Mazda sales are up 22 percent this year, but the company's American operation is enduring acute pain. It is in the midst of a complete, five-month reorganization while trying to raise funds and shrink its workforce. In March, Mazda announced its intention to offer voluntary buyouts to its U.S. employees, after which it would assess the plan and then lay off other workers if needed. Of the firm's 701 local workers, 107 have accepted the voluntary buyout.

Having seen its North American year-over-year operating loss swell by more than 25 percent to $505 million from $397 million, every aspect of the company has come under review. Mazda has said it doesn't know if involuntary layoffs will be necessary yet, but CEO Takashi Yamanouchi does know this: "It's a must-win situation."


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  • 31 Comments
      torqued
      • 2 Years Ago
      As car fanatics, we'd all love to believe that all they need is more awesome cars. But in reality, it's a business and the problem is probably more about manufacturing efficiency and talent running the company.
      Willie
      • 2 Years Ago
      I absolutely love my Mazda6 and I hope they can get things turned around (and they will). We already lost Pontiac :( we don't need to lose another driving performance brand. If Mitsubishi wasn't in such bad shape themselves I think those two merging together and building on each of their strengths would create some amazing products for both brands, which historically has been popular with those who want cars with more personality and performance than Toyotas and Hondas.
      Pat
      • 2 Years Ago
      Couple of things. 1) This shake-up is due to operational issues with their US arm --like the article states it's sales are up. 2) (coming from a very dissatisfied Mazda owner) Mazda lives off the zoom-zoom image. The quality of their car is poor -- Take a look at all the Mazda 3s & 5s with blown shocks and with rust.
        the.ting
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Pat
        Actually, the shake up has more to do with their global operating loss due to the Yen and Mazda's dependence on its Japan-only manufacturing. The cuts are not limited to Mazda USA. It is happening across the board globally. The issues you mention has more to do with maintenance and climate. I've seen other supposedly reliable marques suffer the same fate. A few cases doesn't represent the whole lot.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Pat
        I haven't seen a single 3 or 5 with rust issues, and I live in an area where there is a decent amount of vehicles with rust issues. Also, I travel often (hence the name) and I don't see a lot of Mazdas new or old with rust issues.
      NightFlight
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd love to see Mazda partner up with BMW, Citroen, Fiat, or someone else. Mazda is far too good of a company to just let go. ALL of their products are fun to drive and feel much more expensive than they really are.
      bigsaucybob
      • 2 Years Ago
      It'd be a real shame to see Mazda go down. They are one of the last mainstream auto manufacturers to put handling and driving dynamics first. Even if you don't particularly like their cars, it would represent a significant blow to the auto industry as a whole.
      SethG
      • 2 Years Ago
      It will be a shame to watch Mazda struggle in the US. Right now, they have 3 cars that can be considered the best or among the best in 3 very important segments (Mazda3, CX-9 and CX-5). Yet they still face the struggles of a second tier manufacturer.. The next gen Mazda6 is so important for Mazda and it will come into a segment that has never had a better crop of cars. It will be tough. I think it's best chances are if it's a truly distinctive vehicle. The current Mazda6 is fine but it tried to beat the Camry and Accord at their own game an fails to distinguish itself. Maybe they're better off going a half size smaller like the last 6 and try to stand out through a combination of efficiency and performance that the slightly smaller size allows.
        Brian
        • 2 Years Ago
        @SethG
        I couldn't agree with you more. I loved the 1st gen Mazda 6 and actually talked a good friend of mine into buying one. I looked at one too but could not afford it at the time. The 1st generation had a number of dedicated fans that liked the car BECAUSE it was very different from the mainstream. When Mazda set out to take on the mainstream competition, they sort-of screwed themselves twice because they alienated the original Mazda 6 fans and they suddenly became a very small fish in a very big pond. When your car is all of the sudden just like everything else, you all of the sudden gain all sorts of competition that you didn't necessarily have before. I am sure that Mazda has seen the errors in their ways because if seems that the Mazda 6 sales have been abysmal at best since the redesign (at least for the US model). I hope that Mazda returns to the formula that made the original Mazda 6 such a special car.
      inuvik
      • 2 Years Ago
      I've had many Mazda vehicles throughout the years. I still have a '92 MPV 4WD that just keeps plugging away. All the Mazda's I've ever owned have been excellent vehicles with no major issues. They're new vehicle lineup is good, I think that dropping the RX-8 is a mistake. Even though the rotary is not that efficient and requires vigilant maintenance to insure longevity they sure are fun to drive. Something about being able to wind a rotary to 7500 rpm and listen to it scream is a experience like no other.
      Soyntgo4it
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ask GM they are buying everything now a days.. With that extra money they haven't paid back yet..
      guyverfanboy
      • 2 Years Ago
      I'd like to see Mazda to Partner with Fiat in order to survive. In either case, I hope their finances improve soon so they can bring over their Skyactiv-D engines!
      icemilkcoffee
      • 2 Years Ago
      I sure hope they make it. The new Skyactiv Mazda3 and CX-5 are finally both compelling products.
      Scott West
      • 2 Years Ago
      They need to bring the RX-7 back and make some money.
        rmkensington
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scott West
        RX-7's wont save them. They make some great products, their just too small on their own to survive.
        NightFlight
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scott West
        A low volume halo car that is going to cost hundreds of millions in R&D isn't going to make them any money.
        finzenchrome
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Scott West
        More than that. Mazda needs a halo 3-rotor supercar (read Mazda Furai) to market to wealthy rotary enthusiasts so they can run with the big dogs. Kodo-fy the Furai concept, make it street legal and sell it at a very healthy margin. Engine problems, you say? Well if you are ready to sink six figures into a rotor car, you've already considered that and it doesn't faze you a bit.
      throwback
      • 2 Years Ago
      Mazda desperately needs a partner. They make nice driving cars but, they can't survive on their own.
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