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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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  • car3car3 Posts: 27
    I am formally Car Guy 58 so I guess I'm your main poster as far as Mazda goes.

    Mazda has to remember this is not the late 80's/early 90's with the sports coupe market. This is not 1991 its 2004 with SUV's all over the place. I don't know Mazda's sales targets for the RX-8 for this year. I think they did meet their sales targets as far as July 03-December 03 as far as RX-8 sales goals are concerned. Mazda just made too many RX-8's I think. They have to market the car on commercials more too. Its not a Honda S2000 where its going to sell through ads in Import Magazines. Mazda has not yet garnered that reputation with import tuners the way Honda has. It took Honda a long time to garner that reputation. It didn't happen overnight for Honda.

    Yes I have seen the large inventories at one particular Mazda dealer in Central NJ too but look at the price and Mazda is just making a comeback in NA. I think the 6 and 3 will do good for them. I don't think the RX-8 will be as big as Mazda thinks it is going to be.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    reading a comparo in MT between RX8, 350Z, and S2000, and hey! Guess what? RX8 won it! Now the 350Z is a volume car for Nissan, so it is reasonable to think that if more people just knew about Mazda, and would actually shop it before buying, all those excess RX8s might just fly out dealership doors! Mazda is like a really great secret: fantastic for the people who know it, but unknown to most of the people out there.

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

  • i really like the RX-8, but i think the rotary engine displacement is too small. i can't see how it will last with all the high revving required to keep it on the boil. the engine produces so little torque (less than the 2.3L engine in the mazda 3) that even with the RX-8's light weight, it now shares honours with the honda s2000 as the whiniest, most tylenol-inducing car to drive on a regular basis. give me a dodge hemi magnum instead with space to stash my board, amp, and guitars.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    the MT article said that the rotary in the RX8 revved so smoothly, linearly, and quietly, that the only cue that an upshift was needed was the rev limiter audible warning that Mazda put in to sound when 9000 rpm is approaching. So "whiny" and "Tylenol-inducing", it apparently is not.

    If you have ever driven a rotary, I don't think you would ever look at a crude large-displacement V-8 again. Those rotaries wind out like jet engines. The rush of power is amazing. But it is true, that your driving style has to include enjoying keeping the engine on boil.

    Oh yeah, and don't forget - this car is only 2800 pounds or so. 240 hp in a 2800 pound car with perfect 50/50 weight distribution. That 2-ton Magnum may beat the RX8 off a stoplight start, but throw in any turns, or give the RX8 a quarter mile, and the Mazda will do itself proud, I am sure.

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

  • good points. actually, you mention the one thing that i didn't like about my mazda--the linear power delivery. if you've ever worked on bikes or done testing on a dyno and at the racetrack, you'll find that most seat-of-the-pants testing will prove that a defined and noticeable sweet spot/bulge in the powerband gives a more satisfactory kinaesthetic feeling than a linear power delivery.

    it's that "whooosh" feeling as you hit the meaty part of the band and really take off that makes you feel like you're rocketing away. i wish mazda would be less scientific about this and give their cars more of a defined "spiky" power curve instead of a smooth flat line where the power builds up evenly.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    yeah! and I also want really crappy tires so when I hear squealing while going around bends, my auditory senses tell me I'm taking that turn REALLY fast when, in fact, I'm only going about 15 mph. Woohoo! and let's not forget that Folger's can tailpipe for that "I got no power-robbing exhaust" sound. ooooooo... and a 5-foot wing so it looks like i need it when going 200 mph! yeah, baby!

