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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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Comments

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    Well, as someone who didn't buy a Subaru Legacy because it was too small compared to an Accord it certainly matters to me!

    I'm sure there will be a lot of folks it odesn't matter to, but with the numbers Mazda has now they need to aim at a larger audience.

    Sporty is definitely the image they want to project. Losing rebadged Ford parts will help.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    In the early 90's Mazda didn't have any Ford Parts and their cars were rock solid. I know alot people associate mazda with Mitsubshi but Mazda's build quality is definately better than Mitsu.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Toyota and Honda. All others have quality lower than GM, Ford, and Chrysler.
        Isn't every Japanese brand but Toyota and Honda largely owned by one of the USA Big 3?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I agree with that. Mazda parts are superior to Mitsu as near as I can tell.

    How anyone would let a Ford part - particularly a powertrain part - in a Mazda is beyond me.

    I have had a number of people say, and I pretty well agree, that Fords aredesigned pretty nicely but have bad powertrains. The sad part is that this really means that Ford builds nice cars as long as you don't actually drive them.....
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Why buy a Japanese brand to get lower quality? If you want a Ford, buy a Ford and not a Mazda. If you want a GM, don't get an Isuzu. If you want a Chrysler, don't get a Mitsubishi.
        If low price is a concern, get a Kia,Hyundai, or Daewoo.
        If reliability and durability are main concern, get the Toyota...and if you don't like Toyota, buy a Honda.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Thats not true at all. About the Ford Thing I hate when people bring that up. The Protege is a reliable as the Civic and Corolla and better than the Sentra. The 6 is as reliable as the Camry or Accord. The MPV is as reliable as the Odessy or Sienna. So Don't give me the Ford stuff. Its interesting because JD Powers did rate Mazda as one of the most reliable brands in the 5 year survey(1998-2003: above the industry average in reliability for that period.) JD powers also gives Mazda bad first 90 day surveys of ownership rating and basically those surveys mean nothing(wind noise, fuel mileadge.) I don't like first 90 day of ownership surveys. Consumer Reports rates Mazda good. So "There are only 2 quality Japanese Brands" is untrue. Plus throw the bad rating of the Tribute out and Mazda is up there with the big boys in reliability.

    About Japanese Brands being owned by the Big 3: Mitsu basically put themself in that hole with terrible build quality in the mid to late 90's.
    Mazda on the other hand had the Ford tranny incident which had a part in putting them into bankruptcy. Also the 95 Protege and 95 Millenia were not recieved well by the buying public at the time. So its some of Ford's fault and Mazda's fault what happened to Mazda in the 1994-1996 period that put them into bankruptcy.
    Nissan is owned by Renault which is a french company so Nissan is not owned one by of the Domestic Big 3 competitors.
    Subaru is owned by GM and GM also owns Isuzu.
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Oops...forgot that Nissan is owned by Renault, the company made famous by the Renault Dauphine.
        Does GM have part ownership in any quality foreign brand? To improve its image, GM recently acquired that coveted Daewoo brand.
         I am disappointed that Toyota will let GM re-badge a Toyota to sell as a GM vehicle (Pontiac Vibe and formerly Chevrolet Prizm and Nova). Honda was very unwise to badge an Isuzu as a Honda Passport.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    95 Sentra, 95 Maxima, and 98 Altima were not received well by the buying public. On the other hand the previous generation of those cars were a runaway success especially the 1st generation Altima(1993-1997.) On the bright spot 2002 was Nissan's best selling year since their top selling year of 1994.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    You're pretty ignorant of tha facts when it comes to "Quality Japanese brands", as you call it. Yes T+H are good, but Mazdas are just as reliable - if not better in certain vehicles.

    Protege, 6, MPV, Miata: As reliable as their Toyota and Honda counterparts.

    What Mazdas generally offer that T+H don't is driving fun, something that unlike 0-60 #s can't be measured, but only experienced.

    Dinu
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Il liked the early-mid 90's Prizm's. The styling was kinda nice. It looked like a mini version of the early to mid 90's Camry the way the Prizm was styled for that time.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    partly owns Subaru (a small part at that - 20%).

    Toyota works jointly with GM from time to time because it makes them good money oftentimes. Notice that they never sell a GM product as a Toyota, but merely allow GM to sell a Toyota with a GM badge.

    Mazda's only products with crappy reliability in the last decade have been the ones that parts-share with Ford. All the rest have been above average. This is why Ford intrusion in Mazda products must end for Mazda to improve its rep in America. The '6' is far too new to know how reliable it will ultimately be, but thank goodness Ford intrusion for that model is at a minimum.

