Mazda is taking the steps necessary to right its financial ship, but when a patient has this kind of issue, the cure can hurt just as much. The small, independent carmaker has been hurt by its relatively Japan-centric manufacturing base and the strength of the yen, the loss of Ford as a noteworthy stakeholder and the resulting loss of financial cushion. Mazda is expected to post a $1.2 billion loss for its 2011 financial year, which is smaller than earlier estimates but it's still the fourth losing year in a row and the largest in a decade.

The need to act has forced Mazda North America into a five-month plan to shed a number of its 701 employees for leaner running. Select employees will be offered a buyout package, and if voluntary uptake isn't sufficient then involuntary dismissals will occur. The timeline begins this month with lump-sum offers, followed by layoffs at the end of May if necessary, and the stretch to August will see the transition of personnel into the restructured organization.

Mazda is also issuing shares to raise $1.9 billion in order to aid its position and get production started in Mexico and Thailand. It is also aggressively seeking a partner and considering licensing its SkyActiv technology.


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  • 140 Comments
      Temple
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda built their Mazda 6 in Flat Rock, MI next to the Mustang, while the platform brother, the Ford Fusion was built in Mexico. There is something clearly wrong with the economics if even Ford doesn't want to build their car in their own plant. I would guess Mazda too will be going to Mexico for their future Mazda 6 production.
      pbgardenpet
      • 2 Years Ago
      That realyl makes me sad.
      dtyree77
      • 2 Years Ago
      I really hope Mazda pulls through. The death of a car manufacturer is never a good thing, it reduces competition in the market place, and drives complacency. If Mazda had never existed we would never know one of the best cars ever made, the Miata. Consider for a moment that in the US the largest amateur racing series is Spec Miata. Mazda is one of the primary players in amateur racing in the United States. Almost every attempt to compete with the Miata has been lackluster in one way or another. Consider for a moment if Mazda had not existed, would Chevy have ever tried to bring the Sky or Solstice to market? Not likely. Would have such high bar to compare other convertibles against? Would we know that it is possible to buy a 2500lbs modern car - Not likely? The Miata is frequently refereed to as a benchmark of driving dynamics, I would like to think it has helped make all modern sports cars better. Mazda has had a huge part to play in our modern definition of a sports cars, they have reminded us that driving dynamics are so important, and that it isn't only about acceleration and straight line performance. If you don't believe me, go drive a Miata. I don't care who manufactures the car, I only care about it drives and performs - a great car begets other great cars.
      austin
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda wants a buy out and I think Fiat is probably the only one eyeing to do that. bold move, but it makes sense for Fiat, if they're not completely broke from the Chrysler deal. Everyone has a stake in China except fiat and Chrysler's holding in china is weaker than GM or Ford. Fiat always wanted an asian brand to sell the cars, and I think Mazda is losing weight for a buyout. that'll be interesting. Toyota won't take it, it just bought subaru, volkwagen won't take it, hyundai won't take it, maybe daimler, but they have alliance with renault-nissan.
      wepaydeductible.ca
      • 2 Years Ago
      All new Mazda 6 and 3 are coming soon! Should kill everything in segments.
        gray fox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @wepaydeductible.ca
        Pretty unlikely. Honda still has a strong following on the belief of class leading fuel economy (even if it isn't always the case), Toyota for reliability and appliance seekers, and the blind domestic brand loyalties leave a pretty small pie for everyone else. It's hard to imagine what could break Mazda out into the mainstream to where they were selling at Honda or Nissan volumes but then again maybe it's for the best that they never do. With growing sales comes the temptation to grow them further and that means more compromises until eventually you no longer represent what attracted your original buyers in the first place (class leading handling and some of the highest fun per dollar ratios).
      swtdreamluvr
      • 2 Years Ago
      obama will give them are tax dollors if they give half back to his re-election.....
      Peter
      • 2 Years Ago
      AND OBAMA SAYS THE ECONOMY IS GETTING BETTER???????..........IT'S GETTING WORSE!!!!!!!!!!!!
        Bret Frohwein
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter
        mmm more like Mazda isn't keeping up with the rest of the industry and losing sales..
        That Kid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter
        I agree with you, and I agree that Obama's a large part of the problem. And I'm an ardent lefty. I can't say I agree that things will be OK when/if a Republican gets sworn into office and that tax cuts for the rich, deregulation and anti-union legislation are going to help the economy, however. Those things are largely responsible for the race to the bottom we now find ourselves in.
          untitledfolder
          • 2 Years Ago
          @That Kid
          He's one part of the 3 branches of government. Christ.
        wschwanki
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter
        Based on what data?
          jaboettch1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @wschwanki