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • actually, much of the appeal of cars like the mini and morgan and miata is that the perception of speed is much greater than real speed. this is what i refer to as kinaesthetic impression, that gut feeling you get driving a vehicle.

    some people "complain" that the exceedingly excellent sound proofing in certain luxury cars makes them feel cut off from the road, robbing them of the important aural pleasures of hearing engine roar, wind (not the self-generated kind), and tires, things which give the driver the impression of speed and acceleration. all the while the vehicle itself is going lightning fast, but what good is that if you feel like you're sitting in a muffled marsmallow?

    as a long-time motorcyclist, i abhor noisy pipes, am very sensitive to the sound and feel of the engine (singles, v-twins,triples, and inline 4s all have very different characteristics) and prefer bikes which have a pleasing power delivery. you might be surprised that bikes with a flat linear power delivery are often the least "enjoyable" to ride because they don't rocket you forward.

    when i press the throttle in a car, i want the car to accelerate immediately with no hesitation and be geared towards power at the bottom end. obviously this makes me a candidate for a torque rich V8 powered car like the magnum, or a v-twin naked sport bike or standard. some people like the sound and feel of winding the engine up to the redline and hearing the wailing song of high rpm. someone like this would probably love an S2000 or RX-8.

    the worst is when a car has neither style nor speed. the driver and car you describe with the "all show and no go" superficial add-ons is most usually a young man with aspirations of a fast sports car but who can only afford to drive a less popular car, often a family hand-me-down or inexpensive beater.

    while it may be funny, there's no point in ridiculing someone who can't afford better. as someone i know used to say to people who would use their material posessions to look down on other people, "poor people know just as well as you what the finer things in life are. they just can't afford them."

    the only thing that i can't understand are those people who can afford a nice car in good condition like a prelude or accord coupe and add grotesque wings and body kits that mask all the original lines on the car. i prefer Q ships, cars that appear stock, but are modifed in places you can't see. of course, taste is a personal matter, right?
  • car3car3 Posts: 27
    Mazda plans on bringing the Mircro-Sport to the US and the MX-5 door. I wonder how those 2 cars will fit in with the 3 and 6. Mazda has good cars like the 3 and 6 they won't outsell Nissan or Honda but they will fill Mazda's niche in the Us market. I'm just questioning their future line-up in the US. Does Mazda want to be Subaru or a VW like Manufacturer? Where will the Microsport be priced at? Will the Microsport be too close in Mazda's line-up with the 3? The MX-5 door where does this go in Mazda's line-up? Is it replaceing the Tribute after the current bodystyle of the Tribute goes away after of the 05 model year? Lots of questions even from a Mazda enthusiast.
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    I already knew exactly what you meant. No further explanation was needed. And, while I don't disagree with you in regards to perception, I still find it humorous that someone prefers the feel of speed over the real thing. Ya know, a good Virtual Reality machine can give you quite the feeling of speed while going absolutely nowhere. But, hey, to each his own. If someone wants to ride a tricycle because it "feels" faster than the RX8, I'm not going to argue.

    and as far as that all-show-no-go car, it has nothing to do with money. For all the bucks these add-ons cost, that person could have had a faster car to start with. So don't hand me that "ridiculing someone who can't afford better" because most of those cars wind up costing way more than a good stock car.

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    really? Perhaps its purpose is to add a little "funk" to the fairly straightforward line Mazda has now?

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

  • funny you mention that, cuz my neon now costs as much as an infiniti g35 coupe. i wish i hadn't spent so much on those 24 karat gold door locks...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Posts: 17,536
    darn. where'd you find those? I only got 14karat. i'm so depressed now. ;)

    '13 Stang GT; '15 Fit; '98 Volvo S70; '14 Town&Country

  • grbeckgrbeck Posts: 2,361
    car3: Where did you hear that the Tribute is going away? Ford is tweaking the 2005 Escape - I just saw one at the dealer - so I figured it would be around for another 2-3 years. The Tribute is built at the same plant.

    Complicating questions about Mazda's future is its close relationship with Ford. Look for Ford to increasingly rely on Mazda for its smaller cars and SUVs. That has to affect what Mazda offers, and how the brand is positioned in the market.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Escape and Tribute are going to hang around, and the Freestyle will be here in a year, sort of a Highlander-sized Escape with the V-6 as the only engine. I wonder if there will ever be a Mazda version of the Freestyle...

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

  • car3car3 Posts: 27
    I don't know if the Tribute is going away or what but since they are bringing the MX-5 Hatch I don't know where the Tribute is useful in their line-up.

