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  • pazakpazak Posts: 16
    "must be a bad dealership or something. Why would anybody try to sell a Chrysler warranty for a Mazda car? Thats ridiculous".

       I contacted Mazda and they gave me a standard corporate e-mail saying that not all of their dealers will write Mazda service contracts. What that means is that Mazda is the weak sister on the lot and can get bullied easily.
        Another dealer near me has so little floor space that if you want to see a Mazda in a particular color, they have to send a carhop four or five blocks away to pick one off a lot and drive it back to the dealership. Your average Dunkin Donuts has more square footage than this place alots to Mazda.
        Lastly,you'd be surprised at how many under forty-somethings you will see at Lincoln dealerships and service departments these days due to the LS.
  • pazakpazak Posts: 16
    "As for Mercury dissapearing, there's no chance on that."

       I wish I was as optimistic as you on that one. There good cars with good people behind them, but they just don't move'm off the lots like they used to. This new lineup of Montego,Monterrey and Mariner all seem to be just re-badged Fords as usual for Mercury. I got "intimate" with a Montego at the auto show and found it to be a bit homely. It's sister the Ford 500 is much more attractive.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    When making that comment, which some other's might have already read in other forums, it related to the relationship where Ford is dependent on Mercury.

    Granted, it's just rebadged vehicles, but that's something that will become even more common in the future...Where vehicles will differ by a few styling touches, and 400K+ unit sales will be left to a handful of models.

    As current things stand, and just as an educated guestimate, a platform usually needs to sell around 100K to make it profittable.

    Under Ford's current line up, the Crown Vic would be hard to justify if it weren't for the Grand Maquis, Marauder, and Town Car sales. (Sidenote: The tooling has been amortized for numerous years, making them cash cows since the engineering has been paid off) The Sables 50-60K sales, make the Taurus a justifiable business plan as well.

    As for a different stradegy, we have the Mountaineer (which ironically sees sales gains usually in months when the Explorer sales are down). This helps the Explorer (not that it needs much help since it sells in huge quantities), but usually for the customer that might look to buy the Aviator and can't afford it, chances are they can be talked into a Mountaineer.

    As for "cloned" vehicles like the Montclair (Futura's twin), the Monterrey, Montego, they will target a demographic that may want a Ford, but wants to stand out a bit by not seeing their same vehicle at every traffic light. And offer a few more options/touches, that differ them from their Ford twin.

    If Ford can offer this (and they will) and attain the customer, even if it's as few as 10K units a year, it's 10K lesser units that aren't going to the competition. Sometimes their goals might not be to be the best seller, but there's vehicles with different missions.

    Cougar was a test to try and bring in younger customer's to Lincoln/Mercury. Obviously we saw that didn't work (because of numerous other reasons, mainly dealing with the dealership experience).

    Lincoln LS was a test to see if Detroit could build a real performance sedan. They just lost focus because of the firing of Jac Nasser and had to concentrate on restructuring.

    But getting back to the point without going into 10 bunny trails...Mercury's best sales years, where when they were actually cloned Ford's. It wasn't too long ago where Mercury was pumping out 400K units yearly. That's almost as whole Volvo line sells around the world.

    And if they can regain such sales by offering vehicles with minimal changes that are cost effective, why not? Elena Ford has concentrated a bit on offering more vehicles to the line, slowly but surely it'll start picking up.

    Overall, produce wise I'm not concerned much over Mercury. I believe Ford needs to concentrate on the dealership experience. A total rejuvination of not only the actual showrooms (as they are doing) but trained people who can deal with all variety of demographics. I'm surely not saying they need to cater to the "bling bling" crowd, but let's retire SOME (not all) blue-haired sales people.

    I myself would not wish to have Mazda merged into Lincoln/Mercury showrooms. If they together (L/M) can't get their act together, let's not overfill the pot by offering Mazda in the same soup mix.