          Hey, hazdaz, do some research, you tool!!!! The Demonrats were in control of Congress starting in January, '07, so the side that "tanked the economy" was your beloved Dumbofucks!!!! What, did you drink too much Kool Aid and get brain freeze? Oh, sorry, you would have to have a brain first, which leaves you out. Idiot.
        gray fox
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Peter
        Dear god keep your broken keyboard ranting off my god damn car enthusiast site.
      majbjb
      • 2 Years Ago
      By all means get rid of any UAW deadweight you have Mazda. Not only will costs go down but productivity and quality should go up.
        • 2 Years Ago
        @majbjb
        [blocked]
      Zoom
      • 2 Years Ago
      I don't think the few Mazda6 builders car the cause of Mazda's woes. If it's cheaper to build cars here rather than Japan, shouldn't Mazda be buying out Japanese employees? Oh right, they're pretty much guaranteed jobs for life in Japan. And universal healthcare. And suitable education. America could learn from the Japanese a couple of things.
        Jared East
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Zoom
        Why don't you move to Japan then ? That way you can leave this country to the people who actually like it.
          Zoom
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Jared East
          I want my country to be better. Not race to the bottom.
      zoebark
      • 2 Years Ago
      Obama quick, print some more money bail out Mazda and add their cars to the existing lineup of United States Motor Car Company(GM and Chrysler).
        Quen47
        • 2 Years Ago
        @zoebark
        I don't know why you are being downvoted- that's an excellent idea given the way that Obama has already saved GM and Chrysler, rengotiated onerous union contracts, and put them on the path to profitability. Maybe he could do the same for Mazda- +1
        billfrombuckhead
        • 2 Years Ago
        @zoebark
        The Japanese already tried the printing money thing, in fact Japan has the highest per capita debt of any nation in the world higher than Greece, higher than anybody. You would think Republicans/TEA Party/Libertarian/however they rebrand this degenerate political party would eschew JapaneseKoreanGerman car companies for being so state socialist but because Faux News doesn't tell these low information voters/consumers this stubborn fact, they're oblivious.
      lrclrnz
      • 2 Years Ago
      Who would be stupid enough to own a mazda anyway ?
        Andrew B
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lrclrnz
        Sarcasm right? I love my 02 Protege5. Handles exceptionally well for an economy car. In fact, pretty much every Mazda is a great handler. Zoom Zoom isn't just a front, it's in all their vehicles.
        Matrix
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lrclrnz
        Agree, why buy a stupid mazda when u can buy a Mercedes or a BMW.
          untitledfolder
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matrix
          wut... you gotta be trolling. You can buy two Mazda's for the price of one entry-level 1 series...
        Typesbad
        • 2 Years Ago
        @lrclrnz
        Me, i guess. I've been around long enough to own a lot of cars. The best two of all of them were both Mazdas. By "best" I don't mean fastest or fanciest, but the most satisfying in their stated purpose. A first gen Miata and first gen Mazda3. the worse part of a layoff like this is the brain drain. Usually the most talented, and thus most marketable are the first to go. This has happened to Mazda before. I hope they can somehow avoid it this time. Their entire line may not be perfect, but they have a lot of desirable products and their SkyActiv technology looks very promising.
      Eddie
      • 2 Years Ago
      In summer of 2008 I went to mazda to look at a mazdaspeed 3. During the test drive I wanted to see what the car could do and as soon as i shifted at a high rpm the salesman said he couldnt do a testdrive with me because he would get in trouble. That the cars will kill the clutch within 500miles if driven hard. I looked this up back than and they had many dealerships with cars with dead clutches. Make a car that can handle driving and maybe people will buy your stuff. I ended up buying a saturn sky redline and drove the bitch into the ground for the 9000miles as it was a second vehicle. Never had a single problem with it and it had more power. So apparently the mazdaspeed had something poorly designed into it. Fiat is doing the same thing to themselves as mercades did with chrysler. Good at the beginning than it will go downhill untill they split the companys to avoid making fiat look bad.
        AlphaGnome
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eddie
        Perhaps you are a rough shifter? I know a few Speed3 owners and none of them have complained about clutch problems, other than that they don't have the friendliest of clutches... BUT, in such an unfortunate event, there is a warranty that covers such issues.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eddie
        This guy is a troll, clearly obvious. Drove the Sky into the ground in 9,000 miles? Seriously? Clutch dead in 500 miles? Ummm, no. Many cars with dead clutches? I haven't heard that from a SINGLE source, maybe you should provide yours. How did Fiat make it into this conversation? Seriously, you fail at trolling.
        mJonell
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eddie
        Maybe it'll kill the clutch when driven hard before it's broken in. Gotta be sensible
        pulser2k
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Eddie
        I learned stick on my speed3 in hilly SF and I burned it more times then I can remember. It's at 77k and the clutch is still working fine so nope, nothing poorly designed about it.
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