What is it about Mazda that fails to engage Americans the way it does Canadians? North of the 49th parallel, Mazda Canada sold 5657 vehicles in October 2010. Mazda USA sales were up 19.5% to 18,013, a little more than triple Mazda Canada’s total. Yet Mazda’s Canadian operations compete in a market smaller than the size of Toyota’s hold in the United States, somewhere between one-seventh and one-ninth the size of the U.S. market. Using the Canadian quotient, Mazda USA sales in October 2010 should’ve been more like 42,000. By Canadian standards, the Mazda 3 would be one of America’s best-selling cars, but that ain’t the case.
Why the U.S. rejection of Mazda? Canadian sales of the Mazda Tribute exceed U.S. sales. Mazda 5 sales in America are no more than double the Canadian sales total for the 5 mini-minivan. One theory says American car buyers are more loyal. While Canadians have willingly turned to Hyundai just as often as they’d stick with Honda, American consumers trust their neighbours and their own past purchases and stick with the largest brands from General Motors, Ford Motor Company, Toyota, and Honda.
One way or another, whether Mazda’s sales in the United States tick up slightly or fall short in year-over-year comparisons, global growth requires success in the USA. Next time you see someone drive by in a Toyota Highlander, ask yourself why they wouldn’t consider 2010 Mazda CX-9 instead. It’s hard to think of any reason to avoid the CX-9. Why does everyone on your street drive a Chevrolet Malibu when the 2010 Mazda 6 is so lovely? They’re certainly not following The Good Car Guy’s advice.