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  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I doubt any FWD can do better than 60/40 weight distribution. The pivot point is the same than the center of gravity, and its location along the length of the car is fixed by the weight distribution.

    The last generation of Protege/P5, the longitudinal "pivot axis" is designed to point slightly downward, i.e., lower in front and higher in the back. This allows a greater stability at high speed.

  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    No one has an answer for me on the Japan vs. US question? Could someone please explain to me the advantages of having it built in Japan compared to the US, I've always wondered about this. Is it because that the factories are near Mazda headquarters in Japan and most of the Mazda engineers live in Japan that they're able to keep an eye on the factories better and notice quicker when problems arise? I'm confused about this.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    Keep in mind that this is only my opinion. I do work in the automotive industry and I have experienced this.

    The whole thing comes down to attitude. Japanese engineers strive for perfection in everything they do. They also follow the law of continuous improvement, always finding ways to reduce waste, whether it be wasted material, time or money. Without opening a big can of worms, I believe the plants in Japan are union free, not to knock unions, there are some positives to them. It's just that I've worked in both environments and the attitudes of the workers change once the union comes in. Just my opinion though.

    I do strongly believe that it is the mentality of the Japanese that is responsible for the high quality coming out of the Japanese plants.
  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    Thanks for the Link dinu01.

    If you think about it, December is not that far from now. That's only five more months before we see the M3 out in the streets
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    5mths of waiting until Mazda USA and Mazda Canada put up a link to build your own M3 :) Mazda Canada just introduced the build your own RX-8 link today!

  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Actual Mazda's" that have been built in the US(Flat Rock, Mich)have been the MX-6 and 626. Those cars were pretty reliable with the exception of the Ford Tranny 1994-1997 4 cyl auto in the MX-6 or 626. If you bought a 1994-1997 626 or MX-6 with the 5 speed manual or V6 auto they were probably as reliable as the Protege, Millenia, or Miata that were built in Japan circa early to mid 90's period. The Tribute and 93+ B Series were built in Flat Rock, Michigan I believe but those are rebadged Ford's so I don't count them as "actual Mazda's".
  • groovypippingroovypippin Posts: 264
    The two engine choices will be a 2.0L 147 HP and a 2.3L 160 HP (in Canada). Don't know how much California emmissions will knock off the horsepower totals (if any at all).

    I think both engines are available in both the sedan and the 5-door, but not entirely sure at this point.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    Let me first say that my parents have a '98 Mazda 626 V6 assembled in Flat Rock, and the car has been pretty reliable (perfect reliability for the first 3 years and, as of now, just two out-of-warranty repairs costing a total of $400cdn).

    At the February Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto, Mazda had Canadian-spec Mazda6 sedans (Flat Rock), as well as a Mazda6 hatch and wagon (Hofu, Japan). The exterior fit and finish of the Japanese built ones were significantly better (we weren't allowed to sit inside, but the cloth of the Japanese ones were better too). Funny thing is that I later found out from another forum that a bunch of people felt exactly the same way as me.

    So while there's a Flat Rock assembled Mazda in my garage, I really do believe that the Japanese ones are better - hence I'm getting a Mazda3 over a Mazda6.

    And to keep this post on topic, thanks groovy for the info. Please share with us all the specs/options/release dates as you get them - they are particularly useful to me because I get zero info from Mazda Canada.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Back in the mid '80's when Toyota's Corolla Sprinter was 1st built in the U.S.(Fremont CA) as the Chevy Nova, C&D pointed out that Japanese steel is about 20% higher in quality & about 20% lower in cost. I don't know how true this is today.
  • fowler3fowler3 Posts: 1,919
    carguy58 said, "They (Honda) had to win customers over from the Domestic Big 3 which was a hard thing to do at that time."

    In 1973-74 we had the Oil Embargo when the Arab producers cut back on exports almost forcing gas rationing in the U.S. I had a new '72 Riviera, which I sold at half what I paid for it for a quick sale. And bought a '73 Audi Fox (which eventually became the VW Fox when Audi introduced the A4). Hondas sales took off fast when GMC, Ford, and Chrysler didn't have small cars, and wouldn't have for two to three years. The first Honda Accord was a car smaller than the current Protegé and buyers paid premium prices for them with up to 6-months waiting lists.