    I don't think Ford is complicating Mazda at all right now. Lets face it Ford totally threw Mazda off in the mid 90's and buyers wiped Mazda vehicles off their shopping list when buyers were ready to buy a new car. To me Mazda is doing its own thing right now. I just don't know what kind of direction they are going in as a brand in terms of product. Mazda has been know to make small cars before like the last generation MX-6(93-97.) Small cars seem to be where Mazda thrives. I'm just not sure if selling small cars in the US like the Microsport is going to work because of the big SUV market. However there is a sign that small cars might be making a comeback in the US: Honda is bringing the Fit/Jazz over to the US and Honda in terms of product decision is usually a real good gage in terms of where the US market is headed. Remember the CR-V in 1996-1997: the Cross-over SUV's all over the place now.
  • car3car3 Posts: 27
    Well Mazda along with the intro's of the Microsport, and MX-5 hatch will also bring along a new SUV priced in the 30K-40K price range. This is fresh new off the Mazda 6(sedans board section of town hall.) The new SUV will be based off the Mazda 6 platform. It will be between a Tribute and Ford Explorer in size.

    This begs the question will people spend 30K-40K on a Mazda since the Millenia failed in that price range? Some people will see it as another gas guzzling SUV and it will sell in bulkloads.

    So Mazda's line-up looks like this in a few years:

    Subcompact: Microsport
    Compact: 3
    Mid-size: 6
    Entry level SUV(If they keep it around:) Tribute
    Sports Cars: Miata and Rx-8
    Full Size SUV off the Mazda 6 platform(no name known of yet.)

    I don't know where the Mx-5 hatch fits in this line-up.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    you have missed the obvious "coincidence", this new proposed Mazda SUV is going to be exactly the same size and spec as the upcoming Freestyle! Coincidence? I think not. The Freestyle has already been announced as using the platform from the Mazda6.

    I was actually wondering what Ford will do with Explorer once it has Freestyle - they seem to be very similar in size, passenger capacity, and power.

    Could it be time for a new Mazda Navajo? LOL.

    And once Ford releases its new mini-ute (what's the name? I forget), I guess Mazda could have a version of that too, at which point I imagine Tribute might go away.

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

  • car3car3 Posts: 27
    From the information I gathered the new Mazda SUV will be a variant of the Lincoln SUv(whatever that means.) I guess a Lincoln which Mazda will put its own touches on.

    I rather Mazda just build its own SUV rather than Ford getting invloved with it. I don't mid Mazda using Ford engines and putting their own touches on it but everything else it seems Ford has put in Mazda cars has damaged Mazda's rep.
  • to call the upcoming Mazda model an "SUV". Mazda has been describing it as a "crossover" and has released several concept cars in recent years that could provide clues about what it will look like: case in point, the Mazda MX-Tourer.

    http://www.mazda.com.au/articleZone.asp?articleZoneID=880

    Mazda will certainly build this vehicle off the Mazda6 platform, but I think it will be more "Pacifica" in nature than "Explorer" or even "Freestyle". In other words more focused on providing flexibility, space and luxury than utility.

    My guess is that this vehicle may be one of the few in the Mazda line-up that uses a variation of the new 3.5 duratec, but Mazda also may debut a hybrid powertrain, as they displayed in the MX-Tourer concept.

    If Mazda is in fact aiming for a new product in the near-luxury price range, I think they would be wise to benchmark the new Mercedes Vision GST - which is exactly the kind of niche that I think and hope Mazda will fill.

    As for the Tribute, Both Ford and Mazda will have a freshened version on the ground in March. There is no reason to believe that Mazda will not continue to offer this model for at least several more years to really wring some profit out of it.

    The more interesting question mark is the B-Series truck. Mazda does quite well with it in Canada, but Ford continues to push back it re-design of the Ranger, now not slated until 2008 I think. I've heard that Mazda Canada has considered dropping the Ford derived vehicle and bringing back a Japanese-built version, which they still sell in Asia and Australia.

    http://www.mazda.com.au/articleZone1.asp?articleZoneID=1855
  • I don't expect that we'll get any Japanese-built B-series trucks in the US; there's still a 25-percent tariff on them. (Which is why Toyota and Nissan rushed to build pickups here, after all.)
  • car3car3 Posts: 27
    SYV's or Crossover's is what seems to sell nowadays. That'll definately bring more traffic to Mazda showrooms.

