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Mazda - Does it have a good future in US?

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  • When I bought my 3 on 7/31 the dealer had a grand total of 6 of them to choose from, and had just gotten the one I ended up buying off the truck that same morning. There were no unprepped units on the back lot, nada!

    This was at the Mazda dealer in Fresno California, a metropolitan area of over half a million population, not some small town.

    Mine was a 6/04 production car, as were the other 2 that I looked at that night. Figure a month to 2 months between rolling off the line in Hiroshima and hitting dealer lots on this side of the Pacific, and that means there is little or no back inventory on the 3, they're selling as fast as they hit the dealerships.

    Given a 2 month or so lead time I bet production on the 3 was interrupted, however briefly, for the 05 model change, contributing to the short supply of 04 models at this time.

    I really doubt that we'll be seing leftover 04 Mazda 3s languishing on dealer lots in November.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    new and thoroughly competitive MPV? Sure! Although, how many tries are we going to give Mazda on this one?

    New Millennia? Now is not the right time, IMO. Gotta get a really solid grounding in core areas first. And in Mazda's case, gotta give a really great launch to the next Miata, the first real update this car has had in 14 years.

    I assume you want that MX-6 to be a two-door Mazda6? I like that idea - with more handling capabilities than the sedans and wagons. And for that matter, I like the idea of an MX-3 too.

    Mazdaspeed 3? I thought that was already in the works? Didn't I read something recently?

    As of 8/1, Automotive News reported a 50-day inventory of Mazda3s. Not THAT hot, but certainly better than the industry average. I think July and August were just dreadful for the industry in general.

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

  • guestguest Posts: 774
    On the topic of the MPV the van has only been updated twice in its existence. The same model ran from about 1990-1997 if I am right. The current one needs to be updated to go head to head with Honda, Toyota, and even Chrysler.

    In my opinion The MX-6 name needs to be reborn because when Mazda makes the 6 bigger in 2007 its going to leave some of their younger buyers out in the cold. Bringing back the MX-6 name will allow Mazda to still get that 20-30 year old buyer that the current 6 is getting now. From what I read in the current issue of Car and Driver the next 6 might be based on a Lincoln platorm. The way I see it Mazda could make an MX-6 on a shortened Lincoln platform. An MX-3? I remember the last generation MX-3. Kinda small in size for my tastes.

    Finally, thanks for clearing up the issue I have with Mazda 3 sales in the last couple of months. The industry average for a car is 65 days on a lot. Its very unusual in my opinion for a compact car to have such demand. I am happy to hear a Mazda Speed 3 is on the way. I'm wonderimg when that will debut.
  • nornenorne Posts: 136
    The following article is from latest issue of automotive news.

    "Mazda Motor Corp. plans to build more Mazda3s to meet strong demand in the United States and elsewhere.Mazda is assembling the Mazda3 at an annual pace of about 254,000. But demand is running at an annual pace of more than 300,000."

    As someone mentioned earlier maybe sales of mazda 3 is slowing due to lack of inventory?
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    the original MX-3 had an optional V-6 that I think was probaly the smallest production V-6 ever to grace our shores - wasn't it a 2.0? That car was a hoot.

    The MX-6, OTOH, had WAY too much Ford Probe for my tastes. This one needs to be Mazda-engineered from the ground up.

    The speculation I read on a Mazdaspeed 3 had it appearing in about a year. It was little more than heightened rumors, but I gave it some credence because it would make a lot of sense for Mazda.

    I heard it the other way around: the Lincoln Zephyr (and now Mercury Milan as well) are to be based on a stretched Mazda6 platform - isn't that right? I am betting that either the 6 Hatch or 6 Wagon will not make it (probably the hatch) due to low sales and if it is replaced by a MX-6 variant, I will be quite gratified!

    As to the 3, if what norne mentioned comes to pass and the 3 tops 300K annual sales, it will really be playing in the big leagues - corolla only tops out at about 330K-350K, and that would be well above Civic.

    The MPV debuted in 1989 - Mazda was ahead of both Nissan and Honda (GM also?) in having its own minivan, yet it has been surpassed in sales by all of them...and isn't this the fourth gen now, or was one of those just a refresh? Either way, I really thought they finally hit the sweet spot for a so-called "zoom zoom" minivan with the current model, but sales have not taken off. To me, that does not bode well.

