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  • bean3422bean3422 Posts: 183
    I will agree with you that the majority of the buying public are lazy and don't want to shift their own gears. This is why we are the fattest most overweight country in the world, and there are headlines about obesity everywhere. (I know, I am one who fights the battle everyday. It takes 30-60 minutes of aerobics and workout nearly everyday to win it. It's tough work.)

    But it also depends on the customer...the WRX is selling very well, and a large percentage are manuals. I don't even think that the EVO comes with an automatic. These sales are being driven by an enthusiast market. More and more people are realizing that their commute everyday can be a little more interesting with a stick (just as most would recoil in shock at the thought of driving a stick in rush hour.)

    I will mostly agree with your above descriptions. (I forgot the supra had a back seat.) What I think you mostly left out was price.

    GTX mazda...was ahead of it's time. Did not have the advantage that WRX, etc had of Rally video games, etc. Plus was a high priced cheap compact. (And a hatchback to boot, which turns a lot of consumers off.)

    Supra...priced way too high. Great car, one of the best, but my friend was looking at high end convertibles a couple of years ago. I suggested the S2000, since at the time it bested the Z3 and Audi for a much better price. He laughed in my face...a Honda he scorned. I am buying for the name, I could care less about the car itself. The Supra fell into the same boat...people buy "sports cars" for image, not the car itself. explained why that did not sell already.

    fx-16, vr-4, acura...all were "expensive add-ons" (like 4 wheel drive) to "normal" cars. Like you said, this makes it very expensive. Hard to justify when you are going to buy a cheap compact (fx-16), and nice family car (vr-4), or a slightly upscale family car (acura).

    Which is why the 225 hp Sportif will never be a sales success unless it comes in under a certain price. Even I can't justify spending $5000 more on a compact car just for the performance. Now if they do what counts, put the 225 hp engine in, upgrade suspension, steering and wheels, and leave out anything else extra (like 500 watt stereo, etc), then they can sell a hipo car for 2k or less extra. Would this sell better? It would to me, since I could justify the extra money.

    The nice thing about Mazda is they engineer a certain amount of "sport" into all their cars. I can go buy a Protege ES, and already I have a fun to drive car. At the local Honda or Toyota shop, I would have to upgrade the suspension and tires before I could get that Mazda feeling.

    Time will tell how the 6 sells...if last month is a good indicator, it will sell very well indeed.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "As far as the Camry SE being unsafe...The original article in C@D was very favorable toward it. I may go downstairs and check my archive for a few quotes later if needed."

    Per C&D in '95, the eldest-design Camry SE still took 1st place slightly ahead of the more powerful Maxima SE & the Accord. But that was no big deal, as that Nissan-shallow-suspension Maxima also had a rather vague steering & poor driving position/seating comfort. & that Accord might be just ok. I agree the Camry SE was the most hard-edge macho car of the 3.

    To me, the Camry feels unsafe only when there are bumps in the fast corners, but none of my other cars gets thrown around, especially the rear, over mid-corner bumps like that! Especially when the road surface was slightly damped... The culprit could be the combination of rigid firmness setting & the nature of the poor tire-contact angle due the simple rear strut design.

    I was saying that it's too bad that this handsome roomy sport sedan satisfied neither the comfy-family-car crowd nor the driving enthusiasts. At first, in '93, I thought the Camry SE's specially tuned steering, which felt firm & SEEMED to got some feel, was much better than the ones in the Lexus ES300 & GS/LS. But it's still no good.

    & ride comfort wise, these short-suspension-travel cheap design of the 20th-century Camry/ES300 was very uncomfortable over deeper bumps compare to Toyota's own GS300 & even my re-tuned Protege.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    It's not like the early 90's when you had to pay extra getting the EX version of the Accord just to get a few more hp over the LX. These days, a stripped Accord got more power.

    Those high-tech expensive Supra, etc., couldn't sell because most people don't even corner fast. I do, especially I've been practicing on those natural roller-coaster uphill/downhill hair pins in Palos Verdes California pretty much all my life.

    That's why Toyota invented the Paseo - a Tercel looking like a sport coupe at nearly as low price.

    People liked the original Scirocco for its looks, 'cause the Rabbit does just as well w/ more room & lower price. That's why the uglier & still-expensive Scirocco II couldn't sell.

    If most car companies merge into one, just take the Beemer platform & combine w/ a good Japanese drivetrain, electronics, etc., & you're done. The car will also be inexpensive & reliable.

    So these days, the Mazda3 w/ the world-class FWD platform from Europe solves the problems of price, etc. Besides the economy Mazda2, no other Japanese car other than the Mazda3 got it! Those "Lotus-tuned" suspensions in some Isuzus & Protons(old-Mitsubishi-based car from Malaysia) are still unsophisticated Japanese designs.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Saw an article that listed all the parts suppliers for the Ford Focus C-Max. It got me thinking, how many parts are the Focus II platform cars going to share? Is Ford trying to share as many parts as possible between the Ford Focus, Mazda3, Volvo S40, and C-Max? Or is the Mazda3 going to use it's own parts suppliers?
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    "So these days, the Mazda3 w/ the world-class FWD platform from Europe solves the problems of price, etc. Besides the economy Mazda2, no other Japanese car other than the Mazda3 got it!"