  • pazakpazak Posts: 16
    Agreed on most all points. Mazda could never share floor space with Mercury becaause they compete for much of the same marketing demographic. Ford would be crazy to link the two. My contention about Lincoln/Mazda was predicated upon Merc being phased out, as has been rumored in recent years.

      Maybe I'm just being selfish. I've been spoiled by L/M service depts. and want them to work on my Mazda too !! Oh well.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    I'll tell you where the rumor started. This came up when the whole Ford Explorer/Firestone tires issue was coming up, Jac Nasser was fired, and many auto journalist trying to grasp for a story started predicting doom's day senario's for Ford.

    One of them being the doom of Mercury.... In fact, the story was tossed around so much, Ford publically had to state they had plans for Mercury. Elena Ford was placed in charge of Mercury, and through her leadership, Mercury will now start receiving more vehicles....

    Granted, cloned Ford's, but let's look at the stable back in 2000....GrandMarquis, Sable, Cougar, and Mountaineer...

    Let's look at the current lineup, and into the next few years... GM, Marauder, Sable (for awhile), Moutaineer, Monterey, Futura's twin (Montclair), Montego, Mariner, Freestyle twin (one other vehicle I'm forgetting).

    Getting back to the point... there's many rumors that auto journalists work on, trying to grasp the next big story. And while you do here of the negatives, seldomly will you see one take his words back, when his "rumor", didn't go as planned. Just like the one that stated the Aviator was being killed because of slow sales, when in reality sales number's are going accordingly with Ford's initial sales estimates.
  • nedc2nedc2 Posts: 192
    Cougar sales were really good for the first couple years, but these little sporty coupes have a real short shelf life, they go out of fashion after about two years, just look at the Celica's sales figures. Lincoln Mercury's problem was that there wasn't another car for the young Cougar buyers to move into, the LS was too pricey for most, and leaving aside the over-large chrome rear licence surround a little bit too understated, and there was nothing in Mercury's lineup at all. A real sport version of the Sable, if done right, might have worked but Ford never put any money into that. The new Mazda based Lincoln might be the car that could have worked, but now Mercury doesn't have its own entry level vehicle though. Why?

    Mazda, for Ford's sake as well as its own, needs to remain somewhat separate from Ford because there are alot of people who won't look at a vehicle with an american nameplate on it. But, Mazda needs more dealers, preferably standalones, more models, and more capacity to grow. Mazda also needs another vehicle for Mazda buers, import buyers, to move up to, preferably Japanese made, or at least made in a Mazda plant. I think taht is more realistic in the near future than expecting Mazd 3 or 6 buyers to move into bigger Ford's, Lincolns, or PAG vehicles. BTW, if there's an urgent need for dealer consolidation or re-alignment among Ford's brands it's in the PAG, they really shoud be together, Volvo/Jaguar/Land Rover, a select few few with Aston Martin. Most are currently tied up with other import brands, e.g. BMW/Land Rover, Volvo/Honda/VW, Jaguar/Saab, etc.

    As far as Mercury's stable of cloned Fords, you really have to give the design team credit, given what they have to work with, basically front and rear ends and interior fabrics and palettes, they've really really managed to create a distinctive and recognizable visual brand identity, something Ford division is still struggling to do, only their trucks and SUVs seem to have a coherent brand idntity at the moment. The Five Hundred and restyled Focus are a good start, but next year there's the Futura, with a completely different theme.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Either idea would probably not be a disaster, but as a frequent buyer - I'd rather see Volvo-Lincoln-Mercury stores and Ford-Mazda stores myself. Seems like a better fit to me.
  • unixxusunixxus Posts: 97
    I think there is much misunderstanding as to the Ford/Mazda relationship. Ford owns 33 percent of Mazda and not an out right ownership of the company. Yes, this gives Ford a controlling interest under Japanese law, but does not mean Ford can ram anything it wants down Mazda's throat. The other 66 percent stake holders surely have a say in how the company is run. Volvo is more of an American company than Mazda is, even then, Ford only owns volvo cars and not the Volvo truck company which is still owned by Volvo of Sweden.The Mazda-Ford relationship can be correctly descibed as a joint venture relationship. To not dilute brand identity, I seriously doubt that we will be seeing Ford-mazda or Volvo-Lincoln-Mercury stores all arount the place any time soon. Once Mazda improves its brand awareness with the current crop of cars, it will definitely introduce products above the current Mazda6 lineup (Mazda9 and new SUV(FX35 Competitor)). It is laughable to think that Ford can use the mazda6 platform to launch products larger than the current mazda6 but will deny Mazda the owner and designer of the platform from doing the same.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    They are working on that now. Another issue if Mazda is to grow their fleet of cars most Mazda dealers are pretty small right? Will they have enough lot room at dealers to sell like an SUV over 30K or a mid-size SUV or even a coupe version of the Mazda 6?

