Mazda Motors UK’s new managing director is one of the more refreshing faces among the industry’s captains says UK-based news agency Interchange.

Rob Lindley knows what he wants, but he has his feet firmly planted on the ground and admits his new job “is everything I ever dreamed of”.

When he entered the motor industry with Ford sixteen years ago, leading one of the UK’s motor companies seemed a million miles away.

There is no mistaking how seriously Lindley is taking his new role, however. He said: “It’s a big step up, a big challenge and a big responsibility, particularly in the current market.

“But we need to stick to our core principles.  We have a great team at Mazda UK, and good product range and fine dealers. We have also got some really interesting things happening over the next year.”

Previously sales director, Lindley took his seat at the captain’s table following the departure of Phil Waring who has gone to head-up sales at Mazda Europe. Jeremy Thomson has moved into Lindley’s former position while Mark Cameron moves from brand manager to marketing director just a year after joining from Ford.

Lindley said: “We do not envisage any big changes. The ship has been steering a steady course and the formula has been successful. Although I will bring my own style in terms of how we work together as a team, I do not see any reason to change things.”

Lindley inherits Mazda Motors UK at a time when the market is down six per cent commenting  “we hit our sales target in my first month in August and we expect to do so again in September.

Sales volume for this year is forecast at around 47,500 units, down from 48,000 last year, and next year Lindley is looking to between 51,000 and 53,000 units.

“This growth will come from new product such as the all-new Mazda MX-5, Mazda6 MPS and a full year of Mazda5 sales, while we are still looking to fill some very important open points in terms of the dealer network.”

These include expensive real estate areas close to London such as Croydon, Camberley, Uxbridge, Chingford and Reading.

Lindley added: “These are critical points that have been open for some time and we understand the difficulties of the higher cost of entry in London and the South East in particular which is why we have now set up a new dealer development programme aimed at helping out potential partners interested in setting up in the expensive areas.”