Mazda - bringing Japanese auto culture to Europe

Oct 5, 2018   Features

Mazda has had turbulent times in Europe over the last 20 years, with shifting alliances, an incomplete product range and an inefficient delivery chain but the OEM is actively addressing these challenges as Simon Duval Smith reports.

These missing elements have been thoroughly addressed says Jeff Guyton, President and CEO, Mazda Europe and Senior Managing Executive Officer, Mazda Motor Corporation (Global). "We are at or near our record for market share in Western Europe, in 2018 we are looking forward to owning about 1.5% of the market. We are also being very proactive in our finished vehicle logistics and in servicing our customers’ needs better through improved interaction with our dealer network." 

Differing sales styles

The Japan car sales model is very different to that of Europe or the US; an OEM might have six different retail streams or styles of outlets, and the relationship between the salesperson and the customer is much closer and longer-lived. These styles of retailing have tended to influence some of Mazda's supply chain, as Guyton tells me. "At the overall level of the supply chain, from the manufacturing site to the dealer and thence to the customer, our model is US/European traditional but the way that we engage with our dealer partners is unique. We focus on trying to be easy to do business with as an OEM. We think that the dealer network, premises etc, need to be attractive not only to customers but also to bankers, to keep investors excited about our dealers and we try to promote a sustainable dealer model, by encouraging them to invest in multi-use facilities for example." 

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