    Are you saying the Mazda2 has the Focus platform?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "Or is the Mazda3 going to use it's own parts suppliers?"

    I would guess that it would since it will be made in Japan and the Focus won't.
  • boxfanboxfan Posts: 180
    "It got me thinking, how many parts are the Focus II platform cars going to share?"

    The Focus, Mazda3 and Volvo S40 will share 60% of parts. I don't know which ones, but that's the official word.
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    They may share parts designs, but the suppliers that make the parts are probably going to be different. I'd guess that Mazda is going to use a lot of parts from local Japanese suppliers. It wouldn't make a whole lot of sense to ship the Mazda3 in pieces from the US and assemble it in Japan.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    It all comes down to the almighty dollar. Drivetrain components, engine & tranny, usually the most expensive components, would come from the same source. Things like seats, head/tail lights, misc. interior components, wheels, will come from the least expensive source, which usually is closer to the assembly plant. Example: The new Focus is assembled in Mexico (I assume), most of it's small money components will most likely come from the US and Mexico. The Mazda, built in Japan, will get most of its small money components from Japan, Korea or Vietnam, the latter 2 becoming very competitve in the market. The major cost difference is shipping. Are you going to buy a $25 component, common to Ford/Mazda/Volvo, in the US only to pay $10 to ship it across the world when you can buy a $30 component from a supplier 200 miles away? I do also believe that Ford has said all three versions will has the same underpinnings yet from the driver, all three versions will look unrelated. I'm sure they will have a similar shape, but no cosmetic parts will be shared.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Unless they are going to have rebates for the rest of the 5 year cycle. Seems that's why they had such an increase. A good indicator will be when the rebates stop.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "'So these days, the Mazda3 w/ the world-class FWD platform from Europe solves the problems of price, etc. Besides the economy Mazda2, no other Japanese car other than the Mazda3 got it!'

    Are you saying the Mazda2 has the Focus platform?"

    The Fiesta platform. A tiny little car maybe the Canadians will get.

    The Mazda4 is like the Focus C-max - another low-center-of-gravity sporty car w/ huge back seat & even got an optional 3rd-row seat.
  • riopelleriopelle Posts: 132
    I'd guess that would appear in a Mazdaspeed 3 as well as the SVT (?), although the fact that it has more hp than the 6's 6 and the RX8 with the auto makes me wonder if they wuold detune it about 200hp. That would still be enough for me.

    Its great to see others remember the GTX. If mazda is really putting AWD on the 6 wagon, maybe a 3 GTX is possible after all.

    Any word on traction/stability control in the 3, or opinions on it in the 6?
  • newcar31newcar31 Posts: 3,711
    "although the fact that it has more hp than the 6's 6 and the RX8 with the auto makes me wonder if they wuold detune it about 200hp. That would still be enough for me."

    I'll bet they don't detune it because it will be a Mazdaspeed version of the Mazda3, not to mention that there are cars out there like the Neon SRT and WRX. The Mazdaspeed 6 will surely have more than 225 hp.
  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    Mazda has had rebates on their cars for some time. This is nothing new. Has Mazda ever had as good as as resale values as Honda or Toyota?

    About 5 speed manuals I here the Honda Civic and BMW 3 Series have alot of people that purchase those cars with manual transnissions. About the Maxima its terrible styling has to contribute for lousy sales since the 2000 model year. The 95-99 Maxima was discounted because of its goofy styling for the 95 model year but eventually people started buying the Maxima and demand for the 95-99 Maxima incereased as time went on thus giving it pretty good resale value and was on the Top 10 list of cars sold in the mid to late 90's period.
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    Ok I keep hearing people bring up that being built in Japan is better than being built in North America. I was wondering if someone could clear this up for me and tell me why it would be so much better to be built in Japan as opposed to North America.

    For example, the Mazda6. Is the ones the rest of the world gets that are built in Japan really that much better than the ones built in the United States? What are the advantages of having it built in Japan?
  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    I have trouble getting into the MazdaUSA website. I've tried different browsers and operating systems and only once in a blue moon can I get in so I can't confirm this. Protege and Protege5 have a 7 year / 100,000 mile powertrain warranty now?? Could this carryover to the Mazda3?
  • groovypippingroovypippin Posts: 264
    Dealers are beginning to receive details about modeal specifications. I will have more on that soon.
  • boggseboggse Posts: 1,048
    I could not find any reference to a powertrain warranty for the Protege or Protege5. All I could find was the bumper-to-bumper being 4 year/50,000 mile warranty.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    unless if something escapes me, the power train of Protege/P5 is not warranty longer than the rest, i.e., 4 years/50000 miles as boggse said.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    The most recent AUTOCAR just disclosed that the Mazda3 will be more RWD-handling like while the Focus will be more agile. The Mazda3's pivot point/axis will be different. Sounds like those "zoom zoom" settings.

