To launch into this year's LA Auto Show festivities, the Motor Press Guild hosted Mazda president and CEO Takashi Yamanouchi, who proceeded to map out for us Mazda's plan to go from stylish underdog to a more seriously considered Japanese innovator.

"So long as I remain involved with this company... there will be a rotary engine offering or multiple offerings in the lineup."

Key to the next decade of planning for Mazda HQ in Hiroshima is the comprehensive vehicle strategy called SkyActiv. At the show today, Mazda, in fact, is showing off its next vehicle with SkyActiv tech onboard, the new CX-5 small crossover with the 2.0-liter direct-injection engine.

Following the Japanese tsunami tragedy in the midst of an already hurting world economy, Yamanouchi emphasized that the worldwide support and open sharing that happened following the tsunami allowed Mazda in particular to get up and fully running in June, just three months after the catastrophe, versus the six to nine months anticipated.
Nowadays, the chief obstacle to hitting the the company's 2015 goal of 30-percent reduced emissions and fuel use (as compared to 2008 levels) while also selling 3.7 million vehicles annually (versus today's 3.1 million) is the nasty currency exchange rates for the yen as compared to the U.S. dollar or Euro dollar. The solution has been to attack manufacturing efficiencies company-wide, resulting in 30-percent reduced R&D cost processes, 20-percent reduced chassis development for the crucial SkyActiv chassis, and 60-percent lower costs in gasoline engine development.

It is practically confirmed here today that the stunning 2010 Shinari concept will reach the street by 2013.

Mazda intends furthermore to focus the vast share of its R&D – despite promises of its own electric motor to go into production by sometime in 2013 – on internal combustion engines, since, as Yamanouchi pointed out, by 2020 the ICE percentage in all cars sold worldwide will still rest at 90-percent of the market. "However," he stated, "this is not to be seen as Mazda going for sales only. The fact is that with 90-percent remaining ICE by that year, it means that the best gains in efficiency and emissions are to be found in internal combustion technologies."

Yamanouchi also did not hide his love of the rotary engine tradition, stating in order to clear up recent speculation of the end of Renesis, "So long as I remain involved with this company, and I have been here 44 years and have no current retirement schedule, there will be a rotary engine offering or multiple offerings in the lineup."