    None of the Japanese cars were as refined as they are today. I had a '71 Toyota Corona that would never run, had more mileage on the tires being towed to the dealer than driving it. Turned out the timing chain was set wrong, but the dealer couldn't find the problem. I had sold it when it was running a little. ;)

    It was in the following years when Japanese car buyers noticed a great increase in reliability and refinement and complained to American car manufacturers about their build-quality -- Why can't you do this? Their excuse was labor unions.

    Mazda is a niche car builder, but I read in the Washington Post, yesterday, that GMC, Ford, and Chrysler are becoming niche builders -- "cars designed just for you", with 5 or more models each coming out in the next four years. They have no other choice: people want cars that make them feel "special", not cookie-cutter knock-offs of more successful brands. They want them unique and with utility and high-style.

    What buyers were offered in the latter part of the 20th Century were good cars, but not from the Big Three. Now THEY are going to have to get their acts together or else. But I still wouldn't buy American! I remember all too well the cars made to fall apart in 3 years.

    Wonder if Toyota and Honda will drop their 5-point grilles and let Mazda have them exclusively?

  • groovypippingroovypippin Posts: 264
    It would be nice if we could actually talk about something remotely related to the Mazda3 in this thread instead of it becoming yet another battleground for yet another round of useless arguments about subjects on which people's opinions never change!

    Go start an "Endless Boring Arguments that Never End" thread and seclude yourselves there.
  • bean3422bean3422 Posts: 183
    gddave and pzev...I have heard from a fairly reliable but non-official source that the japanese plants have some sort of marking system on the items manufacturered there. Thus the general workers in the plants are held responsible somehow for parts that are defective, etc. I don't have any details,like how they are held responsible, and I don't know if this is true or not, but I have heard it from a few different places.

    Groovy...I apologize for posting another non-Mazda3 post. I don't believe I am arguing, just passing on information concerning a question previously posted. Trust me, if I had any new information on the 3 I would post it. Right now, we don't have any info on the 3, except that it will most likely be built in Japan, so hence the Japan vs. American plant discussion.
  • groovypippingroovypippin Posts: 264
    before I have my morning coffee. That was a touch on the overly agressive side, wasn't it?
  • bean3422bean3422 Posts: 183
    I certainly did have a good point though. I have certainly been party to those useless arguments. Sometimes it is fun though!

    Unfortunately, probably for 2-3 more months this thread will be mostly dead from lack of information.
  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    This is no earth-shattering news, but I read on an Australian magazine that there will be three versions of the Mazda3. A hatchback (which I guess is the model in blue that we have seen in recent times) a wagon (like a P5 maybe?) and then the sedan.

    The article went on to say that the Mazda3 wagon and hatchback will be somewhat similar, with the hatch being more sporty. But it said to expect the Mazda3 sedan to be drastically different from the wagon and hatch versions.

    It also mentions how MAZDA is taking a gamble with the Mazda3 because it is replacing Mazda's hottest seller, the protégé. I think that is an interesting comment being that if you stop and think about it, Mazda couldn't go wrong with 6 because it was replacing the aging 626 and Millennia. But replacing a hot, little number like the protégé is another thing.

    would love to see what the M3 sedan will look like and how different will it really be from the other two versions of the M3. I guess we won't know till Frankfurt
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    When is it?

    Will that be the first "official" unveiling of the M3?

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    Dinu, dinu, ... wake up!!! It will be held in September!

    I have seen the picture of the Sedan, and it looks quite different.

    As for the wagon, it's new to me that Mazda will introduce such version. Notice that the dimensions of the blue car (hatch) are proportionally close to the P5. The wagon probably look more like the Focus wagon. I doubt about the availability of the wagon for the US market.

  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    Thanx for bringing me up to date re: Frankfurt!

    I too have seen a pic of the sedan (posted a link way back last fall - 2002 here), but don't know if it's the real car or a Photoshop impression...

    Do you have a link for a pic of the REAL car?

    Also, do you know of any good (something like C&D in NA, evo or Car magazine from the UK) French auto sites? - since you're there now :)

  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    it's the picture back there that I was referring to. I don't think it's photoshop because someone here indeed had a hardcopy version of the same photo.

    Don't worry, I'm your trully spy in this side of the pond. ;-)

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