    Funny fact: C&D just did a big Ford retrospective for its 100th anniversary, running through all the significant models over the years and giving little descriptions of what was significant about each along with a picture. So you get to 1990, and turn the page...........and lo and behold! The 1990 Miata was Ford's big accomplishment that year! Thought that was funny.

    Ford already owned part as far back as that, IIRC, and bought the rest later in the 90s. This is why Mazda "let" Ford put in its own powertrain parts - it had no choice, as by then Ford was calling all the shots money-wise.

    Ford still does today, but now that Mazda has found its feet again, Ford would be wise to lighten up a little on the reins.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    No, I won't buy a car with Ford parts. I have two Hondas at the moment.

    GM owns a piece of Subaru. Fortunately they have chosen not to screw it up like they have their domestic cars - give them time... you never know.

    The Vibe is not exactly a rebadged Toyota - it's a joint project beteen the two companies. I honestly don't see what's in it for Toyota to be doing joint projects with GM.

    On throwing out the Tribute ratings - you can't quite do that. It's part of the line. I'm sure Honda would have loved to throw out the old Passports ratings. Being rebadged Isuzu Rodeos they weren't terribly good. Probably Honda's biggest misstep in the American market, but tehy were desperate for an SUV.

    GM owns Saab - now there's a fun one for you. They want to start selling the Subaru WRX as a Saab 9-2 and charge more money. That should be amusing.

    In my book, Mazda brings a lot to the table. I think they have suffered from some very bad marketing mistakes such as the Tototazation of the old 626 (in its day a great car!). The Ford ownership hasn't helped but they still have a solid base to build off of.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    IMO, the reason Toyota jointly developed the Matrix/Vibe with GM is because they are desperately seeking younger buyers, and they thought GM stylists might be a little more in touch with what younger buyers want to see in a new car.

    Note that the car is entirely mechanically a Toyota corolla (or celica in the case of XRS/GT). The only GM input came in design, interior and exterior, which was done jointly by both companies.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    If Toyota needs input from GM stylists, they are scraping the bottom of the barrel just as Mazda does when using Ford parts.
        Toyota's success formula seems to be based more on reliability and durability than fad styling that is soon obsolete.
        Many people think Toyota and Chrysler represent the two extremes: Toyota #1 for Reliability and Chrysler #1 for styling.
        Based on the sales trends for each brand, which is more important: Styling or Long Term Reliability?
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    In 1993 Ford only owned 22% of Mazda I think so I don't get why Ford had to put powertrains into the Mazda 626 and MX-6 4 cylinder auto models I mean Ford let Mazda use its own parts in in like 1989 then in 1993 Ford goes and messes up Mazda like that. Good God! Thank god Mazda sales shot up a little during when the economy was good.

    as for Toyota styling thats a whole other ball game. Toyota needs younger stylists.

    As far styling and reliability I think the top car company that does both is Mazda and Nissan/Infinti. Chrysler has gotten better with the reliability side of things in the past 5 years. VW's are stylish but build quality with the exception of the Passat is not very good. I thought Honda made some good looking cars in the early to mid 90's: 90 Integra, 92 Prelude, 92 Civic, 91 Legend. Honda has slipped a little in the styling deprtment since then.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,328
    I think I'd agree with everything you said there.
  • the_big_hthe_big_h Posts: 1,583
    seems like hansienna just makes broad assumptions and statements without actually providing support for his opinions.

    I can't really take words from someone like that seriously....
  • panamaltd2panamaltd2 Posts: 162
    What are you talking about? Seriously, you make no sense. Do you ever have anything to back up what you are saying?
  • hansiennahansienna Posts: 2,312
    Sorry Mazda owners get upset by the fact that there are only 2 Japanese brands that are the acknowledged reliability leaders: Toyota and Honda.
       Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Subaru, Suzuki, etc. try to ride the coat tails of Toyota and Honda superiority but the American buyers are smart and do not believe it. Buyers who have had bad experience with US brand vehicles do NOT want a Japanese brand that has a US brand engine or transmission included.
       Toyota has earned the reputation for long term reliability and durability. Toyota has NOT put Ford, GM, or Chrysler engines or transmissions in their vehicles to lower the reliability. Toyota is not partially owned by Ford, GM, or Chrysler.
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    I'd like to find out more what you think of these comparisons:

    Protege vs Corolla
    6 vs Camry
    MPV vs Sienna

    Let's discuss your impressions (fun to drive, styling, etc) and facts (reliabilityl, steering feel, cornering, slalom, etc) in a civil manner.

