Mazda’s Momentum Stalls Amid The Ongoing COVID-19 Crisis

April sales looked bleak, but the company sees light at the end of the tunnel

Automakers are suffering through the COVID-19 crisis, but Mazda’s been hit particularly hard.

Mazda began 2020 with good sales growth. In February 2020, sales in the United States were up 19 percent. Fueled by the U.S. high demand for crossovers, the popular CX-5 and CX-9 pushed the company’s sales momentum, while this year it was further bolstered by their newest vehicle, the compact CX-30.   

Since then, the Japanese automaker suffered a 4.5 percent overall decline by the end of the first quarter. Operating profit fell 55 percent to $104.8 million (11.3 billion yen) in their fiscal fourth quarter which ended March 31 2020. Net profits were down $188.3 (20.3 billion yen) by the end of their fiscal fourth quarter. 

Full fiscal year operating profits fell 47-percent. Mazda’s North American retail sales fell about 9 percent to 92,000 vehicles. China dropped 31 percent to 36,000 units. In Europe, sales dropped 39 percent to 45,000 vehicles.  

Things look bleak right now — but there is hope 

“Operations at our dealerships are starting again, and we feel sales are on a recovery trend in the U.S.,” said Senior Managing Executive Officer Akira Koga. That said, he also mentioned a global recovery will depend on whether there are future infection outbreaks in other countries.

At the moment, inventory on dealer lots is stacked. Mazda says it will not resume full production until it sells its stockpile and attains a proper level. Then, provided the safety protocols are met, production will resume. “We will prioritize selling cars from the piled-up inventory and try to regain cash without getting caught up in incentive competition in the market.”

The good news for consumers: it could soon be a good time to get the Mazda you’ve been eyeballing. With Mazda’s desire to thin its stockpile, they will push hard to get these vehicles out of the dealerships and into your hands. At time of writing, the automaker’s offering zero-percent interest for qualified buyers and no payments for 90 days.