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,448
    I believe that the MX-3 V6 was 1.8l, but don't hold me to it.

    I do rememebr thinking it was kinda silly jamming in a tiny V6 when a nice 4 would do the job just fine, and be cheaper.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    All 3's come from the same factory.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    ooooooooooohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...well the figures for Corolla and Civic I mentioned were U.S.-only. The Corolla sells almost a million a year worldwide. Don't know the corresponding figure for Civic, but it has to be pretty high because it is quite popular in Europe.

    stickguy, I wonder how big the standard 4-cyl was in the MX-3. Do you have any recollection, or will I have to go look it up?

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

  • stickguystickguy Posts: 15,448
    1.7l I think, but won't swear to it.

    2015 Hyundai Sonata 2.4i Limited Tech (mine), 2013 Acura RDX (wife's) and 2007 Volvo S40 (daughters college car)

  • The MX-3 had the 1.8 version of that V-6, which was also built in 2.0 and 2.5 liter versions.

    http://www.rs-productions.com/RSP_Motors/tech/sae-920677/sae-9206- 77.htm
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    so it had a standard 1.7 4-cyl, with the option being a 1.8 V-6??!! Subtle differences...

    ...edit...OK, wait, I looked it up, and at least according to the KBB, the 4-cyl was a 1.6. Still not a huge difference.

    I would really like to see them bring back the MX-3. I know sales were very slow back then which is why it got axed, but hatches were dying in the early 90s, and now they seem to be making a bit of a comeback.

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

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  • the 3 has grown on me, but i still prefer my 2003 pr5...
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    The second generation MX-6(93-97)did share platforms I think with the Ford Probe. The First generation MX-6(88-92) I'm not sure if it had alot in common with the Ford Probe at that time. I agree though if the MX-6 name does come back it has to have whole lot of zoom-zoom DNA.

    I agree with you on the Mazdaspeed 3. Mazda feeds the customer who is an enthusiast. Mazda definately has to go ahead and make a Mazdaspeed 3 for their enthusiast customers.

    Finally, with the MPV Mazda has to deal with Honda and Toyota head on in that category. Its hard to go up against Honda and Toyota head to head in the mini-van category. Mazda is just not good at marketing to familes. I figure though once the people who now own Mazda 3 and 6's when they have familes they won't run to HOnda and Toyota anymore. When Mazda went ahead with the 95 Protege and 98 626 they totally threw themselves for a loop in terms of target audience. They basically had no customers to buy the current MPV. To me the current MPV shares alot more exterior styling DNA with the 99 Protege 03 6, and 04 3 than with the 95 Protege and 98 626. Its hard to explain but you see where I am getting at here?
  • Mazdaspeed MPV. 350 horsepower AWD turbocharged minivan complete with hood scoop, aero body kit, wing spoiler, racing-harness type-seatbelts and manumatic tranny. Perfect for...umm...well...brain-burp over. :D
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    I see where you are going, and the only thing I would possibly dispute is that customers are that loyal to brands these days. But for those that are brand-loyal, the natural progression is from sedan to minivan, I think, as families grow, and Mazda had the 626 since the early 80s. The thing is, regardless of golf daddy's and soccer mommy's secret aspirations, most people don't want "zoom zoom" in a minivan. They want interior space and flexibility first, with a heavy helping of safety a close second, and good fuel economy and reliability if they are allowed a three and a four. Zoom zoom is down there around tenth, if it is on the list at all. Before that, they also want a good value, and they want a vehicle that fits everyone and everything but drives a lot more like a car than most SUVs do.

    BTW, I would love it if someone would clarify just what relation the MX-6 had to the Probe in the early years. I thought Ford was basically rebadging an all-Mazda MX-6 for the first-gen Probe, and it was more of a mixed bag, with a LOT more Ford parts, for the second gen of each.

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

  • 1st gen Probe and MX-6 were all-Mazda except for an optional V-6 version of the Probe which got the cast-iron Vulcan 3 litre V-6 originally designed for the first generation Taurus.

