Car dealer McEnearney Quality Inc (MQI) is anticipating greater returns this year, after recording a slight pick up in sales last year.
“Market sales have grown slightly from 2014 to 2015 and we anticipate that the market is going to grow even a little bit further for 2016 because we have seen a little improvement in the economy,” said Margaret Hoyte, sales and marketing manager of MQI.
Following the official launch of the Mazda BT-50 pickup at the company’s Wildey showroom this morning, Hoyte told Barbados TODAY she was especially pleased with the performance of the Mazda brand, adding that the company would be rolling out a new model later this year.
“We introduced the Mazda BT-50, the Mazda 3, Mazda 2, and we are soon going to introduce the Mazda CX3 and CX5. Sales for the Mazda 3 have been taking over the 1600cc segment. We have seen sales grow tremendously for that. The BT-50 has grown to about 37 per cent of the market share of the pickup segment. And we anticipate that with the new technology in these cars, the energy and the support that we are getting with Mazda, that this vehicle is going to grow from strength to strength, the whole brand.”
Last year, the Mazda brand moved from 11th position to eighth, with a 4.9 per cent market share, up from 2.1 per cent. However, Suzuki retained the top spot at about 26.2 per cent of market share while Hyundai overtook Toyota to be the second most loved vehicle for 2015, capturing about 13.7 per cent of the market share compared to Toyota’s 11.5 per cent.
This was followed by Kia with 9.1 per cent of market share; Nissan (nine per cent); Isuzu (7.6 per cent) and Chevrolet (5.7 per cent) of the market.
Hoyte said like the rest of the region, Barbados remained a significant market for pickups and SUV type vehicles.
“People would say our road conditions are more suited [for these vehicles],” she explained.
“And you know in the Caribbean we have a lot of self employed people and in Barbados a lot of young contractors . . . they can use this vehicle and do the work with it and also drive their family,” she added.
Representatives of the Japanese vehicle Kota Inoue and Yoshiaki Kawahara told Barbados TODAY the global demand for the brand was increasing and the Caribbean remained “an important market”.
Describing the new Mazda BT-50 as “an alternative premium brand”, Kawahara said they were introduced in about 15 countries in the region where pickups had favourable sales. He also expressed hope that the new model would do even better.
The Mazda BT-50, which is being sold at just over $105,000, boasts a range of additional technological features over the previous models, including air condition and radio voice control.