Mexico: Noble Market With OpportunitiesBy Alejandro Salas | Mon, 07/27/2020 - 05:00
Q: What is Mazda’s strategy to boost customer satisfaction in Mexico?
A: Rather than just satisfaction, our goal is to fascinate customers and aftersales service is usually the most critical part of that effort. We have a department specifically focused on customer experience and training and around 35 percent of Mazda’s corporate staff works in areas related to customer experience and developing a strong service culture. If Mazda’s employees are not convinced about the way we are treating customers, the effort behind all customer satisfaction programs is lost.
Q: What is Mazda’s strategy to stand out in the Mexican market?
A: Mexican consumers have traditionally reacted well to Mazda’s new technology and vehicle launches. Brand value is at the core of Mazda’s strategy. We sell quality cars at a fair price; we are not interested in competition based on price. Mazda does not offer discounts and does not target ride-hailing services, unlike other brands that get a third of their sales from users of mobility and leasing platforms, such as Uber, Cabify or Hertz. Only 3 percent of our sales go to fleets because our products target buyers who love a great driving experience.
Q: How is Mazda attracting clients to its dealerships instead of them going to the one around the corner?
A: The Mexican market is used to walk-ins, which can be troublesome. Around 80 percent of the customers who reach our shops today, do so with an appointment. When customers schedule their maintenance service, they are received directly by an associate and the technician who will take care of their cars. These appointments help Mazda dealerships know when a customer will arrive and what type of maintenance they will need according to mileage and type of vehicle, which helps us service cars efficiently. We are aware that leaving your vehicle and then taking a cab to work and later back to the dealership can put pressure on our customers. To address this, Mazda will launch an express service in May that will allow Mazda cars to be serviced and washed in only 45 minutes or the service will be free.
Q: What was the main factor behind Mazda’s increase in vehicle production and sales in 2018?
A: In July 2018, we launched the sedan version of Mazda2, which helped us increase our production in Salamanca and our total sales in Mexico. This new version also helped us enter a segment in which Mazda was not present. The rest of our lineup also enjoyed a solid sales performance, with growing results for our CX-5 and CX-6 SUVs. Brand awareness has also been key in this process. After 14 years in Mexico, Mazda has gained recognition and gathered a group of loyal customers that come back for new Mazda cars or take their vehicle to our shops. Rather than target a particular sales figure, our main goal is to maintain our market share in Mexico.
Q: How has the Mexican market received the new generation Mazda3?
A: Mexico has reacted well to this model, both in its hatchback and sedan versions. When Mazda3 reached the market in December 2018, the company expected to sell around 1,500 units per month. However, its different versions averaged sales of 2,000 units monthly in its first three months. There is even a waiting list to take a Mazda3 home, which says a lot about how well the market has received this model.
Q: How will CX-30 complement Mazda’s lineup in Mexico?
A: The SUV segment is highly dynamic, which has enticed several brands to launch their own SUVs. Mazda had already covered the mini-SUV niche with CX-3 and the medium and large SUV niches with CX-5 and CX-9, respectively. The next step was to launch CX-30 to fill the gap that existed between CX-3 and CX-5. CX-30 targets young couples and families that need more space than a mini-SUV can offer to comfortably travel with children or other couples.
Q: How important are Mexican companies to Mazda’s supplier base?
A: When Mazda’s assembly plant in Salamanca started operations, Japanese suppliers had a rampant participation in our supplier base. Over time, more and more local companies have integrated into our supply chain. Mazda understands that Mexican suppliers deliver great quality at a highly competitive cost.
Mazda de México is the local subsidiary of Japan-based Mazda Motor Corporation. In Mexico, the company has manufacturing operations in Salamanca, Guanajuato, where the Mazda2 and Mazda3 are assembled