    2nd generation was more of a mixed bag except I think Ford dropped the Vulcan in the V-6 Probe in favor of the Mazda-built dohc unit used in the MX-6. Pricing was usually higher on the MX-6 than the Probe on the 2nd generation.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    "But for those that are brand loyal, and natural progressionis from sedan to minivan, I think as families grow, and Mazda has had the 626 since the early 80's."

    Yeah Mazda had the 626 since the early 80's but they try to style the 98 626 to directly target Honda/Toyota and exploded in Mazda's face. I think in 98 and 99 the 626 sold ok(not any great jump in sales from the previous generation 626 though)then when they refreshed the 626 for the 2000 model year thats when sales started to really slip for the 626. I had a 98 626 but Mazda's core audience didn't really go for it. The 98 626 just didn't really have too much demand with customers.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    some experience of a late 90s 626 4-cyl, and I can attest to the fact that there was really no "zoom zoom" in that car at all, at least not any more than there was in an Altima or Accord of the time. It is not hard to figure out why they lost sales a lot on that model. The 6 has brought things back from the brink for Mazda's midsizer, but what would be wonderful to see now is that Mazdaspeed Mazda6 you mentioned earlier...

    Products get outdated so quickly in today's market, especially in the high-volume compact and midsize segments.

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

  • guestguest Posts: 774
    It looked like in the first of the year it was coming together for Mazda. However during the last 3 months sales have been down. I don't get it. Every other brand had a good sales month last month even brands like Volvo and Chrysler who have been very up and down for the last 2 decades. Mazda has the best styled cars in each category in my opinion. I'm lost for words. Kia might outsell Mazda this year. Thats nothing to be proud of. Maybe Mazda needs to go back to heavy discounting to get cars off the lots.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    You can read my posts from the early days of the Mazda6 or the defunct Accord vs. Mazda6 room to find out why the Mazda6 isn't setting the U.S. on fire.

    And the 3 has the styling but IMHO the down side starts with the fabric on the seats and drops further with the irreplacable radio and plastic core support under the hood. Leather is nice but not gonna sell many cars in the 3 market position. Sales are great in Canada though so I hear.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    The sales of the 6 have actually been up from last year or at least equal. Sales of the 3 have been down for the past few months. Thats unusual for a product to be new and then just drop like that. I mean the Chrysler 300 and Acura TL are still in quite heavy of demand.

    I agree with the last post leather in a compact car is a no-no. I thnk the Toyota Corolla offers leather though and sales of the Corolla have been setting fire.

    Gee: the hood thing I think you explained to me when the 3 first came into the market that the hood was made of cheap plastic or something. The radio you have to educate because I know nothing about that. I don't frequent these boards as much as I used to. The radio thing could be why sales are down: people learn about a product by word of mouth.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    radio that was difficult to swap for aftermarket models. In addition, the keyless was disabled if it was removed. People HATED that idea. So much so that Honda did away with it in the 2000 refresh. One thing that you have to have in the "econo" car is sound system upgradability.

    It's not the fact that they offer leather, it's that the base cloth feels cheap. The fabric can be pulled away from the padding underneath. Very disconcerting.

    The fact that the 6 is selling near even as it did last year is rather dissapointing now that there are 3 models. The increase is hardly notable considering the slow start last year.

    The 300C is gonna be HUGE.

    I don't know what the hood is made of. But it's the crossmember that the hood latches to when it's closed to that is black ABS plastic. It's really not a structural part of the car but this is the first time I've seen it made of plastic.
  • guestguest Posts: 774
    I don't think that means much since people don't buy wagons and hatches that much. I mean for example most of Mazda 3 sales are of the sedan and not the hatch. Back to the 6, It did off to a slow start because they didn't have the right inventory of models. I have no problem with Mazda 6 sales. It supposed to be a youth 4 door sedan. From what I hear though the Mazda 3 is so much in demand they can't make them fast enough. However like I said on the Mazda 3 board there is a dealer in NJ that is offering a 1,155 dealer dollar discount on the 3. Is this model really in demand or what? Gee 35..sometimes I don't know what Mazda Motor Corp thinks with their decisions. They take a product and make it the hardest thing to sell. A company like Honda or Nissan knows how to launch products appropiately.

