King of the niche marketeers, Audi, knows that any vehicle sale is another owner being welcomed into the brand’s privileged clubhouse.
That’s why there’s 15 models and 76 sub-models from a brand that has a mere 1.6 per cent of the Australian vehicle market and sells a leisurely 12,000 units a year.
Mazda is learning the ropes from Audi, and indeed from BMW which has 19 models and Mercedes-Benz with 25.
The new Mazda that splits the traditional gaps in its range is the CX-30 SUV, based on the Mazda3 and sized between the CX-3 and CX-5.
In price, the CX-30 Astina front-drive is $41,490 plus on-road costs, compared with the feature-equivalent CX-3 Akari at $36,450 (plus costs) and the CX-5 Akera at $48,330 (plus costs).
In creating a niche, Mazda has also neatly stepped up in one of the most important selling aids – perceived quality.
From inside and out, the CX-30 looks more upmarket than the other Mazda SUVs. It also stumps some rivals.
There’s no doubt that as a niche, the CX-30 represents a solid marketing move. In addition, it is likely to be the catalyst not only for a raft of affordable models from competitors, while threatening the lower-priced offerings of the luxury SUV brands.