Over the next five years, too, Mazda will bring six totally new SkyActiv models to market, with most or all to arrive in North America in one form or another. This process starts today with the CX-5, and it is practically confirmed here today that the stunning 2010 Shinari concept will reach the street by 2013 as part of this SkyActiv push. The latter will also be the big blow-out party launch of the latest company-wide design philosophy, called Kodo or "Soul of Motion", which takes influences from the movements of wild animals.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 18 Comments
      pasigiri
      • 3 Years Ago
      Yamanouchi also did not hide his love of the rotary engine tradition, stating in order to clear up recent speculation of the end of Renesis, "So long as I remain involved with this company, and I have been here 44 years and have no current retirement schedule, there will be a rotary engine offering or multiple offerings in the lineup." Thank Mr. Yamanouchi. I will do my best to ensure you always remain involved with Mazda and never retire.
      3ziko
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think Yamanouchi meant Takeri concept, which will make production soon as next mazda 6, not Shinari.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nutty as a fruitcake. These morons will be merged into another company by the Japanese government within a year or two.
        xxxZOMBIExxx
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        I'm sorry but you answer is not correct, but thanks for playing! ...you may want study up on this thing called the "auto industry".
          kant
          • 3 Years Ago
          @xxxZOMBIExxx
          @bill zombie is right. When the japanese gov't first started pushing auto companies to merge, mazda gave them the bird and started making the rotary engine. And actually mazda just shook off the ford shackles so they're becoming more independent...not being absorbed. As far as the rotary. Well there are quite a few examples of rx-8's hitting 200k miles on the original engine. Fuel milage, not great but there are a lot of cars out there that get worse. Emissions are pretty much where they should be at it's fuel economy level So any cliche factless criticism you want to pull out of some dark and smelly place?
          billfrombuckhead
          • 3 Years Ago
          @xxxZOMBIExxx
          So they've solved the emissions, durability and fuel mileage issues with the rotary? Has Mazda come up with anyone to team up with on platforms? Did you see what the Japanese government just did with it's flat screen Tv industry? Did you see the article on Autospies about the Japanese government "encouraging" parts sharing among manufacturers? http://www.autospies.com/news/Good-Or-Bad-Idea-Japanese-Government-Now-Wants-To-Standardized-Auto-Parts-64692/
          xxxZOMBIExxx
          • 3 Years Ago
          @xxxZOMBIExxx
          @billfrombuckhead: autospies isn't anything that even resembles a reliable source. That’s like going to the Mad Magazine for serious political commentary. The rotary engine you would know that it has improved dramatically since the 80's and they have been developing and testing new versions since the Renesis production started. Mazda still shares platforms with automakers all over the world and has only eliminated sharing on unprofitable platforms. The Japanese government doesn't need to encourage parts sharing...it has been happening since the 1960's. Most of the major Japanese automakers either own or act as suppliers that provide parts to the entire industry.
        CarSnaab
        • 3 Years Ago
        @billfrombuckhead
        Fruity like an Apple? Because we see how thinking different worked out for them.
          billfrombuckhead
          • 3 Years Ago
          @CarSnaab
          Steam engines have also improved dramatically. Whatever happened to that Miller cycle deal? Mazda=dead end motors.
      Krishan Mistry
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is why I like Mazdas. They know they will never be the next Toyota sales monster, and don't try to be, quite unlike Honda and to a lesser extent Nissan. They focus on making the best driver's cars in their classes, even at the expense of a few mpg's or refinement. The SkyActiv is another forward thinking idea, and will boost usable torque and efficiency, while reducing weight, complexity, and costs. Pity we wont likely get the low compression diesel or the full 14:1 compression petrol engine (I have heard about 12 and 13:1, highly impressive but not as much as overseas). And whether or not Mazda is crazy for keeping the rotary alive and kicking, I respect them for taking a different, less paved route. If the rotary design is a dog, Mazda will work harder to perfect it, not go the easy route. I respect that the same way I respect GM for making efficient, compact OHV V8s that prove you dont need turbos or quad cams to be highly effective. And how Ford taught an old dog new tricks with refining the live axle to the point a Mustang can outhandle an M3. Or how Porsche takes a historically dodgy engine layout--behind the rear axle, and makes the 911 one of the most versatile, all round impeccable sports cars in the world, with almost no fear of pendulum effect snap oversteer. Thanks for keeping the rotary, Mazda. It defines the brand as much as this SkyActiv philosophy will.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      guyverfanboy
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hell yeah! Shinari will be my next car!
        6thGear
        • 3 Years Ago
        @guyverfanboy
        Will definitely get the Shinari if the final product stays true to the concept as much as possible!!
          guyverfanboy
          • 3 Years Ago
          @6thGear
          Amen to that!
          kant
          • 3 Years Ago
          @6thGear
          None of you will ever buy the shinari production model. Mainly because it will never be made. The shinari was a design language concept, make to demonstrate the design language that all mazdas will use. Now, the Takeri concept will end up being the new mazda6 and is the closest to the shinari that mazda will make. http://www.autoblog.com/2011/10/25/mazda-takeri-concept-to-debut-at-tokyo-motor-show/
      marc
      • 3 Years Ago
      rotary is still alive, this makes me happy. it is still a viable engine format. it has one company putting limited resources in it and still manages to hang with piston engines. the piston engine has every car company spending countless amounts of time and money on it, to improve it all the time, of course it will develop faster and better in some aspects. i like that mazda sticks to its guns and stays with the rotary.
      Haub
      • 3 Years Ago
      Dear Yamanouchi-san, Thank you, thank you, thank you for keeping true to Mazda's roots while still adapting key product to todays market. Never stop. - Haub.
      CarCrazy24
      • 3 Years Ago
      Awesome news, thank you for sticking to Mazda's roots! The rotary will always a very special engine, and I look forward to test driving and possibly buying the CX-5. That Shinari concept will make one amazing sedan, can't wait!
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