    Yeah I think Ford-Mazda dealers would be good. Ford doesn't cater to Mazda's demographic and Ford doesn't say your grandfathers car either.

    Mazda is now being run by the Japanese mainly now. I think Mazda Corp knows what it has to do be successful in the US. Mazda kinda lost their way in the mid 90's now they are trying to ressurect the Mazda brand. I think they are doing a good job so far. Keep in mind since 1998 Mazda sales have been up every year from the previous year with the exception of 2002. The slow launch of the 6 they bobbled that. I think that taught them a lesson though. Mazda may not be gaining market share in ths US like Nissan but Mazda is definately heading in upward direction.

    Also I agree if Mazda makes another 929 or Millenia type car it should be made in Japan. Flat Rock is already making the 6 and Mustang. The only Mazda car that sells well thats made in Japan is the 3. THe MPV isn't the segament buster that the Caravan, Oddy, or Sienna are. THe Rx-8 doesn't sell like really big either. Mazda's main cars are the 6 and 3 to sell. Thats about it and maybe the Tribute a liitle bit too.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    "The Mazda-Ford relationship can be correctly descibed as a joint venture relationship."

    Not! While ford does not own Mazda completely, it has controlling ownership. That means they call the shots. There's no joint venture about it at all. Obviously you don't know what a joint business venture is.

    "It is laughable to think that Ford can use the mazda6 platform to launch products larger than the current mazda6 but will deny Mazda the owner and designer of the platform from doing the same."

    With controlling ownership, they sure can.
  • rock44xrock44x Posts: 78
    who cares what is the dealer format, mazda/lincoln, ford/mazda if anyone want a mazda they will go any were to get one.

    Mazda new SUV a FX35 Competitor yeah right try Honda Pilot, Mitsubishi Endeavor and Nissan Murano.

    MPV is to small and under power for Americans families.(what happened to the awd 4dr mpv back in the day)

    6coupe, a 3coupe would be better, midsize coupe are hard sales

    Rx-8 under power and odd styling, were is mazdaspeed on this one.

    mazda9 a long (more 190 inch in length) near Luxury with no body roll, 6 like handing and more or the same power as a 265hp maxima, 260hp g35, 225hp es, or 270hp TL yeah right .
    history tends to repeat it self(929,Millenia )

    mazda future is in small to midsize cars, minivans and suvs, the MX-5 Miata, RX-8, 6 , and 3 are all successful and a start for mazda to move in the right direction and in the future RX-7, crossover suv, mx-5 coupe, MX-Flexa, and MX-Micro Sport is the way to go for mazda IMO.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    to follow up on your comments...Ford also makes the decision who is President and Chairman of the company.
  • mazda6smazda6s Posts: 1,901
    Thanks, I didn't know about that. I would think it would be very significant WRT model offerings.
  • After I purchased my 6, the dealer had a new owner's dinner. At the dinner, they guy at the dealer mentioned Mazda making a 9. I already mentioned this on the Millenia board. That is what I was told right from one of the representatives. I'm not saying it's true, but it's something to think about.
  • Mazda could concievably, EVENTUALLY put out a 9, but first they need to straighten out their current line. But they'll NEED a "9" eventually, because they need something other than the RX8 to slot above the 6...Toyota and Nissan each have a car to move up from from their midsizers (Camry-Avalon, Altima-Maxima) and if Mazda wants to play on the same field, they need something like that too.

