6 has had another update with detail revisions and new engines

6 has had another update with detail revisions and new engines

Vehicle makers have been issuing stark warnings over the future of their investments in the UK unless a sensible customs agreement is made with the EU after Brexit but one company chief will be happy enough with no deal.

Jeremy Thomson, managing director of Mazda UK, faces a 10% trade tariff on all models imported from Japan and Thailand, a figure that's embedded in his company's business model.

"Brexit will not affect Mazda. It will level the playing field for us and I look forward to that," he said.

Trade tariffs are one reason why Mazdas remain pricier in the UK than many competitive products, fluctuating exchange rates are another.

Thomson said: "When I became MD 10 years ago there was JPY220 to the UK pound, now it stands at JPY147.

"It's also been a difficult year to navigate so far having to deal with new data protection rules and WLTP. That said, the UK market is running around 8% down year on year while we are only 3% down. On a positive note, retail sales are down 6% but Mazda's are up 2%. 

"Our 130 UK dealers are happy as a group with profitability higher than the industry average and customer satisfaction is up year on year by our own metrics."

Thomson was speaking at the UK launch of the seventh generation Mazda 6. The sixth generation was launched in 2002 and sold 160,000 models in the country, 95,000 of them to fleet, and in recent years has been outselling the Ford Mondeo in the private sector.

Thomson said: "Between 2003 and 2010 the sixth generation model was our top seller but the market has now moved to SUVs and with the new car we expect an even 50-50 split between fleet and retail sales.

"Although the D segment is declining, the 6 is very important to us and remains our flagship. Specification is high and, while the price has gone up, residual values are remarkably strong."

The latest 6, which is a facelift, launches in the UK with a choice of five engines: 145PS and 165PS versions of the Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre petrol engine, a 194PS 2.5-litre petrol engine with cylinder deactivation plus 150PS and 184PS variants of the Skyactiv-D 2.2-litre diesel.

All engines are homologated according to the requirements of the new WLTP/RDE test cycle and meet Euro 6d temp emissions regulations.