has its eye on moving on up. According to Automotive News, the company will look to double its sales figures in just five years. At the heart of that effort is the company's new line of super-efficient gasoline engines and lightweight platforms sailing under the SkyActiv banner. Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi says that most of the company's products will benefit from the fuel-saving technologies by 2015, and that those changes may actually help Mazda command higher prices in the U.S. market.

Part of Mazda's growth banks on the assumption that car sales in our neck of the woods will continue to slowly improve until they reach the same levels as what was seen in 2000. The company believes that small cars and crossovers are going to be essential to the automotive market's growth in the coming years. Since its portfolio is already packed with fuel-savvy options, Mazda should be poised to do well if and when buyers start pouring into showrooms again.

Even so, things are hardly right as rain for the Japanese company. Ford has been making waves about finally cutting the last of its ties with Mazda, which could lead to an uncertain future, and the brand's growth hasn't quite kept pace with the rest of the industry.

[Source: Automotive News – sub. req. | Image: Itsuo Inouye/AP]

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