Auto sales in Europe have been a tricky proposition for some years, but Mazda has seen some success on the backs of the CX-5 and new Mazda6. According to a report form Automotive News Europe, though, that doesn't mean we should be looking for the Japanese manufacturer to set up production operations there.

Mazda's European CEO, Jeff Guyton, explained to AN that "Our intention is to have manufacturing scale. That gives you scale economy and quality through repeatability." In other words, a big honking plant in one part of the world is preferable to a half dozen small factories building the same vehicles.

European sales for Mazda are up 5.4 percent in the first half of 2013, with 74,000 units sold. That kicked the Zoom-Zoom brand's market share up from one to 1.2 percent. Small gains, but gains nonetheless. According to Guyton, Mazda would need to sell 200,000 units of just one model in Europe for local production to make sense. Mazda's best European year saw 320,000 units sold across the entire range.


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  • 25 Comments
      Dr Zoidberg
      • 1 Year Ago
      They'll be better built for it too. Never found a Japanese car built elsewhere that matches the reliability of home built. Not nation bashing, just my personal experience.
      • 1 Year Ago
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      Jim R
      • 1 Year Ago
      They won't build there because European workers are all unionized. They take long breaks, get lots of time off and very high wages. Things that make manufacturing unprofitable except in very large volumes or at very high margins. It's much cheaper to build their cars in Japan and Mexico and ship them worldwide.
        aatbloke1967
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim R
        Jim R - Mazda won't build in Europe for one reason, and one reason only: their products simply don't have mass appeal to Europeans. Back in the 1990s, Clarkson once quipped that "walking into a pub and claiming to own a Mazda was like walking into a pub and claiming to have an embarrassing itch". That perception of Mazda has waned in recent years as their products have held more appeal, but even so it still holds a great deal of water.
        Bryan Pizzuti
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim R
        Heck, it's cheaper to build them in North America. The south is even easier, but I hear the European unions make the UAW look like cake to work with.
        Sean Conrad
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Jim R
        Got any sources to cite?
      360_AD
      • 1 Year Ago
      People are too quick to place blame on the unionized factory workers. Don't forget, there are plenty of high paid office workers who do very little and make bad decisions too.
        Cruising
        • 1 Year Ago
        @360_AD
        This is true in so many manufacturing type jobs, there is such big disconnect between office workers and actual production workers. Sometimes they have no idea how the actual physical work is and still make changes based on no knowledge except when $ talks. It's rather sorry more companies are not open to input of employees but rather their way is the right way because they say so. No offense to office workers or production workers but it would benefit all if their was more closer relationship between the two.
      strykerzzzz
      • 1 Year Ago
      No manufacturing jobs anymore from Mazda here in the United States since they pulled out of the Michigan factory and none in Europe - only Japan and Mexico. I've started to care more about U.S. workers since the economic downturn a few years ago, so even though the new Mazda cars are sharp, my conscience is having a hard time with it. I don't like the bashing of U.S. autoworkers from posters on this site (and no, I'm not part of the UAW). I'm sure that the money spent by American autoworkers (whether they are Ford, GM, Chrysler, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Subaru, Mitsubishi, VW, BMW or Mercedes) directly or indirectly affects the economy of you or someone in your family. Mazda, please build some cars here in the U.S. again so I can feel good about buying one!!!
        fakiu
        • 1 Year Ago
        @strykerzzzz
        I think a lot of sales are made up of people that think just like you. That's why we will never see the best cars sell the most. That's why VW is the strongest in Europe, same for GM in the US. I don't care about the people here, if they want my money, they got to better have the best product available out there, and right now, that isn't the case.
          strykerzzzz
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fakiu
          I don't know what business you're in, but unless you are selling a lot of things overseas you rely on your fellow Americans to buy your product/service. If not, you're going to shut down or be laid off yourself. Don't expect other Americans to support you if you won't support them. It's the way economies work. If we don't produce and buy from ourselves we will fail. I am happy for all the foreign companies that have faith in American workers and set up manufacturing here. I just wish Mazda was one of them.
          fakiu
          • 1 Year Ago
          @fakiu
          If you start to support a company and start to buy their products, eventually that will lead them to support your country. That's why Mazda isn't building a plant in Europe, they need more support. It's really easy to see, but apparently not so easy for people like you.
        Avinash Machado
        • 1 Year Ago
        @strykerzzzz
        At least Mexicans buy a lot of American cars.
      Vien Huynh
      • 1 Year Ago
      I hope Mazda success so they can make more wonderful cars. Loving the CX5 and 6 to dead!
      Kuro Houou
      • 1 Year Ago
      Glad to see Mazda doing well, goes to show make a fun, good looking and efficient car and people will buy it :)
        Peter Park
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Kuro Houou
        You know, I doubt Mazda will ever see mass market success at the scale of Honda or Toyota, and I'm totally fine with it. Let boring people buy boring cars that are safer to their friends and families and their wallets. Let people who actually care about emotion in driving (without breaking bank) get into Mazdas.
      • 1 Year Ago
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        • 1 Year Ago
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          • 1 Year Ago
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      • 1 Year Ago
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        Greg
        • 1 Year Ago
        You type like Joey on Friends when he learned what finger quotes were.
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