Mazda Motor Corporation established a new best mark for global vehicle turnover during the 2017-18 fiscal year that ended on 31 March. With 1,631,000 units sold, up 5% or 72,000 from the previous year, the Japanese carmaker set its third-consecutive record while also recording its fifth year of uninterrupted growth*.
All the main regions posted positive development, led by China’s 11% year-on-year increase to 322,000 units and a 4% hike in Japan to 210,000 units. North America and Europe** each recorded growth of around 1% to 435,000 and 242,000 units respectively. Bolstering results around the world were Mazda’s popular CX-series line-up of crossovers, whose share of total sales reached 46% last year. In Europe, for example, turnover of the Mazda CX-5 compact SUV surged by 17%.
The 12-month period also saw increases across the balance sheet. Revenue grew by 8% to ¥3.47 trillion (€26.7 billion). Operating profit, meanwhile, rose 16% to ¥146 billion (€1.12 billion) and net income was up 19% to ¥112 billion (€862 million).
Responding to intensifying competition, stricter regulations and other changes in the business environment, Mazda plans to build a solid foundation for future growth over the next three years by increasing investment and maximising production efficiency. Besides its next-generation models, the focus is on new technology like the SKYACTIV-X, which is slated to be the world’s first commercially available compression-ignition petrol engine, as well as electrification, autonomous driving according to the Mazda co-pilot concept, connectivity and the carmaker’s KODO designs. The goal is to maintain annual sales volume growth of 50,000 units and fully utilise existing global production capacity of 1.8 million units until completion of the new U.S. plant in Huntsville, Alabama.
At the same time, the company is striving to enhance the appeal of the current model line-up through upgrades to various features like their advanced safety technology. Product updates scheduled for Europe in 2018 include the mid-sized Mazda6, Mazda MX-5 roadster and Mazda CX-3, a B-SUV.
For the current fiscal year ending in March 2019, Mazda is targeting global unit sales of 1,662,000 units – yet another record. The company pegs revenue at ¥3.55 trillion with an operating profit of ¥105 billion and net income of ¥80 billion. It plans an annual dividend of ¥35 per share, in line with the previous year.