• Sep 10, 2010
2011 Mazda6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Milestones and goals are great things to strive for in life. Mazda just reached a pretty impressive one with their mid-size Mazda6. The two millionth example has just rolled off the assembly line. It took the Japanese automaker eight years and six months to get here.

Production began on the first generation Mazda6 back in 2002 and it served to give the Zoom-Zoom campaign a major push. That first-gen car was redesigned in 2007 (the changes arrived in the US in 2009) and a third generation will be arriving soon.

Take a look at the gallery and you can see that the why-so-serious mug has been toned down. The style is more mature without losing the subtle aggressiveness found in the rest of the lineup. The future looks bright for the Mazda6. Now if we can just get them to bring over the wagon and the Mazdaspeed6 we could push them to three million units even faster.



[Source: Mazda]
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Two Millionth Mazda6 Comes off the Line

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that the cumulative global production volume of the Mazda6 (known as Mazda Atenza in Japan) reached two million units at the end of August 2010. The Mazda6 reached this milestone in the eight years and six months since production of the first generation Mazda6 commenced in February 2002 at Mazda's Hofu Plant No. 2 in Yamaguchi prefecture. This achievement marks the second fastest time – after the Mazda3 – to produce two million units of one model since Mazda launched its new generation Zoom-Zoom product lineup in 2002.

Production of the first generation Mazda6 commenced in 2002, and it was the leadoff model in Mazda's new generation of products epitomizing the company's Zoom-Zoom brand message. The Mazda6 is a mid-size car which combines sporty styling with exceptional driving performance, and the first generation Mazda6 received high praise from many customers. Additionally, it has won over 130 global motoring prizes, including Japan's prestigious 2003 RJC Car of the Year award, in November 2002.

The Mazda6 was fully redesigned in 2007 in line with Mazda's "Zoom-Zoom evolution" concept by building on the strengths of the first generation model and taking them one step further, and its environmental and safety performance was significantly improved. In February 2009, the new Mazda6 European specification model was awarded the five-star maximum rating by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP).

2nd generation Mazda6/Mazda Atenza sedan (Japanese specification model)

The Mazda6 is currently being produced at Mazda's Hofu Plant No. 2 in Japan, at AutoAlliance International Inc. (AAI) in Michigan, USA, and at the FAW Car Co., Ltd. (FCC) facility in Changchun, Jilin province, China. Mazda6 global production volume during the January-August 2010 period was steady at approximately 164,000 units, almost a 50 percent increase over same period the previous year.

Seita Kanai, Mazda's senior managing executive officer in charge of R&D and Program Management said, "The Mazda6 is one of the core models which helped establish Mazda's brand image globally. I was the first generation model's development program manager, and I still have a special fondness for this terrific car. I'm grateful to the two million-plus customers around the world who have purchased a Mazda6. I would like to say thank you to each and every customer."

Mazda will continue to make cars that look inviting to drive, are fun to drive and make you want to drive them again, cars that feature outstanding environmental and safety performance balanced with driving pleasure.

* (Euro NCAP) is an independent European car safety performance assessment program founded in 1997 and is composed of the transport authorities of European countries.

Timeline for the Mazda6 to reach two million units of production

First generation Mazda6
February 2002 Production begins at Hofu Plant No. 2
May 2002 Sales start in Europe and Japan
October 2002 Production begins at AutoAIliance International (AAI)
March 2003 Production begins at FAW Car Co., Ltd. (FCC) in Changchun
March 2004 Production of Mazda6 5-door Sports and Mazda6 Sport Wagon begins at AAI
February 2006 Reaches cumulative global production volume of one million units

Second generation Mazda6
August 2007 Production begins at Hofu Plant No. 2
October 2007 Sales start in Europe
January 2008 Sales start in Japan
July 2008 Production of models for North America starts at AAI
April 2009 Production of models for China (known as Mazda6 Ruiyi in China) started at FCC


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 33 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 6 is the best looking family sedan on the market, drives better than the competition, is competitively priced and is a quality piece. Why doesn't it sell as well as, say, the Hyundai Sonata or Ford Fusion??
        • 4 Years Ago
        It's fuel efficiency isn't as good. 1-2mpg isn't really a big difference in the real world, but if you're cross-shopping based on fuel economy, it might get eliminated for that reason.

        Other than that, Mazda's always been in a weird place, perception-wise. It never got the reliability reputation of other Japanese brands, but never got credit for having some of their cars built in the USA either.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 6 is a great car, but even after its mainstream makeover and embiggening, It doesn't even hit the top-25 best-selling nameplates in 2010 (The 3 is 24th).

      I'm wondering if it was a mistake to give their models anonymous single-digit nameplates when they compete with cars that have names, bankable names, like Camry, Accord, Altima, Malibu, Legacy, and Sonata.

