The launch of Mazda's ground-breaking SKYACTIV technology that made its debut in the Mazda CX-5 compact crossover SUV, has triggered the largest advance order bank of any model from the brand, according to the marque's leading corporate franchise dealer, Norton Way Mazda.
Customer deliveries of the Mazda CX-5 kick-off in numbers this month, Norton Way Mazda in Letchworth has taken in excess of a record 200 advance corporate orders for the model.
Mazda CX-5 demand is notably prevalent among user-chooser company car drivers. They are turning to Mazda for the first time as they look to reap the numerous benefits delivered through SKYACTIV technology including unmatched low CO2 emissions and fuel economy.
Meanwhile, according to Richard Siney, operations director, Norton Way Mazda, and in charge of the franchises corporate sales, the arrival of SKYACTIV technology will kick-start a new wave of fleet operator and company car driver interest in the brand.
The arrival of the innovative suite of SKYACTIV technologies centres on three key areas - sophisticated lightweight chassis technology, advanced engines with world-beating compression ratios and highly efficient six-speed manual and automatic transmissions.
Debuting in the Mazda CX-5, SKYACTIV technology will next be seen in the all-new Mazda6, which made its world premiere at the recent Moscow Motor Show.
Siney said: "Corporate interest in Mazda CX-5 is huge. Having driven a demonstrator and experienced the car's performance, company car drivers are opting for this model.
"Most cars supplied and orders taken to date have been funded via contract hire. Monthly rental rates are very competitive and as the CX-5 has extraordinary CO2 and MPG figures versus the competition, business and personal requirements are met.
"Demonstrator to conversion rate is incredibly high and it means that we are recording the largest advanced order bank of any Mazda car to date. This is likely to increase further with future sixth generation Mazda's such as the all-new Mazda6, which also features the full suite of SKYACTIV technologies.
Fleet customers that have experienced the benefits of SKYACTIV technology in the CX-5, such as low CO2 and fuel savings without compromising on performance, eagerly await future generation Mazda models."
On-the-road prices for the 18-strong Mazda CX-5 range start from £21,395 for the 2.0-litre SE-L SKYACTIV-G 165ps petrol and rise to £28,995 for the flagship 2.2-litre SKYACTIV-D 175ps diesel Sport Nav Auto all-wheel drive (AWD).
The 2-wheel drive (2WD) petrol engine range gives drivers a choice of SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav trim levels. Emitting 139g/km of CO2 and returning 47.1mpg on the combined cycle no competitor models can match such figures given the available power.
Diesel engine performance - 2.2-litre powerplants with a choice of SKYACTIV 150ps or 175ps engines with 2WD or all-wheel drive (AWD), manual and automatic transmissions and four equipment levels (SE-L, SE-L Nav, Sport and Sport Nav) - is similarly unmatched in terms of both CO2 emissions (from 119g/km) and fuel economy (from 61.4mpg on the combined cycle).
Diesel models are proving particularly popular, according to Siney, with user-chooser company car drivers typically opting for SE-L Nav, Sport or Sport Nav trim levels.
"Mazda CX-5 with navigation is proving particularly popular and while most of the models supplied/ordered are two-wheel drive, top of the range Sport Nav models are typically chosen with four-wheel drive," he said.
This year Norton Way Mazda anticipates supplying 800-900 cars into the corporate sector and Siney believes the arrival of CX-5 in company car parks will trigger significant further orders.
He said: "As the advanced guard of company car drivers take delivery of CX-5, interest in the model will dramatically increase. All orders taken to date represent incremental business as user-choosers switch from other brands.
"The snowball effect from the deliveries of CX-5 to company car drivers will be huge and we believe that each one we deliver will result in a further two, three and four orders being placed, as well as further interest in future models featuring SKYACTIV technology which Mazda plans to bring to market.
"Driver feedback is amazing. Once they have experienced the CX-5's performance and seen what a fun-to-drive car it is they are convinced of the model's credentials and that it will save them money.
Siney concludes: "SKYACTIV will have a phenomenal impact in the UK car market as the technology is exported into more Mazda models."