Mazda Motor Corporation set another new best in the first nine months of the 2016-17 fiscal year, selling 1,162,000 vehicles worldwide – 17,000 more than the previous record established last year.

China led growth among the regions, up 29% year-on-year to 227,000 units on robust demand for the Mazda CX-4 and Mazda CX-5 crossovers as well as the Mazda3 and Mazda6. Europe followed with a 7% increase to 174,000 vehicles*. Here the Mazda CX-3, CX-5 and Mazda MX-5 performed especially well.

Mazda posted global revenue of ¥2.35 trillion (€19.9 billion) between 1 April and 31 December, down 8% in yen terms but up 5% in euro terms, with an operating profit of ¥102 billion (€864 million) and ¥79.9 billion (€677 million) in net income**.

The carmaker is aiming for stable and sustainable sales growth of some 50,000 units annually, fuelled above all by the CX range. In its efforts to increase flexibility, CX-3 production began at the Hofu plant in Japan in December, and plans are proceeding to expand crossover capacity at Mazda’s Hiroshima facility as well over the course of the coming fiscal year.

Crossovers sales are pegged at 39% of the worldwide total for the fiscal year, which ends on 31 March, up from just over one-third last year and only 12% five years ago. The figure should get a boost from the all-new CX-5, a new-generation compact SUV built according to Mazda’s human-centred design philosophy. It launches this month in Japan and will arrive in Europe by early summer. In another first, a clean diesel version is destined for North America later in 2017.

Mazda continues progress with its development of electric vehicles and autonomous driving technology for market introduction. The company is striving to combine these with internal combustion engine advancements to meet environmental regulations globally while helping dramatically reduce automobile accidents.

Closely monitoring market developments and automobile demand around the world, Mazda is sticking to its global sales forecast of 1.55 million units for the current fiscal year– another new record. Operating profit was revised to ¥130 billion (€1.09 billion) and net income to ¥90 billion (€756 million). The carmaker pegs 2016-17 revenue at ¥3.2 trillion (€26.9 billion), with no change to the annual dividend of ¥35 per share.

* EU, EFTA & Turkey

** Source: Mazda Motor Corporation’s “Consolidated Financial Results for the Third Quarter of the Fiscal Year ending March 31, 2017”. Euro figures were calculated at €1 = ¥118 for the first nine months and €1 = ¥119 for full-year forecasts