    About a pick-up I would like to see Mazda offer a pick-up without Ford or just get rid of it altogether. Mazda right now is doing what Audi/VW did in the in the late 90's: redesigning, and renaming models.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Mazda 6 sales were up 80% percent in February. Mazda 3 sales were up from last month. Over all Mazda sales were up 18.4 percent from last years numbers from January 2003. So far overall Mazda sales are up 21 percent from overall from last years totals. This marks the 6 the straight month of growth for Mazda sales.

    I can't wait for the new MPV which is coming out I think is coming out for 06.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    Read an article in the Wall Street Journal Mazda may make a Us-only version of their Mazda 6 car for the 07-08 model year(the current 6 is aworld car.) The 07-08 6 will have more power and will be roomier than the current model. I like the current 6 to me the Camry and Accord are like full-size cars now. I am disspointed the 6 will go throw its super-sizing phase like the 92 Camry, 98 Accord, 02 Altima, and 04 Galant went through.

    In other Mazda news Mazda has announced they will make a Mid-sized SUV. To me thats a good thing.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    While I like the 6's package, I do think that Mazda is going to have to seperate the 6 from the 3 more. Just too close in size in my opinion.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    I just hope the next generation 6 has style to it to set it apart from Toyota. If the next gen 6 has interior room and no style to set it apart from Toyota I think it will bomb. Its just my opinion. Mazda sells cars on exterior styling as a selling point while Toyota sells cars on interior room. Mazda cannot play Toyota's game. Ford forced Mazda to play Toyota's game in the mid 90's and it failed. What gives me hope that the next generation 6 will succeed in the US is that the move to super-size the 6 for the US Market was made by the Japanese officials at Mazda and not by Ford. Mazda is a young people's car company. They can't afford to lose their core buyer. Thats what I am scared of with the next generation 6 Mazda might lose their target car buyer. Mazda finally has a target demograhic for the first time in years. I hope they don't step out of their target demographic with the next generation 6.

    Mazda has switched their target demograhic over the last 10 years so much. They are tring to win buyers they had 10-13 years ago and also buyers in their mid 20's. To me Mazda has alot going for it right now. I just don't want to see them ruin it.
  • wimsey1wimsey1 Posts: 201
    Looks like Mazda is holding aces in cars and jokers in trucks. Up over 50% in cars is very impressive. Maybe they should just dump trucks.
    I happen to like the MPV's more compact size but it's not what american buyers generally like in a "mini" van. We seem to like mini to be maxi.
    Carguy58-I agree, now that Mazda seems to have found it's niche they need to stay focused. They are a sporty alternative for those who don't have BMW style money. I'd like to see them spin a RWD sedan off the RX-8 platform and an inexpensive sport coupe off the Miata. Maybe put the Ford SOHC V-8 in a "halo" version of the sedan (a la CTS-V), keep it around 30K. Make sure it's "european" enough that Ford doesn't think it is a threat to the 'Stang.
    If your listening Mazda, I'm willing to head these projects! :-D
    I think your right that going head to head with Toyonda would be dumb (was last time) and it would rob the enthusiasts of a neat alternative.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    a really great idea: a small RWD coupe (back seat included) spun off the Miata platform. Not only would it be a fun car, I am sure, but it would be very timely with the new RWD Kappa-based stuff coming from GM in the next few years.

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

  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    really just make a straight-up hardtop coupe Miata. For my own pleasure, put regular old perfectly round headlights on it and call it done.

    Man that would be fun. Basically a modern MGB GT that would start when it was wet outside. Hmmmmm drooling at the thought.
  • 6thbeatle6thbeatle Posts: 180
    that sounds wonderful, doesn't it? i believe mazda already has a working prototype of a hard-top miata coupe in japan where it has won universal praise from women drivers who like that sort of thing.
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