Mazda Southern Africa’s managing director says the new CX-30 will be “perfectly placed” between the CX-3 and CX-5 when it arrives in South Africa in early 2020, although he admits it could steal some sales from the new Mazda3.

Speaking to CARmag.co.za at the local launch of the new Mazda3, Craig Roberts said he didn’t expect the CX-30 to cannibalise sales from the smaller CX-3 nor from the larger CX-5.

“I think the positioning is absolutely perfect, even more so for our market. What we are seeing currently is that CX-3 has carved out a space of its own more as a crossover than as an SUV,” Roberts told us.

“The CX-30 is going to be perfectly placed as a smaller SUV than the CX-5. We don’t foresee too much cannibalisation from CX-30 on CX-5 or on CX-3,” he added.

The new model, which was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, measures 4 395 mm in length, which makes it 120 mm longer than the CX-3 and 150 mm shorter than the CX-5.

Interestingly, though, Roberts conceded the CX-30 may well take a bite out of new Mazda3 sales.

“Where we do see cannibalisation potentially happening is on Mazda3. As we all know, the C-segment, both hatch and sedan, is really under pressure and people are moving towards SUVs and crossovers.

“And, for that reason, we’ve actually forecast lower volumes in Mazda3 than we’ve ever had previously. But obviously those lower volumes with be supplemented by growth from the new CX-30,” he said.