn’t really required, regardless that it is portrayed as Hiroshima’s response to one of New Zealand’s most popular sports utilities.

That’s the response from Mazda New Zealand in regard to the CX-4, a little-changed production version of the sleek Koeru concept pictured here that debuted at the 2015 Frankfurt show.

Hiroshima has confirmed the model will go into production immediately after its full reveal at the Beijing motor show on April 25. However, it has also said the car is initially only for China, a comment backed up by Glenn Harris, general manager of vehicle sales and marketing for Mazda New Zealand.

He says there is no chance presently of New Zealand seeing a model that – despite having been given a designation that suggests otherwise – is intended to sit above the popular CX-3 and CX-5 and face off against the Subaru Outback.

“At present, this model is only being produced for the Chinese market. There are no plans for introduction to New Zealand.”

The Outback has become one of the biggest beneficiaries of the sports utility sales boom and is Subaru's best-seller. Mazda New Zealand is also doing well with the CX-3 and CX-5 and expects a strong performance from a new CX-9 arriving later in the year.

However, that doesn’t mean New Zealand is missing out by being denied the CX-4, Harris says. 

Though Mazda has yet to release dimensional details, the model is possibly set to occupy similar roadspace to a Mazda6 wagon whose popularity has waned in the face of competition from like-sized SUVs. Wouldn’t that make it attractive here?

Harris clearly does not agree with that proposition.

“Presently, there’s no dedicated segment opportunity for this type of vehicle,” he told MotoringNetwork.

“… any decision regarding its introduction would be based on what incremental benefit it offers relative to other SUV offerings.

“With CX-3 and CX-5 both performing at their head of their respective segments, and the brand-new CX-9 due later this year; I’d be hesitant to impact on their individual contributions by ‘overcrowding’ our showroom.”

Harris says the three CX-3 models contributed 38 percent of Mazda NZ’s total sales last year however the CX-5 was the brand’s highest selling nameplate for the year. Ignoring rental volumes, the CX-3 achieved 15 percent of compact SUV sales while CX-5 led the medium segment with a 16 percent share.  

Mazda Japan is excited about the CX-4.

"The CX-4 is the latest addition to Mazda's new-generation line-up of models featuring the full range of SKYACTIV Technology and KODO-Soul of Motion design," the company said in a statement issued overnight.

"With a striking presence that sets it apart from other SUVs, the functionality modern users expect and Jinba-ittai driving thanks to Sustainable Zoom-Zoom, this is new type of crossover SUV designed to help customers live more creative lives."

It's not clear where the CX-4 will be produced, but Mazda's CX-5 factory in Japan is running at full capacity. However, it feels it can push up its production at its plants in China, Thailand and Mexico.

Mazda has yet to talk about the powerplant, but speculation is that the model is employing the same 2.5-litre four-cylinder that