Previously the dominant diesel-powered passenger car-based SUV in Thailand, the Mazda CX-5 will have to face stiffer competition with the upcoming launch of the all-new turbodiesel 2017 Honda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC, reports Thailand’s Bangkok Post.
Chanchai Trakarnudomsuk, President of Mazda Sales Thailand told the Thai daily: “Mazda has been dominant in the diesel SUV segment in the Thai market for the past four years, with few rivals. I think the arrival of the diesel-powered Honda CR-V will affect market competition."
The all-new diesel-powered CR-V will be launched in Thailand on March 24. Current information suggests that this will remain a Thailand-only model. The remaining countries in ASEAN’s Big 3 – Malaysia and Indonesia, are likely to continue with a petrol engine only line-up.
While the all-new Mazda CX-5 has already gone on sale in Japan, Mazda Sales Thailand will have to hold its fort with the existing, outgoing generation CX-5 for the time being.
The current 2.2-litre SkyActiv-D Mazda CX-5 sold in Thailand is imported from Malaysia. The same model is sold in Malaysia at RM169,293.
There is still no official confirmation on when will the all-new model make its regional debut, but analysts at Malaysia’s RHB Research have indicated that the all-new CX-5 will be launched in Malaysia in as early as July 2017, with exports expected to begin in August 2017.
Despite the tougher competition, Mazda Sales Thailand has reiterated that it will not be lowering its sales targets for 2017. In fact, the company is aiming to an 18 percent increase in sales over 2016.
Supporting this push is a massive expansion of sales and service network, from the current 147 to 167 by the end of this year.
At the same time, all existing 147 outlets will be renovated within the next two years.
"We expects a market share of 8% in Thailand by 2020," said Mr Chanchai.