The CX-9 was Mazda's first vehicle designed specifically for US consumption, and one Motor Trend SUV of the year award later, Mazda may be on to something. Sales momentum has increased steadily for the seven-seat utility vehicle, with 3,000 units flying off dealer lots in October alone. Mazda's flexibility allowed the automaker to transform in 18 months a minivan that would likely retail for less than $30,000 into a hot CUV with a price tag reaching $40,000. The Hiroshima-based automaker will leverage those lightning-fast production capabilities and its Ford-shared global architecture bin to produce more vehicles for US tastes, and we're happy to hear it.

Since Mazda seems to have a handle on CUVs (it has four in the US already), we can only guess what exclusive product the development team in Irvine, CA will give us next. A zoom-zoom version of the Honda Ridgeline would be interesting, as would a US-unique Mazda2. We'd like to put in a vote for Mazda utilizing the RX-8 platform to create a sporty RWD sedan, but we're sure everyone the world over would want that.

[Source: Automotive News - Sub. Req.]