    Dinu
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    How can you compare Suzuki and Isuzu to Mazda? I could understand Mitsu and Subaru but Isuzu and freakin Suzuki I don't think so. Suzuki and Isuzu never have had cars legendary cars like RX-7, Miata, and never had a car like the Protege. Where are you dogging Mazda? Ford has owned part of Mazda since 1979 besides hasn't Honda rebadged Isuzu's before? Also, Mazda once sold 370,000 cars in 1 year Isuzu and Suzuki have never sold close to that in 1 year. No shame in comparing Mazda to Subaru. Subaru's are reliable cars even though I really don't care for most of their line-up. I am a big Honda and Mazda fan so I don't like to do dog Honda except mainly for the 03 Accord Sedan design.

    Mitsu has only had 2 great hot sellers in their existence: 95-99 Eclipse which was tainted by sub-par build quality. Now they have the EVO.

    Toyota/Lexus has nothing besides the Celica, RAV4, MR2 Spyder, and IS300 thats exciting to look at. Camry and Avalon the current generations are the worst loooking generations of those cars.

    Toyota has worked with Gm and even shares a plant with them.

    Every Car Company has problems with cars even Toyota. Don't tell me a Toyota never has a problem. I see old Mazda's on the road. I see the 90-94 Protege's still running. I see the 93-97 626(even with the Ford tranny in it.) I have seen a few 86 626's around. The Miata has always been reliable.

    Toyota and Honda make more money than Mazda. Mazda is smaller then them. Mazda has always been a niche car company.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    None of these brands can be summarized for reliability, I would say.

    Ford-Mazdas have kind of sucked reliability-wise. Mazda-Mazdas have been above average for reliability and fun factor.

    Subaru makes excellent cars that are second-to-almost-none in engineering quality and reliability.

    Isuzu makes really good diesels and trucks, for the most part, and Suzuki is the number three automaker in Japan - they make very good cars when they are not busy rebadging someone else's cars. The Isuzu and Suzuki we see in the U.S., particularly since the GM interference with Isuzu, are not truly reflective of those companies' worth in their home markets.

    Nissan had some hard years and one or two bad models, but they are right up there reliability-wise, for the most part. Look at all the early 80s maximas and Z cars still driving around, and selling for a decent sum considering their age.

    Mitsu has been completely diluted by its relationship with Chrysler, now DCX. Hopefully the influence of Daimler will serve to improve their products from the 90s when most of them were as lousy as their Dodge/Chrysler counterparts. But it is a shame to see how far down Mitsu has been brought by this relationship. They are now the king of the "buy our cars, we won't make you even send a payment for the first year" sales.

    Toyo/Honda's reliability has slipped as they have entered the mainstream of multiple millions of sales annually. It remains to be seen whether or not their current to-the-bone cost-cutting campaign and their ever-increasing annual sales will conspire to knock their reliability down to average. That story will be told in five years or so.

    Some decent percentage of car sales are made on adrenaline alone, which is why so many car companies (especially the Japanese) are currently chasing the title of sexiest, sportiest midsize sedan. Since sport has been Mazda's forte in the past and is probably how the American buying public best knows it as a brand, it seems to me they must pursue the path of sporty designs without allowing Ford parts and meddling to get in the mix too much (actually, as little as absolutely possible!). And along the way, it wouldn't hurt to dump one or two low-volume, not-so-sporty models...

    Oh yeah, and leave "luxury" to someone else. Just make them nice without being spartan. Much more important to focus on sporty designs and performance.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • stretchsjestretchsje Posts: 699
    I think Mazda is one of the better car companies out there. Their products are always different (in a good way), and it seems they think "outside the box" and encourage creativity. The famous rotary and miller-cycle engines, RX-8 (suicide doors), and Mazda6 (huge trunk due to new rear suspension) are good examples of this line of thought. Rehashing another company's design may create competition to drive down prices, but it doesn't offer the consumer a choice of what driving experience they are interested in- essentially we're left with variations of the same thing. Mazda has successfully made a fun family sedan, a fuel efficient roadster, and a 4-dr sports car. Their reliability is class-leading (in some classes), and when they try to make a car fun, regardless of how powerful it is, they succeed (look at the Protege). Truly this company enjoys driving, and I appreciate that. Buying from a boring company (to me) is like going to a bald barber.

    That said, if Mazda does not regain popularity in America, I will not have lost faith in Mazda, but rather the buying American public.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Isuzu and Suzuki have never been a player in the US Market even when GM didn't own those companies in the 80's to mid 90's period.

    As far as Mitsubishi is concerned Chrysler is not to blame for their problems Mitsu should blame their own management. Mitsu was an ok company in the 80's/early 90's. Then somewhere around 1995 they became sleazy: sexual harrasement lawsuits, hiding recall notices in lockers, terrible build quality, and too much cost costing. In 1998 Pierre Gagnon came in there and cleaned house. The company is run cleany now but Mitsu made some crappy mistakes circa 1995-1997. Build quality has greatly improved but I think Mazda still has better build quality than Mitsu.

