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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,582
    they do have a loyal following. I think a big part of surviving is how strong they are at home, and if they keep things modest. Some of the makers that die are ones that try to grow too much, and get in over their head.

    mazda might be in that sweet spot like Subaru that they can keep up steady sales as long as they have interesting product to sell, and don't try to get too big (or cater to mass market tastes).

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • What you think the ford edge is it a mazda.My wife had a cx7 that 4 banger really got up.She loved it untill I told her it was a truck.She went back to Toyota camry,but a car will ride better than a suv.That 4 banger T will smoke a 6 cyclender 4runner.ask my son.
  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,582
    the Edge is not a mazda, and the CX7 is not a truck. basically it is a slightly jacked up station wagon (or hatchback if that makes you feel better). But it is 100% on a car platform.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    Mazda to Unveil Compact SUV Concept in March

    Great looking concept IMO. Sounds like it will be all new and not based on the Escape this time around. :D
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    What's that going to be, the CX-5?! I'm bored of Mazda's silly model names made up of letters.

    And since Ford sold a gazillion Escapes annually and Mazda managed to sell like a dozen Tributes, despite being almost the identical car, I wonder how they are going to do better with this thing, which does admittedly look pretty good from the outside.

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

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    The Tribute sold pretty well when it came out actually. It's the fact that it's a 10 year old design is why sales have faltered. Plus, the refresh in 2006 (I think) kinda dumbed down the looks from the sharp looking (IMO) original.

    If Mazda applies the same formula to this new CUV as they did with the M3 then it could be pretty fun to drive, especially if they take the same approach to the segment as they did with the M5 sportvan (balanced chassis, manual tranny!).
  • fezofezo Posts: 9,353
    One reason the Escape sells so much better is the ease of finding Ford dealers vs. Mazda dealers.

    I'm in a county of more than half a million people and for several years we didn't have a Mazda dealer. There's one that opened up in the past year.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,559
    edited January 2011
    I'm in a county of more than half a million people and for several years we didn't have a Mazda dealer. There's one that opened up in the past year.

    The problem is, even when a Mazda dealer is nearby they often suck.
    Hard.
    Ask me how I know...:mad:

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

  • fezofezo Posts: 9,353
    I can take a guess.....
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,559
    On the bright side there is an indie shop in Louisville that is run by some Mazda techs; they do really outstanding work at a reasonable price.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 14,582
    proably not, but autoweek came yesterday, and they had a review of the Detroit auto show. One featured car (I think they voted it best concept) was a small Ford SUV, supposedly a thinly disguised new Escape. Very nice looking piece. Probably no Mazda version, given how Mazda is going it's own way, and they already have the CX-7.

    2013 Acura RDX (wife's), 2007 Volvo S40 (daughter stole that one), and 2000 Acura TL (formerly son's, now mine again)

  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    It'll probably be called a CX-5.

    Click me!
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,763
    "Mazda Motor Corp. said it will suspend production at its plants, in Hiroshima and Hofu, at least through Wednesday and during that period will be evaluating its ability to produce and ship vehicles after March 16. “We are expecting shortages of certain parts, such as steel plates and brake parts, to name a few,” Mazda spokesman Kotaro Minagawa told the trade journal Automotive News. The company’s shutdown will affect production of every model it sells in the U.S. except the Michigan-built Mazda6."

    Quake Aftermath Severe, Deep Auto Sector Impact (AutoObserver)

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  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    Given that my wife and I just bought our first Mazda together (my second .. I'll explain in a minute), I'm very much in favor of Mazda succeeding here in the US. We traded in a Saturn for the Mazda -- hate, hate, hate being an owner of an "orphan" brand, even though I still have one Saturn in the family.

    My first Mazda was a '91 Protege that my first wife and I bought. Really loved that car - it had that miniature MB E-class look to it. In fact, we liked it so much we almost bought a second Protege - stick instead of the automatic we had. But, being the fool, I thought that owning two of the same make and model was dumb, so I got a '91 Nissan Sentra SE instead. Dumb, dumb, dumb decision. The auto Protege was totaled in an accident not 2 years after we got it, and the wife wanted a Honda Accord instead. We ended up splitting not long after that, and I moved to Colorado with the Sentra.

    Our current Mazda is a '10 CX-7 Grand Touring, loaded with all the bells and whistles ... Bluetooth, rear backup camera, nav, blind spot warning, memory seats, keyless start. Very peppy, that 2.3L turbo. Wife thinks it has more get up an go than her previous DD - '08 Saturn VUE XR with the 3.6L V6. I think that's because the Mazda weighs 550 pounds less than the Saturn, which gives it a better power to weight ratio.

