As the brand embarks on a pivotal era of transformation and electrification, we caught up with UK managing director Jeremy Thomson to hear just how radically its positioning has evolved in recent years and how it could reach even loftier heights in the near future.
What are your priorities for Mazda in the UK?
"Our aspirations are to become a credible alternative to the traditional mainstream premium and that means non-German. We're not looking to mimic German premium because that's very well catered for with the existing incumbents and probably impossible to beat them at their own game.
"But we do strongly feel that there is a place for a Japanese premium and that means defining what we mean by Japanese premium and that will take some time to deliver.
So do Lexus and Mazda share some positioning?
"I'm not sure I could say why not. Lexus has really been the only premium Japanese brand. There is no one else in that space.
"The rest of the Japanese brands operate in mainstream, though obviously all aspire to move towards the right-hand corner of the brand chart over time.
"I think we've got some momentum now behind our journey and we have quite a unique approach to powertrains and the overall driving experience.
"The belief that the driver is at the heart of the car is more than just a brand cliché: it really is something that is designed in to Mazda products, going back to the fundamentals of Mazda MX-5."
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