• Oct 25, 2010


Mazda
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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  • 62 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      If they want to double sales and start that inexorable climb into higher profit margin cars, maybe they could do something with the RWD platforms other than a roadster or a wankel coupe. For starters a more upright 4 seat coupe with a compact sedan twin based off the RX8 architecture and powered by either the MPS3 4 cylinder or a V6 would be a fantastic start.

      BMW got its first major sales coup with a coupe, maybe Mazda is the one manufacturer in Japan that could deliver on that promise? Honda is DOA with such cars, and Toyota's answer has had more pushbacks than Gran Turismo 5.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Bring those fuel economy improvements and weight losses that you keep talking about, then!

      Less talking, more action, Mazda.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I can't wait to see how those new Sky engines perform...
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ditto. They've been hyping that engine since 2008, maybe even earlier.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Double? Why aim so low Mr. Mazda?!

      I say you triple or even quadruple your US volume!
      And don't just move upmarket, but go after Maybach and Bentley and the like!

      Yeah!

      /s
      • 4 Years Ago
      didn't they try a semi-luxury thing like 12++ years ago?
        • 4 Years Ago
        The Millenia provided a lot of the design inspiration for the 2003 Mazda6 which owed more to the Millenia than it did to the rather bland 626 that it replaced.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Mazda almost launched a full blown luxury division in the very early 90's, similar to what Honda, Toyota, and Nissan did.

        It was going to be called Amati.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Mazda looking to double U.S. volume and go upscale"

      I'm afraid those two objectives will be working against each other.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed. I recall Clarkson once referring to Mazda as the 'poor man's BMW' as a compliment and they should hold onto that. It's quite possible that Mazda is looking at Hyundai's move up and saying, 'If they can do it, so can we.' And, if that's the case, good on them. That said, if the Mazda Shinari is what we can expect from an 'more upscale' Mazda, go for it.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I already considered Mazda slightly up-scale compared to it's competitors. They tend to cost more, and the Mazda3 I was told a few years back had never been offered with any incentives of any kind. Take into account they can't really be found for under $17,500 or $18,000 on the lot after destination, etc and that's pretty impressive in a world where a cheap Cobalt can be found for under $14k.

        I like the 3 and the 6, and honestly pretty much all the stuff they make looks good to me, but I swear I just can't stand that smiley-face grille. Totally ruins any chance of me picking a Mazda up, and I remember reading a story recently about how that's their new corporate grille.

        =(
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm all for Mazda doubling their sales figures but I frown on them going up market. What's wrong with their current position? Why can't Mazda enjoy being the company for the enthusiast with practical needs and a thin wallet? C'mon Mazda, don't abandon us bottom dwellers who still love to drive but can't afford an Audi.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I have a Mazda5 and Mazda has a long way to go before they can be upscale. A long way.
        • 4 Years Ago
        up scale, Up Scale, UP SCALE... Why can't companies just build regular cars without all bells and whistles??? I'd even go back to roll up windows and locks that aren't powered.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @Kid Red

        You have to remember though, the Mazda 5 is in the "cheap, mini-minivan" segment. The whole point is to be as cost-efficient as possible.
      • 4 Years Ago
      For a turbo, DSG, rear bias AWD, with some upgraded bits, yeah, I would go $30k for a fully loaded Grand Touring Mazda3. My current Grand Touring 2010 Mazda3 wasn't much less than that, and it was worth every penny.

      Bring over the JDM Mazda6, and dump the USDM turd. That would be a step in the right redirection as well.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Go upscale? Not with their current quality! My 2003 Protege is such a rust bucket. While my father's 2003 Corolla has no such problems. Same year, same mileage, same climate! Sorry, but I'm never buying a Mazda again.
      • 4 Years Ago
      step 1: redesign the recently redesigned Mazda3

      step 2: get that damn next-gen rotary working properly (!)

      step 3: uhh... steps 1 and 2 would be a good start :)
        • 4 Years Ago
        you know, i suspected this thing was flying off showroom floors when i typed that, i've been seeing them everywhere. but in terms of pure aesthetic design... i feel it's trying way too hard, whereas the previous was classy and understated, this one is visually "noisy". every time i see one it looks like it's yelling and screaming, "hey look at me, i'm 'cutting edge' and cool!"... meh.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why would Mazda want to redesign a vehicle that is selling very well?

        Just because you don't like it doesn't mean others don't as well. The Mazda 3 is the best selling vehicle in Canada and is in the top three for the C segment in the US.

      • 4 Years Ago
      Having owned a few,and a current 3 owner, I hope they don't try to grow. Growing means appealing to a larger audience and having blander products to suit a wide range of tastes.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Wish they would give up the smiley faced ugliness they've been putting out.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Ummm.

        http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/30/mazda-shinari-concept-debuts-new-face-of-the-brand-in-style/

        Also, that ugly smiley face has been doing very well for the 3. Mazda is moving a ton of the new 3's and I believe it is Canada's best selling vehicle for the C segment.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Actually in Canada it's just the straight best selling vehicle. No other car beats it out, not even the Civic which has been #1 for over a decade. The 3 is a hit and as soon as you get in one, you get it. Hell, no one in the real world who views the car from eyes that are 5-6 feet above the ground (unlike the folks here who see everything from a 2 foot tripod's view) care about the smiley. It's way smaller when perspective comes into play. Most importantly though, it's about a trillion times less bland than everything else.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I remember the 929 of the early 90s as a handsome modern looking car. Much better than the Millenia they came out with in 1995.

      I don't think a near luxury car would hurt the brand something around 31K.
      • 4 Years Ago
      "Since its portfolio is already packed with fuel-savvy options". Not at all. The only volume model that gets into the mid-30s is the 2. The 3 and the 6 are both rather thirsty for their classes and barely crack 30 in the 2.5 L models that account for the bulk of sales. The RX-8 and the CUVs can't crack 30.

      I love my little Mazda but can't bring myself to get another one until they get their fuel economy much higher.
        • 4 Years Ago
        30? Heh, in 2 years I had it, the RX8 never cracked 20... That engine really seemed to have very inconsistent fuel economy. Some people said they could get nearly 25 on highway trips and others (like me) never got better than 18 or 19 highway even if we grannied it. That's a pretty big variance.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Farmboy: the "fuel-savvy" statement was Zach's commentary on the current Mazda lineup, not a statement made by Mazda. I think the Sky engines will help a lot, but until they become reality instead of talk, Mazda's lineup cannot be considered "fuel-savvy" in any way (unless you're comparing them to Ferrari).
        • 4 Years Ago
        Maybe they are talking about the new Sky engine lineup in terms of "fuel-savvy." If they are thinking how fuel efficient the Renesis is, I might snort some Coca-Cola out of my nose.
        • 4 Years Ago
        By "fuel savvy" They mean that the cars love fuel and love using it.. :)

        Make sense now? hehe.
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