    Yeah, it takes premium fuel, but we're getting maybe 1-2 MPG better with the Mazda. We've got a 1500 mile road trip planned for May, so I'll be curious what kind of mileage we get on the open road (EPA says 23 - we'd seen as much as 24.5 from the Saturn).

    Anyway, I know that Mazda is a bit player on the automotive stage, and Ford's decision to separate ties with them, developmentally, is a bit of a blow to future product planning, but I'm optimistic that Mazda can remain a success with their 'budget BMW' product placement. The 2 is, IMO, more sporty than the Fiesta, and the 3 stacks up well to the new '12 Focus (even though C&D named the Focus a winner in a recent comparo test).

    In fact, all up and down the line, Mazda makes vehicles with a more sporty flavor than the bland product that comes from Chevrolet, Honda and Nissan. Hyundai may be a different story - the Sonata comes in Vanilla (naturally aspirated), Green (hybrid) and red-hot (turbo) flavors, but I don't think the driving experience quite matches up to Mazda.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,692
    is a nice little car, but it is selling so poorly that unless it starts to get some major attention, I can't imagine how the North American dealers will be able to make the case to continue selling it at the end of the product cycle in two years.

    Mazda's future health will depend on the sales success of the Tribute replacement (will it really be called the CX-5?) and the Mazda 6. The Mazda3 cannot continue to be 60% of all sales, or however much of the majority of sales it is. It is built in Japan. It is one model, with a relatively low profit margin for Mazda, I imagine, and very dependent on the yen-dollar exchange rate.

    Since the North American plant is at such low volumes, they should transplant 3 production to the States. Stabilize the profits from that model, and make it less subject to the vagaries of earthquakes and energy prices.

    I am gunning for Mazda - I think as Suzuki and perhaps Mitsubishi fall out of the U.S. market, Mazda's prospects will improve even further. How can we let the company that produces the Miata be driven out of North America??

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

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,559
    Yeah, it takes premium fuel, but we're getting maybe 1-2 MPG better with the Mazda. We've got a 1500 mile road trip planned for May, so I'll be curious what kind of mileage we get on the open road (EPA says 23 - we'd seen as much as 24.5 from the Saturn).

    I expect you will do better than 23 on the road; my 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 is EPA rated at 20 City/28 Highway and I get over 29 on the highway if I keep it under 70 and decline any invitations to the Stop Light Grand Prix... :P

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

  • michaellnomichaellno Posts: 4,300
    I expect you will do better than 23 on the road; my 2007 Mazdaspeed 3 is EPA rated at 20 City/28 Highway and I get over 29 on the highway if I keep it under 70 and decline any invitations to the Stop Light Grand Prix...

    I'm hoping we'll see 24-25 MPG .. the driving is at altitude (CO to NM to AZ) and most of the interstate is signed at 75. We might do 80, just for a bit of a thrill. I'll reset the trip computer to get a read on the trip MPG.

    I've been thinking about an MS3 as my fun car - whenever I get to the point where I can buy one. Keep the Saturn as the winter car and keep the 3 in the garage during the winter months.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,559
    I've been thinking about an MS3 as my fun car

    Just buy a 2008 or newer; my 2007 had several teething issues. That said, it's not a bad pocket rocket.

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

  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    edited May 2011
  • cannon3cannon3 Posts: 296
    Mazda will struggle. Without Ford for distribution/logistical purposes Mazda will struggle. As much as some think Ford was bad for Mazda read and search the internet, Ford was not bad for Mazda. Ford has parted ways with Mazda and both will continue to break away in the coming years. The Tribute will fade away, such as the 6 has. Mazda will have to find niche cars/suvs people want. Its markets share will continue to shrink. Not because Mazda builds bad vehicle, because of market/consumer awareness of its products. Will Mazda leave the U.S. market? doubt it. Mazda will become a smaller car company offering vehicles others don't for a smaller market. Just because Mazda doesn't sell 200,000 CX7's or 3's doesn't mean its any less of a vehicle than a CRV/Escape or focus/civic/corrolla.
  • anythngbutgmanythngbutgm Posts: 4,175
    As much as some think Ford was bad for Mazda read and search the internet, Ford was not bad for Mazda.

