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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    Mazda Reports Quake And Strong Yen Widened Loss
    By AutoObserver Staff July 29, 2011

    Mazda reported a $329 million loss (25.5 billion yen) in the first quarter of its 2012 fiscal year ending June 30. The Japanese automaker reported that the March 11 earthquake and continued currency declines against the Japanese yen helped contribute to the loss. Currency rates alone contributed $40 million (3.1 billion yen) to the loss. Mazda lost a total of $27 million (2.1 billion yen) in the same period last year. Sales fell 29 percent in the quarter to $5.26 billion (408 billion yen), with global sales down 11 percent, and Japanese domestic sales off 32 percent. Mazda stated its recovery from the quake is progressing, with domestic plant utilization at 72 percent, with a return to full production capability by the first quarter of 2012.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    They still haven't turned it around.

    Mazda Posts $51-Million Loss In Second Half (AutoObserver)

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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    is their best bet to turn it around. Hope it happens!
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Mazda is ahead of Honda and Toyota in the MPG race: they're putting out 40 MPG cars just like the Koreans and us Americans. The rest of Japan seems to be having a little trouble hitting that mark.

    Beyond that, though, Mazda has no interest in Toyota's market, they want the enthusiast driver that would have maybe bought an Impreza before they dumbed it down, and would now shop Ford, Mistubishi, and Kia (as the slightly more sporty of the Koreans).
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    So what exactly is Skyactiv? Mazda will tell you that it’s an all-encompassing approach to eking out efficiencies in the engines, transmissions, and chassis. The centerpiece is the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G (gas) engine and the transmissions that pair to it. The engine uses very high compression (12:1), smaller bore pistons designed to combat heat loss, and high fuel-injection pressure (2900 psi) sprayed directly into the combustion chamber to help achieve a more efficient combustion process. Engineers also looked at mechanical losses within the engine and made incredible improvements, including 74 percent less drag from the oil pump; 25 percent less drag from the pistons, connecting rods, and crankshaft; and 54 percent less valvetrain friction. The Skyactiv 2.0-liter also uses the Miller Cycle, which leaves the intake valve open longer during light-load cruising, providing an efficiency boost of 13 percent. Mazda says this new engine has similar efficiency to that of their current 2.2-liter diesel engine. Impressive. Plus, the engine is 10 percent lighter than the base 2.0-liter.

    Paired with the Skyactiv 2.0-liter is either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic—both of which have been redesigned for this new engine.

    All 2012 Mazda3s get freshened with new sheet metal as well as an improved chassis. Weight has been reduced, thanks to new bonding methods and more high-strength steel, which also made the car more rigid. Mazda redesigned the rear suspension mounts, trailing arm position, and steering components as well. The goal? A tighter connection with the driver. As an added benefit, Mazda says the new car produces measurably less road noise than its predecessor too......

    7 of 7
    The Bottom Line: The Mazda3 lineup stretches from just $15,995 for a base car with the old 2.0-liter engine on up to $24,495 for a well-optioned 2.5-liter GT model. The Skyactiv 2.0-liter models start at just over $20,000—right in the middle. When you consider the efficiency, the driving enjoyment, and level of equipment available, a Skyactiv Mazda3 moves to the top of our compact-car shopping list.

    Read more: 2012 Mazda3 2.0-liter Skyactiv Test Drive - News Cars 2012 - Popular Mechanics

    Read more: 2012 Mazda3 2.0-liter Skyactiv Test Drive - News Cars 2012 - Popular Mechanics
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm waiting for GM or someone to sue them saying it doesn't count as a car because it uses the Miller cycle or something. :)
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    I wonder how many patents Mazda has on this Skyactiv tech. I mean, can other car makers copy or do similar stuff, or is there really some kind of competitive advantage here. It is interesting that Mazda with the Skyactiv gets better mpg than a newly redesigned 2012 Civic with a smaller engine. I guess for now that's something of an advantage. And given that all except the Si Civics have squishy suspensions and unimpressive steering, that seems an advantage too.

    But I do feel that Honda's US factories are a big advantage. There's a huge Honda plant just a hundred or so miles from me in Indiana turning out Civics....

    Having cars come from Japan and Mexico just isn't quite the same imho. It seems that the huge successes in the last 4 years of Kia and Hyundai also shows how good publicity from a successful US plant can boost sales in a big way.

    If only Mazda had built their own stand alone plant back in the early 80s I think they'd be in a different place today in this market....
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    Honda has gotten its rating for its new CRV, which is the competing vehicle for the new Mazda CX-5, which will be introduced in about 6 months as a 2013 model.

    The new 2012 Honda CRV gets these stats for mpg:
    2WD 2012 CR-V 23 MPG City & 31 MPG Highway
    4WD 2012 CR-V 22 MPG City & 30 MPG Highway

    My guess is that the 2013 Mazda CX-5 is going to look something like this:
    2WD 25 city and 35 hwy
    4WD 23 city and 33 hway

    I think that will be good for some sales for Mazda....
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Well, the Civic is already losing the MPG race to SkyActiv. The Civic gets 28/39 out of a 140 HP engine. Mazda is getting 28/40 out of a 155 HP engine. That plus what they've done to redesign it (and I'm thinking they cut a lot of weight to get it up to 28/39) really shows that they've abandoned the enthusiast and are trying to be GM. Except Toyota and GM are also trying to be GM.

    Luckily Mazda is on record as having no interest in being GM. :shades:
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    needs a corporate partner. As fantastically as Subaru is doing lately, it still would have a tough path ahead if it hadn't partnered with Toyota.

