Mazda is combatting the strength of the yen - which makes exporting from Japan financially challenging - by opening factories elsewhere, including Mexico and Russia.

"We're diversifying our manufacturing footprint and the funding is in place for that," said Mazda Europe president and CEO Jeff Guyton. "This will make us less reliant on the yen."

The plant in Mexico, currently under construction, will build the 3 but no decision has yet been made on where those cars will be exported to.

Despite a tough couple of years without any new product, Guyton is optimistic that the arrival of CX-5 and Skyactiv technology will be a turning point for the brand.

"It gives us more competitive products than we have ever had; we get  a new range of technology providing lower emissions at lower costs," he said. One example is that it allows Mazda to meet Euro VI emissions levels without the need for an urea catalyst used to remove NOx particulates from the exhaust."

After the launch of the CX-5 in the spring, "we have a good cadence on new product which by 2015 will deliver 30% less CO2 than our cars did in 2008."

CX-5 orders are already rolling in despite dealers in western Europe not yet having demonstrators.

"It went on sale in Russia three weeks ago and we already have four months of orders," said Guyton. He describes the launch as a "dramatic opportunity."

The CX-5 will be followed by the redesigned 6, closely resembling the Takeri concept shown at Geneva. The 6 will be seen first at the Paris show in September.