    I agree with you to a point. Unfortunately Ford played a big role in the launch of one of the most recalled vehicles in history, (even more so than the Chevy Citation I believe), the Escape, Also, rebadged as the Mazda Tribute. Stupid stuff like wheels falling off (Not steering wheels like the Chevy Snuze), leaking fuel lines, I think there was one for seats becoming detached, engine fires. etc... plagued the entire line for the first year anyway. Thankfully the capabilities, longterm reliability (after all the fixes) and the good, if not inoffensive looks made up for the first year glitches.

    Then there was the B-series trucks which, while under Ford control were nothing more than Ford Rangers in America, while the rest of the world got actual Mazda designed trucks. "Power trip" maybe?

    Lastly, Ford has more to thank with Mazda than the other way around when we review the successful Fusion triplets which are underpinned by a Mazda designed, Mazda 6/Atenza platform and a Mazda designed 4-cylinder as the base engine. Oh, and the platform also made its way under other Ford models like the Edge and MKX.

    I, personally believe the two were a good match for each other. I also believe both of them brought much to the table over the years they were together, so I'm not going to agree with the assumption that Mazda is lost or is going to fall without Ford holding their hand for them down the road...
  • steverstever Viva Las CrucesPosts: 40,763
    "Media accounts from Japan on Friday said Mazda Motor Corp. intends to conclude its joint-venture manufacturing operations with Ford Motor Co. at their assembly plant in Flat Rock, MI. Mazda still would not confirm the reports of long-rumored pullout at the plant, however, although the company said earlier this year it would announce by the middle of 2011 whether it would continue building the Mazda6 midsize sedan at Flat Rock, which also assembles the Mustang musclecar for Ford."

    Mazda May Force Ford's Hand At Michigan Assembly Plant (AutoObserver)

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  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    Skyactiv, which is a whole range of engine, transmission, and even construction technologies, is Mazda's big hope at this point.

    http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/skyactiv/

    Looks like they are cashing out of the money losing flat rock plant, and instead will open one in Mexico to keep costs down.

    I think that's a shame. I think the route to big success in the USA is to have your own plant--not one shared with someone else or in Mexico. I know it's only part of the puzzle, but look what built in America has done for Honda, Toyota, Nissan, and now Hyundai. They never would have gotten so big here without the built in USA label...

    Still, Mazda might come back if these Skyactiv techs pay off as expected...
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    I'm worried about them...

    US plant?

    Partner with deep pockets (BMW???)?

    Will Skyactiv alone save them?
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    Fairly radical design change for this car, which is due out in about a year as a 2013 model. Looks quite sleek and racy. My 9 year old daughter likes it, and she's someone whose taste in cars I'm beginning to trust.

    http://www.mazda.com/mazdaspirit/design/#/gallery/shinari/

    This has video of the Shinari concept vehicle driving on the streets of Japan. We can assume the production model will be slightly taller for more headroom and have slightly smaller wheels, but otherwise it looks like this is what they are going to build for this car. It will stand out, and even if Mazda's styling has been controversial with its demonic-grin Mazda3, you have to admit it's been a sales success for them.

    The Shanari/Mazda6 will incorporate all of Mazda's Skyactiv technologies for engine, body, chassis, transmissions, etc. Weight should go down by c. 10% over the current Mazda6. And gas mileage should go up c. 20%. And so it should have class leading mpg of c.25 city and c.36 highway.

    Production will be moved from Flat Rock to Japan. Supposedly this is more efficient for them, but I'm not sure that letting go of the made in USA label is a wise choice. I think they should do what other Asian makers have done and build their own stand-alone factory somewhere in the South. The subsidies for these factories are huge, as we all know.

    But financially it's not clear Mazda can swing that. They lost money last year and their financial situation is not the strongest.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited July 2011
    a very simple 40 second amateur video of the actual prototype inside and out in Milan:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmdVK8u48dY

    An elaborate 4 minute Mazda video of the car in motion driving the streets of Japan and such:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SLZJjXyaTvY

    My 9 year old daughter says: "It looks like a MAD kitty--but in a *good* way! I *like* this car! Mazda designs are sleek--and they're the most interesting." She should be a car critic maybe...

