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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    Good to see this topic back among the living.

    I agree with you. As Honda porks up Mazda looks better and better.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    So who here likes the huge smiley face the new 3 has, and who prefers the old look better?

    I agree, Mazda has the product line to go far in the future. What they should have a plan of constant incremental improvement of is the production capacity and the dealer network. If they had as many standalone stores and as much plant capacity as the Japanese Big 3 do, they could rival them for sales I'm sure. At the very least I'm sure they would take sales from Honda, probably Nissan too.

    I know you don't get Big 3-size production and dealer network overnight, but they should be gradually ramping up, not sitting pat as they appear to be doing on that front.

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

  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    Judging only by the photos, it seems a bit much. Probably looks ok in person.

    I'm waiting for an aftermarket shop to sell a set of teeth to stick in there; maybe with one missing as a Dukes of Hazzard homage.

    Did the designers copy our Emotorcon? :D

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Yes, I think they did! :-P

    And I HAVE seen it in person, which doesn't improve the looks. At least they didn't change anything on the exterior a lot, it was just a little. But boy does that gaping maw at the front need teeth.....ANYTHING to close the gap a bit.

    Will this company ever update the RX8 in more than a cosmetic way?

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

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Honda/Acura has gotten bigger, bloated, more floaty.

    It seems Mazda has as well, at least in the case of the new 6. They also seem to have a thing for annoying smiley faces.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    I could do without the smiley faces for sure!

    The 6 got bigger but it had always been smaller than the Accord or Camry which always showed up in reviews. I liked the last generation 6 and was sorry to see the wagon go.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    So who here likes the huge smiley face the new 3 has, and who prefers the old look better?

    I sort of agree, but you know how you get used to things after a while. I know the current CRV was widely denounced for its front end, and it is the best selling SUV in the US.

    I also figured if I ever got a new Mazda 3 that I would get black, so the smile would be less obvious. :P
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Will this company ever update the RX8 in more than a cosmetic way?

    Coincidentally, I just bought an RX8 yesterday for a friend, and will transfer it to him on Friday. Meanwhile, I bought it in another town, and picked it up and drove it here. I like the looks of the car, and it's comfortable and well appointed. Even has held up for 5 years well, but for the life of me, I hate how it drives in anything but a high speed mode.....I'd much rather have a Mazda 3 for around town. The rotary is noisy, has no low end grunt, and really no power until you hit about 5000 rpm, which is a lot, even for a rotary..... I just don't get the car. But I like Mazda.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    Yeah, I am at the point where I no longer look at the current generation Camry and say "what the heck were they thinking"? so I guess you can get used to anything...

    It will take a bit more to get used to the current Accord. By comparison the current 6 is fine.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    Yeah, I am at the point where I no longer look at the current generation Camry and say "what the heck were they thinking"? so I guess you can get used to anything...

    It will take a bit more to get used to the current Accord. By comparison the current 6 is fine.


    Back to my disappointment in Honda -- I always thought the Accords were better looking than the Camrys. With the current generation I actually think the opposite. The Accord coupe is attractive but the sedan is not IMHO. Not overly ugly, just not attractive. The Mazda 6 is much nicer looking. The new 3 is ok but is growing on me. We own a Mazda 5 and I am very impressed at the handling and utility for the price. We had considered the CRV but did not feel it was worth 5K more for the same size, mileage, and features as the Mazda 5. The Mazda 5 handles much better; its steering is actually a lot better than my 2005 Acura TL.
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    Yeah, the Accord coupe is OK but the sedan just doesn't do it. Too big in the back which is odd because the trunk size is the same as it's always been.

    It's not horribly unattractive but it isn't attractive either.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    We own a Mazda 5 and I am very impressed at the handling and utility for the price. We had considered the CRV but did not feel it was worth 5K more for the same size, mileage, and features as the Mazda 5.

