TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp. is banking on U.S. growth to underpin an ambitious five-year business plan to boost sales by 43 percent, to 1.7 million units worldwide.
The strategy, unveiled today by President Takashi Yamanouchi, calls for nearly doubling U.S. sales to 400,000 units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016.
Yamanouchi said he will win additional sales by breaking into new segments with such cars as the Mazda2 compact due this summer, and by leveraging the brand’s improving residual values.
Mazda also plans to strengthen its U.S. dealer base by picking strategic regions and concentrating resources there, Yamanouchi said. He did not provide details.
Mazda sold 210,000 vehicles in the United States in the fiscal year that ended March 31 and aims to boost volume 19 percent to 250,000 units in the current fiscal year. The expansion to 400,000 units will be achieved with existing production capacity, Yamanouchi said.
The United States and China are the two pillars of Mazda’s growth strategy as it tries to counterbalance for contracting sales in Japan’s domestic market. For the fiscal year ending in March 2016, it is shooting for a record operating profit of 170 billion yen ($1.83 billion).
For the current fiscal year, the Japanese automaker expects an operating profit of $323.7 million, more than triple the $102.5 million in the year ended March 31. Mazda had a $306.5 million operating loss the year before.
Cooperating with Ford Motor Co., which owns 11 percent of Mazda, is a key component of Mazda’s five-year business plan, Yamanouchi said. But he did not offer any details about specific programs the two companies would leverage for synergies.