Similar to Lexus, Mazda is looking to become a non-German luxury automotive brand.
That’s right, Mazda wants to establish itself as a genuine luxury brand because “why not?”, says Mazda.
The big three German brands currently dominate the luxury car market, those being Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. After that, you also have Range Rover covering the luxury SUV market, Jaguar also being a competent competitor and Tesla dominating luxury EV sales. Other competitors include Lexus, Volvo and a few others and Mazda wants to try its luck in breaching this market and evolve into something more prestigious.
That’s not to say, though, that Mazda doesn’t have prestige. The brand already carries a lot of value as one that can produce quality cars that are built to high standards and provide motorists with a product that is reliable and dependable. Perhaps most famous for their MX-5 roadster which is still the world’s best-selling sports car, this pre-existing reputation in the sports car industry will surely aid their effort to evolve into a luxury brand.
Mazda’s UK President, Jeremy Thomson, recently commented on this new and brave direction in an interview. He states that the company’s goal is to establish itself as a
“genuine non-German alternative to the typical mainstream premium” and that Mazda is not looking to directly compete with the big 3 as it will be “difficult to beat them at their own game.”.
It would appear that Mazda may be looking to compete with Lexus, rather than BMW, Audi or Mercedes-Benz. The UK President said that Lexus “is approximately a third the size of Mazda in terms of sales,” which could be hinting at the automaker’s intended target. When asked directly if Mazda could be the next Lexus, Thomson responded with “why not?”.
In the UK, Lexus is the only prominently present Asian luxury car brand. One could argue Kia has a foot in the luxury market thanks to their rather refined Stinger and EV6 but they sit somewhere in between being a true luxury brand and an economy automaker. In other markets, luxury Japanese brands such as Infiniti and Acura (headed by Nissan and Honda, respectively) are also competing with Lexus for market share but in the UK, Lexus mostly stands alone as the sole Japanese luxury automaker.
This market share could soon be contended for if Mazda make their transition into being seen as a more prestigious brand. Their new RWD platform and inline-6 engine is a good start to this transition, which will likely happen over time rather than somewhat suddenly. They certainly go the overpriced luxury factor with their CX-30 and with the CX-60 on the way, things can only get more fancy. All we need now is some sort of halo car to be announced like a successor to the RX-7 or RX-8 and their high-end status will be well on its way!
Let us know if you think Mazda will make it as a luxury brand, in the comments!
For more articles like this, receive our weekly e-newsletter, including partner deals and all things motoring, register your email below.