• Oct 30th 2006 at 4:04PM
  • 24
Mazda celebrated the production kickoff of its new CX-9 crossover by holding a "line-off" ceremony at the Ujima plant in Japan, where this new product for the North American market is being manufactured. We weren't sure what a "line-off" celebration entailed, but it apparently involves a red carpet, signage bordered with gold Christmas garland, one "Zoom-Zoom" reference (see press release), and executives holding giant housekeys.

The CX-9 is Mazda's new seven-passenger CUV. It was unveiled at the NY Auto Show this past April and will hit showrooms in early 2007.

(Photos, press release after the jump)

[Source: Mazda]

Mazda CX-9 Production Line:

Mazda Starts Production of the CX-9, its Second Crossover SUV for the North American Market

- Line-off ceremony held at Hiroshima's Ujina Plant No.1 -

HIROSHIMA, Japan--Mazda Motor Corporation today held a 'line-off' ceremony for the CX-9 crossover sport-utility vehicle (SUV) being built for the North American market at the Ujina Plant No.1 near its global headquarters in Hiroshima. Hisakazu Imaki, Mazda's representative director, chairman of the board, president and CEO, along with approximately 450 staff-comprised of several senior executives, union representatives and employees-attended this ceremony. The Mazda CX-9 will be arriving in North American showrooms in early 2007.

"The CX-9 will be the latest addition to Mazda's product lineup in the all-important North American market, joining the Mazda CX-7, which went on sale there in May", said Hisakazu Imaki. "CX-9 is a key model aimed at raising the visibility of Mazda in North America and will be an integral part of building the brand. Furthermore, to keep on providing the best Zoom-Zoom products that will exceed our customers' expectations around the globe, we must continue our efforts as 'One Mazda' to build even higher-quality vehicles."

The Mazda CX-9 is a seven-seat crossover SUV designed and engineered specifically for the North American market. The CX-9 showcases Mazda's unique design and strong, dynamic driving performance as well as an up-market interior with class-leading space and unmatched versatility. The CX-9 debuted at the New York International Auto Show in April 2006, earning high marks for its versatility and remarkable styling that makes a clean break from traditional medium-sized SUVs.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      "MAZDA is majority owned by Ford.. so count on Ford quality (haha)."

      So just buy being owned by Ford makes them have bad quality? This is a very immature and uneducated statement. Have you seen the Mazda 3 or 6, very nice vehicles.
      • 8 Years Ago
      33% is an almost CONTROLLING stake. Look mazda is probably publicly traded, all those hedge funds, mutual funds pention funds do now vote as one...however people nominated by Ford do. Not to meantion that some of those who own some part of Mazda may also vote together with Ford.

      51% simply gives you a complete, outright, you can spit on anyone control, 33% is you may need some allies but chanses are Ford is the biggest share holder of Mazda.
      • 8 Years Ago
      wow are you guys (commenters) wrong.
      Mazda is not majority owned by Ford. 33% is not a majority last time I looked.
      The Mazda6 came before the Mazda 3. Both are selling extremely well for being out so long and Mazda has had a hard time meeting production, trying to keep supply in check like another Japanese manufacturer with a big H on the hood.
      The "question no one is asking" is actually the biggest question we get. "I want a vehicle big enough for my kids, dog, lifestyle but don't want a minivan or a gas guzzling SUV"
      Hence the GM crossovers and the CX-9.
      And currently these are all bigger than the Pilot.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Facts or not facts but to me Mazda6 looks like an enlarged Mazda3, they may not share the same platform but from the outside they look very similar except the size. Same with CX-7 and CX-9, those cars can't look any more similar than they do. Very boring in my view. And I don't know about exact Mazda sales but here where I live I see a bunch of Mazda3, Mazda6, and CX-7 on the dealer lot. I am not a Toyota fan but when I go to my local dealers (I have 3 around my area) I even have to be put on a waiting list to buy a freaking Yaris.
      • 8 Years Ago
      That is just so sexy-lookin'
      This segment is about to get HOT, what with the Outlook and Acadia coming to play too.
      Will there be a new Pilot?
      Can't wait to compare.
      • 8 Years Ago
      #27 - what a stupid comment...I can see Acura vehicles look alike, I can see all Lexus vehicles look alike. How about BMW, Benz, Audi?? they all look alike. You want something special? go buy a hummer.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Oh yeah.. dont forget Acadia and Outlook and there is 1 more.. yeah the gruesome threesome from GM.

      • 8 Years Ago
      #2 "Accordsforall" - thanks for being so stupid and ruining a good thread - The Mazda Tribute is not at all a "ripoff of an Ford Escape" as the Tribute/Escape come from the same design which was ENGINEERED by Mazda and just manufactured by Ford. I own one, and to me it's a Mazda designed around a Ford engine and transmission. In your world, maybe the government should just issue us each a Honda accord when we get our driver's licence, and when we have 2 kids, a Honda Pilot. This isn't the "Rims and Wings" blog so try using your head for more than a place to rest your sideways Yankees cap and put a little more thought into your comments. . .
      • 8 Years Ago
      So, the CX-9 is NOT Mazada's version of the Edge and MKX, even though it seems to share those vehicle's 3.5l V6?
      • 8 Years Ago
      I saw a CX-9 on the road last week and was completely impressed. Even more so than the CX-7, which I was really impressed with back in May when it made its debut. It is a very aggressive looking design for Mazda. It's wide wheel stance a swooping curves give it great appeal.
      • 8 Years Ago
      considering we just bought a CX-7 last weekend and looked/test drove everything from that segment and even larger SUV and crossovers. The CX-7 is by far the class of the field (unless you are talking about a $40-60k SUV or crossover, which is way too much). I'm not sure about the CX-9; but if it is built, priced, feature-loaded better than the rest of the segment like the CX-7 currently is, then I see no problem with the CX-9 doing very well.

      As far as, Mazda's quality issues and the ties to Ford....that was very uneducated. You stated their B-series (Ranger clone) and Tribute (Exscape clone) are not selling well. That is because they are direct clones and their quality is quite well thank you. Remember the Ford Fusion is based off of the Mazda 6 and Volvo S60, not the other way around.
      • 8 Years Ago
      The 6 was out years before the 3 was out. Back then they still had the Protege. The 6 sold very well for the first few years it was out, but is need of an updating.
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