• May 3rd 2006 at 1:33PM
  • 43
Automotive curmudgeon critic Jerry Flint puts Mazda in his crosshairs for his latest column, Backstreet Driver. He addresses what is a well-known issue about the automaker: There has been no growth in Mazda sales for over a decade.

Mazda vehicles are “it” cars among many automotive enthusiasts, who gush over their handling, bang-for-buck value, and design. The MX-5 (formerly known as the Miata, is one of Flint’s favorite cars), and the Mazda3 is widely considered one of the best cars available among reviewers.

Mazda’s problem, Flint argues, is rooted in its past, when the company tried to compete directly against Toyota on their home turf in Japan. While the company's current "Zoom Zoom" campaign has separated it from the world’s second largest automaker’s shadow, Mazda's small size, still growing dealership network, and leadership shuffle have hampered its growth. Historically, Flint says, companies in similar situations have collapsed, but, he then reminds readers what Henry Ford thought of history.

[Source: Forbes]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      That's what Toyota's ad say. And Toyota never lies because they're an honest and good company.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Ummm...the Toyota Camry is about as sporty as a city bus! Camry and Sport together is obviously an oxymoron! If you really believe that the Camry is the BEST sport sedan for the money, please do not drive any other cars on the market besides Toyotas or you will be in for quite a shock! Not sure if your system could handle it...especially after driving the japanese Buick... I mean Toytoa Camry...
      • 9 Years Ago
      To #30, AES

      At least I am six years old! You it seems are still in diapers sucking the hell out of your thumb. Its not the toyota but you who is boring.

      If you are a fun-guy you can get plenty of chicks in the back-seat of a camry. In fact, chicks dig guys who drive camry with sport package.

      Lexus LS 460 is even better, now you can stretch 45 degree in the back seat and fun loving chicks will love it!!!
      • 9 Years Ago
      "At least I am six years old! You it seems are still in diapers sucking the hell out of your thumb. Its not the toyota but you who is boring."

      -I'm farily certain it's the Toyota.

      DUDE, ITS A CAMRY, BORING, and while the "sporty" Camry might be "sporty" 105yr old its not for the rest of us. Mazdas are WAY more "sporty" and the NEWLY Introduced Camry is proof of that.
      • 9 Years Ago
      "The Camry is the best sports sedan money can buy" just because Toyota says so in its ads? What are you, six years old? EVERY company uses superlative words and phrases in its advertising, and will continue to do so until the end of time. And yet no word describes every Toyota I've ever driven better than BORING.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I am a bit Mazda biased now.

      - I love the Mazda 3 GT
      - I love the Mazda Speed6
      - I love the Mazda RX8

      I'm testing the MX-5 and 5 soon... and the dealer e-mailed me the other day, saying they'd let me know when the CX-7 is ready for me to test out.

      So yes, I think it's going to be good for Mazda this year...

      • 9 Years Ago
      A world without niche car companies would be a world of Camries and Explorers. Whee.

      Mazda's sales are hobbled by several factors, but not by their actual cars. First of all, they've only had a consistent and strong lineup in the last several years. They have a small and subpar dealership network. Their options packaging is pretty bad. Their launches never go well. And they don't have a big market - most people DO want Camries.

      Mostly it's just a problem that any small company has. Most buyers automatically look at the biggest brands out there, and they fail to consider Mazda at all. On the plus side, they've been so important to Ford's own product development; many of Ford's sales can be indirectly attributed to Mazda's skill in platform design. As long as some people care about that sort of thing, Mazda has a lot of potential.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I own a Mazda 2004 MPV. It's the first non-american car that I have owned, and it's the among the best I have ever owned. It's styling is better than any Mini-Van on the market. I'm 73 yr's young with bad knees and
      I can get in & out with little effort. It's Slightly under powered, but I'm not in a hurry. Mazda should keep on doing what they are doing.

      • 9 Years Ago
      The agility and luxury that you can experience in IS, TL or G35 on an autobahn cannot be experienced in 3. Its an out of body experience. Truly magnificent
      • 9 Years Ago
      Thanks for defending Mazda, guys. I'm glad there are some people who realize that Mazda is not Honda-Toyota or even Nissan and that is a good thing! Keep it niche and let them continue to serve the practical-and-on-a-budget-but-still-loves-to-drive crowd!

      Why would...heck...should Mazda try to build a Camry? Then what's the point of Mazda? They tried and (thankfully) failed at that. Now they're back on the horse with the right name and doing well.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I support #10's statement.

      You guys never bother to test drive cars, bad-mouth toyotas relentlessly and without checking the facts and just go by what the car mags have to say or what the gas from those burritos causes you to blurt out.

      Have you ever driven a camry with sport package. Have you ever bothered to leave your TV set, couch and potato chips and go to a dealership. Have you?

      Hogging in your Large SUVs like a hippo, you dont have a clue whats going on in the real world.
      • 9 Years Ago
      Mazda handling and approach = BMW of Japan. They're the closest thing I've found to a bimmer-like approach to the driving experience. I'm actually considering dumping my 2006 330i e90 for a Mazdaspeed3 or Mx5.

      No other japanese manu comes closer to matching the bimmer driving feel.
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