    Mitsu and Suzuki will fall out of the U.S. in the next few years and that will leave Mazda the most vulnerable Japanese niche player. It needs to have a partner by then, but one that won't meddle with the product.

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

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    edited April 2012
    link title

    Stunning design. Bring back the V6 manual please! AWD and a 6 speed manual would be heavenly.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    edited April 2012
    "The diversity of Mazda's assets illustrates why scrutiny may intensify on President Takashi Yamanouchi's plans to revive a company that's forecasting its biggest annual loss in 11 years. Mazda, Japan's most export-reliant carmaker, has struggled under Yamanouchi after he defied the appreciating yen by keeping production in Japan and as Mazda's 30-year partnership with Ford Motor Co. crumbled."

    Unprofitable Mazda may need to sell some assets (Detroit News)

    "Mazda owns 34 percent of the Carp baseball team — a three-time winner of the Japan Series.

    "Given the situation, Mazda may need to consider selling the Carp and weather the backlash from the team's fanatical fans," Hirano said."

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I hate to say it but Mazda may be reaping the consequences of some very poor business decisions, and I hope their powertrains are not another casualty of the situation.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    Mazda is in deep trouble. While almost everyone else is making huge profits in the US, they are losing money here and elsewhere. Losses in the first quarter alone were about $500 million dollars. Now they are buying out their US employees. I wonder if they can survive....? I own a Mazda and like it, but it feels like it might become an orphan car.

    I think Mazda's Skyactiv tech is very good, but perhaps it was too little too late. If they had built their own US factory at some point somewhere in the South, perhaps the story would be different today...

    http://wot.motortrend.com/more-than-100-u-s-employees-take-buyout-offer-from-maz- da-202229.html
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    edited May 2012
    Besides the baseball team, Mazda has other assets (lots of real estate) they can sell until they can build the factory in Mexico and get the JV going with Sollers in Russia. And they have a new platform and redesigned models coming out in '14. Going to be painful for a while though. (The Truth About Cars)

    They've lost the Ford synergy that must have helped them in NA. Rumors are floating that Fiat is interested in buying Mazda, but I think it all boils down to the yen killing their profits.

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I'm not sure they can liquidate enough assets to tide them over. Interesting that Fiat might want to buy them, wondering how that would work out though. SkyActiv is great tech though, and they might get something out of licensing it and/or selling engines and transmissions.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,766
    I think working with Fiat could work. They could share their Skyactiv tech with them and get in exchange some deep pockets. Seems like if they're losing more than 100 million a month that their assets will be burned up fast without some help.

    I do think that big time success in the US demands a US factory. Building Mazda3s in Mexico is not going to do it imho. Look what happened with Honda, Toyota, Nissan, Hyundai, Kia, VW and everyone else who built their own factory here. That alone wasn't all that was needed for success, but I think that was part of it...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    The Renault - Nissan thing seems to be doing okay. Joining with Mazda would give Fiat an entrée into Asia.

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Except that Nissans basically became European cars. I'd hate to see Mazdas turn into Fiats.

    Maybe Hyundai could buy Mazda...they could help zoom up the Veloster and Elantra. Probably help Hyundai's WRC aspirations also.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    I'd hate to see Mazdas turn into Fiats.

    Sorry, but it's begun.

    "Fiat SpA — the parent company of Chrysler Group LLC — today announced a new alliance with Mazda Motor Corp.

    The two companies signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding to jointly develop and manufacture two new rear-wheel-drive roadsters based on Mazda's next-generation MX-5 platform: a new Miata and an as yet unnamed Alfa Romeo. The cars will be produced at Mazda's factory in Hiroshima beginning in 2015."

    Fiat announces alliance with Mazda (Detroit News)

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Yeah I just saw it about 10 minutes ago. Felt like I'd been run through.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    edited May 2012
    On the bright side, initially at least, Fiats will turn into Mazdas. An Alfa that runs like a Miata wouldn't be a bad thing.

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Except that Fiat is about 10 times bigger than Mazda, which means eventually it'll be the other way around. One of the reasons Mazda didn't mind Ford pulling out was because they were turning into Ford Japan, building restyled Focuses and Fusions, and not-restyled Tributes, while basically being Ford's 4-cyl engine division.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    edited May 2012
    Looking at the bottom line, I think Mazda was hurt pretty badly by Ford pulling out.

    Salient quote in that story:

    "Mazda has lost money for four straight years."

    Better that a little Fiat DNA wind up in their cars than going the Saab route?

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  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    An Alfa that runs like a Miata wouldn't be a bad thing.

    Agree 100%! Alfa does have a really good styling dept.

    image
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    edited May 2012

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  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    A little Fiat DNA is fine. But when they start selling re-badged Fiats, Chryslers, or god help us Jeeps, I'm going to have a problem. :sick:
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,568
    "Rather than investing in plug-in or hybrid technologies - the way pretty much all its rivals have been doing - Mazda has channelled its funds into conventional engine and transmission research, as well as into a string of measures to reduce the weight of its cars' architecture."

    Mazda bets on internal combustion engine (BBC)

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  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,691
    Yes of course, because it's a lot more expensive to develop plug-in and hybrid technologies than to make your cars a little lighter and add direct injection....

    Makes me wonder why all the car companies didn't make the effort to lighten their cars years ago, instead of whining that all the required safety gear these days made it INEVITABLE that even small cars weigh a ton and a half or more now. How funny that now its suddenly perfectly plausible to reduce weight by hundreds of pounds while maintaining price constraints and keeping all that onerous safety gear in there, LOL!

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

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