The zoom-zoom brand did report its highest March sales total since 2007, but much of the credit goes to a surprising source, the 2014 Mazda CX-5. Now, it's not so much a surprise that Mazda's compact crossover is doing so well; it's that it’s not getting much help from the all-new Mazda3 or Mazda6, both of which have earned serious critical acclaim in past months.
Thus, the 2014 Mazda CX-5 rang up 11,855 sales in March, representing a 66.6 percent jump, and it's worth noting that the CX-5 outsold the Subaru XV Crosstrek by more than 5,000 sales last month, and trailed the much-hyped Jeep Cherokee by fewer than 2,000. Meanwhile, the compact Mazda3 squeezed out a .3 percent sales improvement in March, with 10,536 deliveries, and the mid-size Mazda6 endured a 6.1 percent decline in volume, after selling 5,730 units. Yet, just like the 2014 Mazda CX-5, both the Mazda3 and Mazda6 offer a full suite of SKYACTIV powertrain and chassis technologies, and all three also share Top Safety Pick+ recognition from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
On the other hand, Mazda does claim to be satisfied with the early results for the Mazda3, noting that retail sales for the nameplate are up 15.8 percent, including a 32.5 percent retail gain for the five-door hatchback configuration.
In other March Mazda highlights, the advent of convertible season saw a 31.1 percent sales surge for the Mazda MX-5 Miata, thanks to 751 sales, while the Mazda2 seems to have gotten a sudden wakeup call as well. After selling about 1,600 units during the first two months of the year combined, the brand's subcompact delivered 2,202 units in March, for a 147.2 percent increase in volume.
Said Ron Stettner, vice president of Sales for Mazda North America Operations: "As March's weather signaled a warming trend from the frigid temperatures seen in January and February, the month saw customers return to a shopping mood. And in March, Mazda's sales continued to grow, not only in quantity, but in quality as well. We have taken a long-term view to the strength of our business and the future value of our vehicles, in order to bolster residual values through strong transaction prices and managed incentives. When a Mazda buyer chooses a Mazda, they are making a stronger long-term investment."