    That being said, forst they need to square away current models. They need a "sportier" SUV than the current Tribute (though it's OK for now), and what are they doing selling plain-jane B-Series trucks? Lower the suspensions, tweak the steering drop in a new engine, and compete with Dodge SRT and Chevy SS trucks in the "sport truck" arena...that would be PERFECT for Mazda, and would fit well with the brand identity they're trying to establish, and start giving them the customer base and then dealer base they need to expand and then support a new Mazda 9 and various other models (maybe a WRX/Evo competitor as well?)

    That would definitely be a start.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Ok, wait a second Ford is the same company ok that thought in the mid 90's they could make Mazda into Toyota. Then I guess Ford saw Mazda sales dipping and then woops we are not making any money so I think Ford let Mazda make their own decesions after 1997. I think Mazda has more leeway with Ford than Chrysler has with Mercedes. Mercedes is making the same mistakes with Chrysler now that Ford did in the mid 90's with Mazda.

    As far as Mazda using the platform for the 6 for other Mazda vehicles Mazda will use a streched 3 platfrom from what I have read on this board for a next generation Tribute. Building other Mazda vehicles on on the 6 platform is at a least a few years away from what I see. A few years away means probably means the next generation 6 platform when Mazda can possibly build the SUV over 30K that they want to build or build a Mazda 9 on a stretched 6 platform. Its a little early to be talking about Mazda building vehicles off the 6 platform.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    "Its a little early to be talking about Mazda building vehicles off the 6 platform."

    It's already happening, you have the Ford Futura (Four-hundred), then the Lincoln Aviator will debut using the same platform, then the Lincoln Zephyr right after.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    mazda already has a green light on a mazda6 based SUV that is larger than the Tribute but smaller than an Explorer. It will be priced in the $30-40K range.

    ANT14...The zypher is going to be at the NY auto show in a couple weeks. I can't wait to see it. will you be there?? At a Lincoln meeting with D.Hazel he said there was going to be a surprise that will be in the showrooms in short order. Looks like the Zypher is it...he also said it will ariive before the Futura...but I have heard these promises before. haha
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    He stated it will arrive before the Futura(Five-Hunred)...that is odd. I'll have to find out since it's not sounding right....
  • unixxusunixxus Posts: 97
    "Mazda new SUV a FX35 Competitor yeah right try Honda Pilot, Mitsubishi Endeavor and Nissan Murano."

    According to an article in the trade journal Automotive News(03/8/04), Mazda is designing a luxury SUV (AAV) off the current mazda6 platform and in another article that featured an interview with the current CEO Hisakazu Imaki, he hinted that this vehicle will not be your traditional SUV (Honda Pilot, Mitsubishi Endeavor etc). He wants something that fits Mazda's image i.e sporty and fun to drive (FX35) with a price range of 30 to 40 thousand. The new SUV will use the new 3.5 liter V6 being developed be Ford. Below are excerpts from the Automotive news article.

    "GENEVA - Mazda dealers will get a sport wagon or all-activity vehicle derived from the Mazda6.

    The next-generation Aviator as well as a Ford version will arrive in fall 2006 as a 2007 model.

    The vehicle would fit nicely in Mazda's product strategy, John Parker, executive vice president of Mazda Motor Corp., said at the Geneva auto show.

    "Mazda would like to extend the range of its products," Parker said. "We are in 45 to 50 percent of the U.S. market, and we want to be in two-thirds of it."