    I've explained Mazda situation many times. As far Mazda regaining the American buying back if they can sell 270,000 cars this year I think that would be good. Mazda has sold 70,000 cars this year so far 270,000 still looks realistic. Their goal was to sell 300,000 cars this year. I don't think thats attainable because of the bad economy in the US. Declining sales in the last year and a half for Mazda causes kind of a concern though. Mazda in Europe is making profits like crazy though.

    Subaru situation is more humorous than Mazda's and Mitsu's back mid 90's mess-ups with Ford Parts, bad product decesions and terrible build quality. Subaru wasn't even thought of as a player in 1996. They were like Volvo: out of style and played out. Around 1998 they started to become cool because of the SUV trend. Subaru had the motto: Is it an SUV or a station wagon? They just had to keep us guessing didn't they? Than the WRX came put and became a favorite of younger buyers. Remember this is the same company that made the Justy.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    is the best post I have seen since I created this board. Its well thought out and well explains what Mazda is about.
  • hjr2hjr2 Posts: 105
    The problem: They cost too much. Sounds odd?
    My mother in law has a protege, a 98,base model. Nice car and reliable as theday is long.
    It wasaround 11Kon sale. Same type of car today, MSRP around 17K.
    Why the major increase in 5 years??
    The RX-8 is a nice car, even has 4 seating, but at a rumored 31K loaded?
    Altima is cheaper, and as fast.
    Can get a Maxima,too.
    OR a Wrx-sti(awd).Camry, Avalon,Acuras, Accord, or Xg350, or........a ton of other cars.
    See, Mazda used to be known as the afordable/sporty Japanese car comapny(Datsun started this trend witht he Originla Z car in 1969, so both comapnies were like this in mid-80's, affordable, less expensive alternatives to Toyota or Honda, by a grand or two, on avg).

    Now, they are MORE costly, it seems.
    THAT is the problem
  • stretchsjestretchsje Posts: 699
    My friend just bought an '02 Protege LX w/ sunroof and alloys for $12,000 (after $500 college grad rebate). That's much cheaper than he could've jumped into a Corolla or Civic for.

    I just bought a Mazda6 for $17,201 with the same rebate. I purchased the Mazda 17" wheels seperately bringing my cost to $17,751, for a vehicle that I consider leagues beyond my Wife's '02 Camry and our friend's 03 Accord EX (both considerably more expensive).

    The RX-8 starts at $25-$26k (think it'll hold MSRP like the premium brands it competes against?) which is waaaay below its competition, [i]if[/i] this car can be compared to anything else out there. The G35coupe starts at $33k, right?

    The Miata is the least expensive roadster on the road, and despite that, it's perhaps the most fun too.

    BTW... thanks CarGuy
  • stretchsjestretchsje Posts: 699
    Really, I think the future of Mazda is up to their marketing department.

    Currently, their commercials do NOTHING to invoke emotion, and really that's the true strength of the company. They aren't selling their product- their emotion. Drive a Mazda, and you'll know the car has personality and soul, very unlike most of its competitors (in any class). Yet, the commercials do nothing to show this.

    We see what...? A car driving around, windows tinted, and no driver at all. All the shots are quick and confusing, doing nothing to create a desire for the car, other than possibly exterior styling- which is shallow.

    Mazda needs to show an audience that when you buy a Mazda, you enjoy driving. We drive every day- wouldn't it be nice if it always felt like a departure from adulthood? It will make you feel elite among ordinary, conformist, appliance vehicles- Volkswagon advertises in this way. Mazda needs to do it too. Emotion in motion.

    When I drive my Mazda6, I feel like the guy in the most recent Camry SE commercial: driving 55mph backwards on the freeway, doing 360's, and driving with my head out the window. That's the kind of fun I have (and have had) with Mazda vehicles, and that's something I found in their cars myself, mostly by chance. The commercials did nothing to make me aware of this spirit- it was only chance that I went on my first test drive, and was hooked.

    If the future of Mazda lies in the hands of chance, consider them dead, great product or not.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,687
    not that I disagree with you, far from it, but I must say I used to drive my friend's '89 626 quite a bit, and I did not experience any of this excitement you are alluding to. I also think Mazda IS excitement on the road - that is their angle and a well-earned one at that. Perhaps the 626 of the last decade or more has been hurting them in the long run by not living up to this image?

    PS Note to self: MUST go test-drive the new 6.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "Notice that they never sell a GM product as a Toyota, but merely allow GM to sell a Toyota with a GM badge."

    Toyota tried to sell re-badged Cavaliers in Japan, unsuccessfully.
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