TOKYO -- Mazda Motor Corp. is banking on U.S. growth to support a five-year plan to boost sales 43 percent to 1.7 million vehicles worldwide.
The strategy, unveiled last week by President Takashi Yamanouchi, calls for nearly doubling U.S. sales to 400,000 in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016. He said he will boost sales by breaking into new segments with cars such 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 concentrating on specific regions, Yamanouchi said. He did not provide details.
Mazda sold 210,000 vehicles in the United States in its last fiscal year and aims to boost volume 19 percent to 250,000 this fiscal year. The sales boost to 400,000 will be done with existing 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. For the fiscal year ending in March 2016, Mazda is shooting for a record operating profit of ¥170 billion ($1.83 billion).
In the current fiscal year, the Japanese automaker expects an operating profit of $323.7 million, compared with a $102.5 million profit in the last fiscal year and a $306.5 million operating loss the year before.