    He said the Mazda variant might be more of an "all-activity-vehicle" than a sport wagon or SUV. That would make it more consistent with the Japanese company's sporty brand theme.

    Parker says the vehicle will join the Tribute sport wagon and MPV minivan in the lineup, not replace either one. It would probably be larger than the Tribute - about the size of a Lexus RX 330, he said.

    "There's room for two of those kinds of vehicles in the Mazda lineup," Parker said. "All-activity vehicles are a growing trend. We have to look at our market opportunities."
  • rock44xrock44x Posts: 78
    who would buy a 40k mazda?

    Lexus, Mazda, and Infiniti yeah right ford wont have it, thats what lincoln, Volvo, Jaguar and Land Rover for.

    a fx35 like suv sport car soul in a suv but come on mazda making a new SUV to be a Competitor of the FX35 and RX 330 that a bad move for a company on a come back.

    ps who would buy a 40k and up nissan, Honda, or Toyota no one that why we buy Lexus, Infiniti , and Acura Americans are so smart.
  • ANT14ANT14 Posts: 2,687
    Not too long ago we had RX-7's that were up around $40K easily... Same as with Nissan and their previous 300ZX. And in todays showroom, the people who are buying the $40K+ vehicles, are buying Land Cruiser's, 4Runner's, Sequoia's, Armada's...

    As for who's smarter, depends upon the persons view... That Armada at Nissan will go around $33-40K, at the Infiniti dealership, same exact vehicle minus some tweaking on styling and 10 extra HP goes for $15K more...Who would the smarter buyer be?
  • rock44xrock44x Posts: 78
    "Not too long ago we had RX-7's that were up around $40K easily... Same as with Nissan and their previous 300ZX."
    and that is why those car die in the State, and the same will happen to a mazda suv at 40k.

    4Runner, Sequoia, Armada are all big suvs not crossovers, the Land Cruiser in a different league.
  • Ok, what about the Murano? Seems to be going strong so far. Maybe Mazda should consider the $30k price bracket instead. Or at least START at $30k and offer an optioned-up luxo version.
  • rock44xrock44x Posts: 78
    30k-33k for crossover is not bad at all that make sense for mazda.
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    I remember when everyone laughed at honda building anything other than a CVCC...look what happened. I heard the same things I am hearing here. Everyone has to start somewhere. Mazda is on a trememdous roll compared to where they were...When you have a good vision, good leadership and the financial strength of one of the worlds largest car companies the possibilities are endless.
  • No one is saying Mazda can't do it. But you don't just all of a sudden leap into the 40k market. You kinda have to grow into it, I think.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    Like Toyota grew into the Lexus LS 400?
  • dondiliodondilio Posts: 56
    Mazda has developed a great and desirable line of cars they'll probably be reliable. New Mazdas reward its drivers with a smile on their face every time they drive it. If they can keep up the good work they can go up market, they might even get to build their failed Amanti luxury line in 5 or 10 years.
    In order to do that, they must, like I said earlier, mature with their customers, have an offering above what they currently drive to keep them in their brand fold. In 3-5 years what will happen to 6 drivers if they dont offer a 9 or a bigger crossover? They'll probably switch to Toyota, Acura or Lexus. Im sure that with the current line-up they will win a lot of loyal customers. They can count me in for that matter, of course as long as they have a product that fits my needs.
    In 3 or 4 years when I will be in they market for a new sedan Ill would really consider a larger 6 with the same sporty character(9).
    If on the contrary they dont have anything to offer me Ill probably look at the Lincoln Zephyr or LS.
  • nvbankernvbanker Posts: 7,285
    When I was ready (actually needed for the job) an upscale car, if Lincoln hadn't been there, I would have moved away from Ford. But so far, Lincoln has filled my needs well.

    If I were a Mazda loyalist, and I need more than the 6, well, off we go! The 929 had a good following around here. One of my employees drives a Millenia, very nice car, but not quite large enough for my sedan needs.
This discussion has been closed.