    This kind of sums up my feelings about Honda/Mazda too. The Mazda is a better Honda for the money.......
  • codybanecodybane Posts: 1
    "The rotary is noisy, has no low end grunt, and really no power until you hit about 5000 rpm, which is a lot, even for a rotary..... I just don't get the car. But I like Mazda."

    I haven't driven an rx-8 so I don't know how noisy they are but my old RX-7 isn't very noisy. You notice power spikes at about 2.5k and 5k rpm with the old 1st gen models.

    The point of the Rotary is that you can rev the crap out of it. How many other sedan's out there can pull 9k rpm? It'll probably do 11 without harm as long as you don't hold it up there for more than 5-10 seconds. They're really meant to be driven in that high rpm range and they're built to be pushed. Because you have higher torque at those high rpm's you really shouldn't be wasting much more gas by driving more aggressive compared to other vehicles.

    However.. the latest Rotary research from Mazda has them changing the shape of the engine chamber slightly and the result is an increase in low end torque and possibly fuel economy.

    So try one again in the next year or two.

    As for handling, I don't know about the RX-8 but any model RX-7 is a dream to handle at any speed over 10km/h.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    As for handling, I don't know about the RX-8 but any model RX-7 is a dream to handle at any speed over 10km/h.

    I agree with you on the handling, it's pure sports, and the faster and harder you drive it, the better you like it. Clearly, it's a performance car, not an in-town cruiser and with that in mind, it would be a great car.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    ...are Mazda 3, 6, and 5, in that order.

    Surprising that the 5 outsells the CX-7 and CX-9. Why does the CX-7 sell so poorly?
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    I think I agree on your order. I really like the Miata but I think of that as its own little class of car.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Price?

    Base MSRP of CX-7 is $5K above a 6. Excluding the B-truck, the 3, 5, and 6 are the lowest priced Mazda models
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    The CX-7 has TONS of competition too. Lots of better-known brands make well-liked small crossovers, starting with Ford, Honda, and Toyota. Mazda just doesn't have the name appeal, and the CX-7 doesn't particularly stand out in its class.

    I have noticed in my area Rogue got off to a strong start, does that one also outsell CX-7?

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,676
    I've had a real love-hate relationship with my 2007 Mazdaspeed 3. I bought it to use as my daily driver as well as my primary track rat. At 25,000 miles it needed a LF strut and at @26,000 miles the turbo went south. Both were replaced under warranty. My selling/servicing dealer (Kings Mazda, Cincinnati) has been great, the only problem being that I live just outside of Louisville, KY-@100 miles away(the Louisville dealers lost my business because of ridiculous ADM stickers, their policy of no test drives without a buyers order, and the fact that none of their parts or service personnel have developed opposable thumbs). The car has been reliable over the past 12,000 miles and it isn't a bad drive, but I think my next car will be one that has decent dealer support in the Louisville area.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    The CX-7 has TONS of competition too. Lots of better-known brands make well-liked small crossovers, starting with Ford, Honda, and Toyota. Mazda just doesn't have the name appeal, and the CX-7 doesn't particularly stand out in its class.

    This highlights what IMO is the BIGGEST problem that Mazda has here in the US: No advertising budget. I see more ads for the local Mazda car dealer than I do from Mazda themselves, and that's sad.

    I fully understand that they're a smaller car company compared to Honda and Toyota, but Hyundai was smaller than Mazda at one time, and IIRC they had spent a good amount of $$$$ in advertising when they first started out, which has continued to today, hence the reason why they now sell more than Mazda, and are still growing.

    I fully believe that is Mazda threw some $$$$ at advertising, they'd become a blip on the radar of the casual car buyer, and although Mazda isn't for everyone, there are still plenty of potential buyers that want a little fun while getting a great deal on a vehicle, whether they're looking for a subcompact (Mazda3), a sport sedan (Mazda6), or a crossover (CX-7, CX-9).

    Mazda is more than rotaries and Miatas, and it's time that the US car-buyer knows about it!
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    the Louisville dealers lost my business because of ridiculous ADM stickers, their policy of no test drives without a buyers order, and the fact that none of their parts or service personnel have developed opposable thumbs.