    Here's another 30 second video with some stills:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JIWfeGbdQxE&feature=iv&annotation_id=annotation_5- - 09955

    "I *like* those seats!"
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited July 2011
    3 minute bio of chief styling designer for Mazda Kiuo Maeda:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rHnE1QF2nk4&feature=relmfu

    Promo video of Mazda. Has nice shots of old rotary engines at the 2 minute mark. Says they started on Skyactiv around 2007. Their goal is eventually a 30% reduction in the weight of their cars. The video is a way too silly and touchy feely imho, but it does have some good info in it. Mazda's small size may, ironically, make it more nimble in terms of taking on engineering challenges. This one is called Sky is the Limit. It has a lot of talking head stuff with Kiyoshi Fujiwara, chief enginner at Mazda in charge of product planning. He's had a things for Mazdas since the Cosmo rotary sports car made in the late 60s when he was as little kid (it was kind of the Mazda Corvette, prelude to the original RX-7):

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BnloQfih85k&feature=relmfu

    This one is called Romance in Engineering. Has some nice shots of Hiroshima, where my Mazda5 was made. It's focused on chief Mazda chassis engineer Seita Kanai. Talks about how the city rose from the ashes, and how that was inspiring. Weird past, present, future thing going on with a little kid building rockets and stuff, which is corny, but still there's good information here. Kanai was inspired by German cars that could cruise at 200kph (125mpg), compared to c. 170 kph for Japanese cars. He wanted to design a chassis that could do 200kph too. In 2006 they started setting ambitious goals for where they wanted to be by 2015.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IYwTcBw3Bk0&feature=relmfu
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,842
    I think they should do what other Asian makers have done and build their own stand-alone factory somewhere in the South.

    IMHO, easier said than done. First, I don't think Mazda could justify the investment in a new plant vis a vis their NA sales. Second, it's not easy to close or leave a unionized plant and reopen in a non-union friendly area. I believe they would suffer consumer backlash doing something like that. IMHO, they should have built in the south like the other transplants originally but even back then they couldn't justify the investment of a stand alone facility.
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited July 2011
    called The Ultimate Engine, this new video profiles the their chief ICE engineer:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=itNB97Z77XE&feature=relmfu

    The new high compression skyactiv engines are obviously going to be important for Mazda.

    Again, these are very corny, I know, but this is still some good info here. This video actually has more technical stuff about skyactiv engines with less cornball junk:

    http://www.youtube.com/user/zoomzoom#p/c/F18649AEFFFFD1B1/2/B5FTHe6mpHE

    quick overview of all the different skyactiv techs

    http://www.youtube.com/user/zoomzoom#p/c/F18649AEFFFFD1B1/0/oMuCERw4eZk
  • benjaminhbenjaminh Posts: 1,781
    edited July 2011
    "... IMHO, they should have built in the south like the other transplants originally but even back then they couldn't justify the investment of a stand alone facility."

    I sort of agree with you robr2. Looking back on it with 20/20 hindsight over the last 26 years this was a crucial failure of vision by Mazda that has cost them very dearly. My family bought a Mazda B2000 truck back in 1985. Mazdas were more common on the road then than they are today I'm pretty sure. I think total sales for Mazda back in 1985, counting cars and trucks, may have been as much as 200,000. About 100k of that was in that B2000 truck, I think. And when the all-new 1986 B2000 came out I really think it was the best of all of the Japanese small trucks at the time, and I think the auto mags said so too. Ours was very well built and reliable. And back then there was a 25% tariff on imported trucks. If they'd built a small factory somewhere in the South or Midwest, say about the size of Honda's very first in Ohio, which had a capacity for 150,000 when it first started, I think they could have well supported it mostly with just that great B2000 truck. And if they'd advertised the heck out of the made in usa label, like Honda and Toyota did, I think they might have been a strong 4th--right behind Nissan--in Japanese US sales today. I know it's all just guessing.

    But Mazda seems like a company with brilliant flashes that makes solid cars, but just keeps missing out on the big time. And I worry that today, in the US anyway, not having a made in USA label might even be a kiss of death. I hope not! But just having great cars isn't enough to be a big player here.

    Look at these sad stats for Mazda sales from 1995 to 2005. 283k sold in 1995 and 258k sold ten years later. I don't know what the stats are for 2010, but probably similar.

    Mazda U.S. Sales

    1995
    283,745

    1996
    238,285

    1997
    221,840

    1998
    240,546

    1999
    243,708

    2000
    255,526

    2001
    269,602

    2002
    258,213

    2003
    258,865

    2004
    263,882

    2005
    258,339

    from an article from Forbes from about 5 years ago:

    http://www.forbes.com/2006/05/01/backseat-driver-mazda-cx_jf_0502flint.html

    Backseat Driver
    Zoom Zoom
    Jerry Flint, 05.02.06, 6:00 AM ET

    New York -

    Car writers love Mazda cars. Auto scribes praise Mazdas for their performance, ride, handling, looks and value. Only one problem: There has been no growth in Mazda sales for over a decade....
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