    "The 300C is gonna HUGE."

    Your are 100% right about that.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    is taking off in other markets, that is what all the news was about ramping up production for this model. The production increase is true, but the extra ones to be built are not destined for our shores...

    They never needed a Mazda6 hatch, and as much as I love hatches, I figure this one to go away within a year. They should keep the wagon - people DO buy wagons here - but they should not count on more than about 10-20% of the sales to be wagons.

    Leather as an option for compact cars is OK, as long as you don't plan to sell very much of it. While it is true that you can get a Corolla with leather, they sell about 100 of them nationwide every year...

    Mitsu is dropping the Lancer Sportbacks - one of Mazda3's five-door competitors. That is good news I guess. No-one every really bought that model before it got killed though, so maybe not too.

    gee: that reminds me of the old CRX's from the late 80s, early 90s. They had a crossmember and entire front fascia that were like this really easily cracked plastic, or plexi maybe? I dunno. But it always cracked after a few years, and sometimes big chunks fell off, like what is the case with my sister's car. Plastic crossmembers at the front are a no-no IMO.

    mazda threw all its really hot stuff at the market in a period of about a year: Mazda3, 6, and RX-8. Not to mention the new MPV that debuted just before that. Now sales are going to naturally slide downhill for a while - witness the sad 25% drop in VW sales this year. All their models are old, old, old, because they brought them all to market at the same time. Within the next 12 months we will see the new Passat, Jetta, Golf, and GTI. You can bet sales will be better this time next year!

    In Mazda's case, at least the all-new Miata is just around the bend, that oughtta perk things up a little when it arrives, at least in terms of looky-loos frequenting the dealerships. And when Mazda gets its version of the Ford Freestyle (within the year, right?) things will warm up even more. They need a bigger crossover than Tribute.

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

  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    I had an 88 CRX Si, and at 170k miles, none of the plastic had cracked or fallen off. Rust, on the rear quarter panels, near the wheel wells, that's a different story. The radiator bracket was replaced by previous owner, who put all of his 220 lbs on it, while checking the oil. Hmmm, maybe that counts as easily cracked plastic.
  • I've had my 3 a couple of months now and never paid any attention to the plastic upper radiator support.

    I just now went out and looked at it carefully for the first time. It's the most substantial looking piece of plastic I've ever seen, with broad triangular honeycombed reinforcements on either side. The triangular areas are about a square foot in area and the honeycombing is over an inch deep. The hood latch that's bolted to it also has a 1 inch heavy sheetmetal (looks to be at least 2 or 3mm thick metal) U shaped brace that extends forward and down to bolt securely to the solid metal bumper bar even with the lower edge of the upper grille opening.

    The entire setup looks to be more than sufficiently strong for it's purpose, is lighter than steel, won't rust. Since the 3 is one of if not THE torsionally stiffest body structures around I don't see it as a problem in any way.

    In my opinion anyone denigrating the car because of this is as silly as those who insist 5mph bumpers have a positive effect on occupant safety in a crash.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    "most substantial looking piece of plastic I've ever seen"

    Kinda like saying, "I know that model has one leg, but isn't she pretty".

    That's one of those parts that I have never seen made of plastic. And not something that brought positive feeling about the rest of the car. I know that's my opinion, but some people hate sunroofs, auto climate, ABS, etc. and I don't understand them.
  • seminole_kevseminole_kev Posts: 1,722
    I don't like sunroofs.
    Don't really care for auto-climate-control.
    but I won't by a modern car without ABS though.

    Almost the trifecta.
  • andyman73andyman73 Posts: 368
    I always wondered what those 5mph bumpers were for. Now I know! :) If they would just be honest and say that they are for aerodynamics, or cosmetics, or some other lie, that would be better. Wait until they start with the airbags in the bumper, for pedestrians. I can see it now, you get hit by a car, the bumper bag goes off, saving your brain housing group(head, gord, melon,noodle, etc,etc....) from serious injury, only to be propelled,on the rebound, by same airbag, 50 feet down the road, thus crushing your grape under the wheel of oncoming traffic. I get it. Really I do.
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