      In fact, every one of the 6's competitors has a real name...even the one car in the segment that sells worse, the Kisashi (but let's face it, that's a pretty weird name for most Americans.)

      I can't help but think the fact that it lacks one contributes to its unpopularity, because I can't think of what else it could be; as I said, its not a bad car.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Former 626 owner here. I wasn't happy with direction that they took with the 6. Looks like they're getting their groove back. Here's hoping that Shinari is a good sign of things to come...


        • 4 Years Ago
        @ Doug... I doubt that generation of Mazdas will ever be topped. I currently own two 1988 MX-6 GT's (two door version of the 626) with the 4 cylinder turbo engine and 5 speed manual transmission. These cars were overbuilt and will last 300,000 miles if maintained. No Mazda built today can match that.

        I would love to find a 626 GT Touring but they are rare and hard to find in good condition. Its a shame we don't get the 6 Wagon of the current car here either.
      • 4 Years Ago
      All makes do this in the US. They complain wagons don't sell so they don't carry them in stock, don't promote them, and often overprice them due to the low sales volumes. The bmw 5 wagon in the US was more expensive than the X5, and not as cool looking, so they didn't sell.

      They often hamstring them by limiting engine choices to the slower versions despite being heavier than the sedans(audi a4, bmw 3 and 5 wagons), often force awd on a buyer (bmw 5, audi a4) and there is usually not even one on a lot to test drive. I shopped for a Saab 9-3 aero sportcombi recently. The closest one was several states away. And only TWO lower end versions (2.0T) in my state at all. Non lux brand wagons, if you can find one, are usually fugly styled, and when they aren't (mazda 6) they don't bring them here. It's no wonder they don't sell.

      Meanwhile tippy, heavy, clumsy "cute utes" are heavily promoted in ads.

      Not a single commercial I've seen out there shows why a sport wagon is superior to a comparable sized SUV. (fuel economy, handling, braking, stability, noise, etc) This is a chicken/egg thing and to me it looks like they killed the chicken and wonder why they're getting no more eggs.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Congratulations, Shinji!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I miss the wagon with the 6-spd.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Kitko... He did say *speed* 6. Big difference. The DISI turbo has been unreliable from day one, whereas the n/a 2.3 is bulletproof. The DISI is probably second only to the Renesis in engine failures/replacements.

        The difference being, if your RX8 engine dies, it gets replaced without a bunch of lip. If your 2.3T explodes, Mazda goes out of its way to try and deny warranty claims. I really want to have my Speed3 paid off before the powertrain warranty expires next fall...
        • 4 Years Ago
        I miss the old Mazda 626 GT hatchback from the early 1990s. I had one, in addition to its fantastic driving dynamics, I was smitten with the swiveling center vents. Cheesy? Maybe. I loved it, anyway.
        • 4 Years Ago
        My brother-in-law went through 3 engines in hi s'06 speed. For a total of 174K kilometres. Preferred the look of the Mazda6 hatch anyway. More versatile too. But a wagon would be best.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Where is the AWD Speed6???
        • 4 Years Ago
        Blap, my dad's 2005 Mazda 6 MPS (Speed 6) is on it's first engine after 160 000 km, thank you very much, averaging 9.1 l/100 km or 25.85 mpg (US mpg), data from on board computer.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Totally agree. This wagon looks amazing. I will be in the market for a wagon in 8 months whan my current lease if over and would love to look at a 6 wagon!

        But it will never happen...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Damn... reading FAIL. Ignore my other comment. I'm going back to sleep. :(
      • 4 Years Ago
      Nice milestone. Kudos Mazda.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Good Lord that's a gorgeous wagon... We need that in the US. Stat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      impending rust buckets.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I want the wagon back! I have a 2005 and it's been nothing but a fine automobile. Yes, the plastics and carpets are not up to Volvo standards, but it's been a great car for my family without having a silly MPV or jacked up Camry/Accord. Give me the wagon, Mazda! I need it by 2012.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I just picked up a 2005 wagon a month ago. It's everything I need and want in a car. Would I mind if some of the interior bits were higher quality? No, but I also don't really care.

        When I was shopping around for a used one, I spoke to a number of Mazda dealers, and they were all pretty bummed that the wagon didn't exist anymore. They said they didn't sell a ton of them, but there were certain customers who didn't want anything but a wagon, and had no interest in a CX-7 as a substitute. I find it hard to believe the tooling was expensive enough to justify losing that market.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Have a '04 V6 5spd Sport (hatchback) and want another. Coupe profile with wagon versatility. The V6 is front heavy and understeers so a 4-cyl would be fine.

      How hard can it be to bring over the Euro model unchanged. Tooling is already done.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I am the original owner of a 2003 Mazda6 with 90k miles. I still think it is a good looking car even today. I really am not as impressed with the new generation. It seems too big and I don't like the styling as much, particularly the back end.
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