    I'm still not sure what they're talking about. Are they saying that Mazda3 will have closer to 50/50 weight distribution or what? Why is the less RWD-handling-like Focus II more agile? Less understeer?

    Once, CAR mentioned that the Lexus IS200 "feels fantastic" because it's not like those cars that lean over the front when pushed to the corners. My '90 Protege LX feels not unlike the IS200's description. Maybe this is a typical Mazda setting. Any opinion?

    Other info in that article - For the Euro market, arriving late this year in hatchback only(I forgot if that also includes a 3-dr hatch) Other than that, they said a new 150hp 2.0, but no 158hp 2.3.
  • bluong1bluong1 Posts: 1,927
    I doubt any FWD can do better than 60/40 weight distribution. The pivot point is the same than the center of gravity, and its location along the length of the car is fixed by the weight distribution.

    The last generation of Protege/P5, the longitudinal "pivot axis" is designed to point slightly downward, i.e., lower in front and higher in the back. This allows a greater stability at high speed.

  • pzevpzev Posts: 807
    No one has an answer for me on the Japan vs. US question? Could someone please explain to me the advantages of having it built in Japan compared to the US, I've always wondered about this. Is it because that the factories are near Mazda headquarters in Japan and most of the Mazda engineers live in Japan that they're able to keep an eye on the factories better and notice quicker when problems arise? I'm confused about this.
  • qddaveqddave Posts: 164
    Keep in mind that this is only my opinion. I do work in the automotive industry and I have experienced this.

    The whole thing comes down to attitude. Japanese engineers strive for perfection in everything they do. They also follow the law of continuous improvement, always finding ways to reduce waste, whether it be wasted material, time or money. Without opening a big can of worms, I believe the plants in Japan are union free, not to knock unions, there are some positives to them. It's just that I've worked in both environments and the attitudes of the workers change once the union comes in. Just my opinion though.

    I do strongly believe that it is the mentality of the Japanese that is responsible for the high quality coming out of the Japanese plants.
  • drumm01drumm01 Posts: 97
    Thanks for the Link dinu01.

    If you think about it, December is not that far from now. That's only five more months before we see the M3 out in the streets
  • dinu01dinu01 Posts: 2,586
    5mths of waiting until Mazda USA and Mazda Canada put up a link to build your own M3 :) Mazda Canada just introduced the build your own RX-8 link today!

  • carguy58carguy58 Posts: 2,303
    "Actual Mazda's" that have been built in the US(Flat Rock, Mich)have been the MX-6 and 626. Those cars were pretty reliable with the exception of the Ford Tranny 1994-1997 4 cyl auto in the MX-6 or 626. If you bought a 1994-1997 626 or MX-6 with the 5 speed manual or V6 auto they were probably as reliable as the Protege, Millenia, or Miata that were built in Japan circa early to mid 90's period. The Tribute and 93+ B Series were built in Flat Rock, Michigan I believe but those are rebadged Ford's so I don't count them as "actual Mazda's".
  • groovypippingroovypippin Posts: 264
    The two engine choices will be a 2.0L 147 HP and a 2.3L 160 HP (in Canada). Don't know how much California emmissions will knock off the horsepower totals (if any at all).

    I think both engines are available in both the sedan and the 5-door, but not entirely sure at this point.
  • wongpreswongpres Posts: 422
    Let me first say that my parents have a '98 Mazda 626 V6 assembled in Flat Rock, and the car has been pretty reliable (perfect reliability for the first 3 years and, as of now, just two out-of-warranty repairs costing a total of $400cdn).

    At the February Canadian International Autoshow in Toronto, Mazda had Canadian-spec Mazda6 sedans (Flat Rock), as well as a Mazda6 hatch and wagon (Hofu, Japan). The exterior fit and finish of the Japanese built ones were significantly better (we weren't allowed to sit inside, but the cloth of the Japanese ones were better too). Funny thing is that I later found out from another forum that a bunch of people felt exactly the same way as me.

    So while there's a Flat Rock assembled Mazda in my garage, I really do believe that the Japanese ones are better - hence I'm getting a Mazda3 over a Mazda6.

    And to keep this post on topic, thanks groovy for the info. Please share with us all the specs/options/release dates as you get them - they are particularly useful to me because I get zero info from Mazda Canada.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Back in the mid '80's when Toyota's Corolla Sprinter was 1st built in the U.S.(Fremont CA) as the Chevy Nova, C&D pointed out that Japanese steel is about 20% higher in quality & about 20% lower in cost. I don't know how true this is today.
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