    But tell us how you REALLY feel about them....
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,676
    But tell us how you REALLY feel about them....

    I know, I need to start learning to express my true feelings... ;)
    The last straw was when I stopped by Oxmoor Mazda to pick up some front pads; they wanted $50 over MSRP- or $100 more than what a couple of online Mazda dealers wanted. Before that I had called Neil Huffman Mazda and asked if they had my color of touch-up paint. The reply from the parts guy?
    "We don't carry none o' that kinda stuff."
    Reassuring, no?

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    The Mazda dealer network really leaves a lot to be desired, yes. I am torn as to whether they should plow a bunch of money into advertising their cars, or if it wouldn't be better spent upgrading their dealers and setting new standards for them.

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

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    All three Mazda dealerships in my area seem just fine, as far as I can tell. I've dealt with two of them a bit, not so much with the third.

    Others say similar things about VW dealerships, but again my dealings with those in my area have been just fine.

    Maybe we just have good dealers in my area in general, or I am easy to satisfy (I don't think I am).
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,388
    Just going on shopping our local guys since I haven't bought from either but the VW guy was great and quite reasonable and the Mazda guy was a shark. Since that experience the VW place burned down and the Mazda franchise went from the Lincoln Mercury dealership to the Chevy place so all bets are off.
  • tlongtlong CaliforniaPosts: 4,766
    I've only been to the Mazda dealer ONCE in 43K miles on our Mazda 5 since we bought it, and the dealer seemed ok. That's one of the reasons I won't buy a VW any more even though I like their cars - I had terrible service experiences.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    That's one of the reasons I won't buy a VW any more even though I like their cars - I had terrible service experiences.

    You are not alone - almost a universal statement.
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 41,297
    edited October 2010
    "Ford seems to be more than symbolically distancing from Mazda if the plan takes place to reduce its ownership from today's 11 percent to less than three percent and would leave Mazda with no significant tie-ups with a larger automaker. "

    Will Mazda Try to be the New Honda? (AutoObserver)

    "While the relationships do continue, we would envisage further divergence into the future as each manufacturer continues to develop their own products," commented Ford spokesman Don Hume.

    Mazda, then, is pushing forward with its own "Building Block" strategy for future product development. That's to say, step-by-step introduction of new models and technology, using mostly its own resources."

    With or Without Ford, Mazda Bets Its Future on Technological Makeover (AutoObserver)

    Moderator
    Minivan fan. Feel free to message or email me - stever@edmunds.com.

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    They have capacity at Flat Rock to build 100,000 Mazda6's per year, but there is currently only demand for 50,000. The Mazda bigwig that was being interviewed said he wasn't sure it was the best move to start production of a different model there because it would "hollow out Japan", and that mazda6 sales are down because midsize demand has declined.

    I don't think it has declined that much! Toyota and Honda are still selling 250K Camcords per year, and Nissan and Ford are doing very nicely at the 150K mark with the Altima and Fusion. It's just that Mazda has little U.S. presence, a small dealer network, and not much in the way of an advertising budget, not to mention the 6's underwhelming redesign.

    The next-gen rotary is stalled. But the big-smiley-face 3 just keeps selling like hotcakes.

    And somehow they want to turn that into 400K sales per year by 2015 (double the current rate) in the U.S.?? I just don't see it happening. This "SkyActiv" program to reduce weight and improve fuel economy doesn't look any more promising than the new fuel efficiency programs of any of the major automakers.

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

  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,785
    Well, since I bought a Mazda5 several months ago that I pretty much love, I would like Mazda to succeed. I think they need to keep their sporty character, and enhance that. My Mazda5--at least compared to other minivans--drives like a little sports sedan/station wagon. I like the platform a lot. Nice shifting manual transmissions. As other makers abandon that, Mazda could be the place for sporty, economical vehicles.
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