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Mazda Plans Limited Edition Miata RF Launch Edition

“Loyal” MX-5 owners to get first crack.

by on Aug.18, 2016

The Mazda MX-5 Miata FR made its formal debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show.

Mazda will mark the New Year with the launch of the new MX-5 Miata RF, and it says  its “most loyal customers” will have reason to celebrate because they will get first crack at ordering the distinctive retractable fastback model that made its debut at the New York International Auto Show last March.

A special MX-5 RF Launch Edition model will be available and will feature just one option: the choice of a SkyActive-MT six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic transmission.

Product News!

“Rarely does any automaker have a vehicle that garners the sort of loyalty and enthusiasm MX-5 generates,” said Robert Davis, senior vice president with Mazda North American Operations, “something we don’t take lightly. MX-5 RF is the next chapter of this storied model line, and we can’t think of a better way to give back than to first offer this bespoke Launch Edition to those who have stuck with us.”


Mazda Reveals Updates for 2017 Mazda6, Mazda3

Japanese maker tweaks sedan, hatch for 2017.

by on Aug.10, 2016

Mazda is tweaking exterior and interior of the Mazda6 for the 2017 model year.

Mazda is updating two of its most important passenger car models as the Mazda6 sedan and Mazda3 hatchback are getting relatively modest tweaks for the 2017 model-year.

The two models were updated, a few years back, to use the Japanese maker’s SkyActiv system, which helped improve fuel economy even while boosting performance. Perhaps the most significant update for 2017 is the addition of a torque vectoring system – Mazda calls it G-Vectoring Control – to improve cornering and handling.

News Now!

Other updates include an improved Smart City Brake Support system, or SCBS, which now adds the ability to spot pedestrians in the vehicle’s path, while also working across a broader speed range. The Mazda6 gets several other new safety features, in keeping with trends in the hotly competitive midsize sedan segment. (more…)

BMW Delaying Launch of 2017 U.S. Diesels

Latest maker hit by fallout from VW diesel emissions cheating scandal.

by on Jul.19, 2016

BMW will delay the launch of its variously diesel models in the U.S. due to added testing.

Even as Volkswagen continues to face new problems related to its cheating on diesel emissions testing, other automakers are facing collateral damage.

The latest to be hit is BMW, the automaker confirming that it will delay the launch of its 2017 diesel models because U.S. regulators want to be sure they comply with federal emissions standards.

Breaking News!

While the maker said there has been “no indication” that its oil burners don’t meet federal rules, the testing process has been delayed, according to various media sources, which will mean that models such as the 2017 BMW 328d sedan and xDrive35d won’t reach showrooms at the same time as the rest of the ’17 line-up.


Mazda Rebooting as a Premium Brand

Maker moving away from focus on volume sales.

by on Jul.13, 2016

Mazda's new 2016 CX-9 is the first entry in the company's next generation of vehicles born out of a new strategy.

Mazda has watched its sales in the U.S. decline this year, which has put substantial pressure on one of the world’s smallest international companies.

But a key executive, Masahiro Moro, who is both the chief executive of Mazda North America and the company’s chief marketing officer, told a group of reporters in Detroit that the decline reflects the company’s efforts to shift its strategy 180 degrees to focus not on building volume, an old strategy that in theory builds profitability by lowering piece costs, rather it is zeroed in on building relationships with customers.

News Now!

Building volume is no longer effective for a relatively small company, such as Mazda. (more…)

Mazda Not Ready to Abandon US Diesel Market – Yet

Diesels now 70% of Mazda’s Japanese sales mix.

by on Jul.12, 2016

Almost 80% of Japanese buyers order the new Mazda2 with a SkyActiv-D engine.

Nearly two years after the maker had originally hoped to begin offering a diesel version of its SkyActiv engine system in the U.S., Mazda Motor Co. is getting close to making a final go/no-go decision, senior executives said during a luncheon meeting in Detroit.

In the wake of the Volkswagen diesel emissions scandal, Mazda planners are concerned about future demand for the high-mileage technology. Ironically, a Japanese version of Mazda’s SkyActiv-D powertrain has proven far more successful than expected, diesels now accounting for more than 70% of the maker’s home market sales.

Breaking News!

The question is whether the emissions scandal has damaged the German maker’s image or diesel’s image, said Robert Davis, Senior Vice President of U.S. Operations for Mazda North America. “We think the damage is to Volkswagen, but we’re still deciding” whether there’s enough demand for Mazda to finally launch a U.S. diesel.


Mazda Remains Committed to Bringing Diesel to US

Maker undaunted VW problems and falling diesel sales.

by on May.31, 2016

Mazda scrapped plans to bring a diesel-powered Mazda6 to U.S. shores a few months before VW's diesel scandal broke.

While the timetable has not been established and remains in flux, Mazda remains committed to putting a diesel-powered vehicle on the road in the U.S.

Mazda last year quietly delayed plans for a diesel-powered version of the Mazda6 months before Volkswagen was forced to disclose that it had cheated on key emission tests for vehicles sold in the United States equipped with diesel engines. The fallout from cheating scandal has been casting a cloud over diesel engines in light-duty vehicles.

Diesel News!

However, Jeremy Barnes, Mazda director of communications, told that Mazda remains committed to introducing a diesel-powered vehicle to the U.S. market. The diesel remains under development, but the timing of the introduction has not been set yet, he said. “We’re still going to have a diesel,” he said. (more…)

First Drive: 2016 Mazda CX-9

Next-gen crossover highlights Kodo design influence.

by on May.24, 2016

The CX-9 looks smart and offers ample horsepower and features technologies needed to compete with the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot.

Mazda always has had a reputation for building great quick, nimble, sporty cars.

But perceptions about the other vehicles in product have been less precise, which is a challenge in a world where small sporty cars are being left in the garage in favor of utility vehicles that seem more suited to today’s harried lifestyles.

Product News!

However, Mazda now has an answer and with the CX-9, it has developed a utility vehicle that looks smart and offers ample horsepower. It also delivers the kind of solid dynamics that enhances a motorist’s driving experience and features technology, such as a forward collision braking system to compete with the Toyota Highlander and Honda Pilot. (more…)

Mazda Expects New CX-9 to Maintain Brand’s Sales Momentum

Automaker enjoys best April ever last month.

by on May.19, 2016

The 2016 Mazda CX-9 picks up on the latest take on the Kodo design language.

With the launch of the all-new version of CX-9 at hand, Mazda North American Operations is poised for rebound after a slow winter that saw its sales drop by double digits through the first four months of the year.

Last month, however, Mazda achieved its best April since 1995 with 26,195 vehicles sold, an increase of 8.6% year-over-year and Mazda now expects strong sales through the balance of the year, said Robert Davis, MNAO vice president of operations.

Product News!

The the compact Mazda3 posted its best April performance ever with 10,722 vehicles sold, an increase of 33.9% year-over-year. This is the first time Mazda3 has ever had more than 10,000 vehicles sold in April. (more…)

Mazda Teases New CX-4 Ahead of Beijing Motor Show

Global plans unclear.

by on Apr.06, 2016

The new Mazda CX-4 picks up on the Kodo design language and cues from the Koeru concept.

Mazda is giving us a first look at its latest crossover, and the CX-4 set to debut at the Beijing Motor Show will clearly show the influence of the Koeru concept we first saw at the Frankfurt Motor Show last autumn.

The CX-4, among other things, picks up the Koeru’s blacked-out B-pillars and floating roof design. Both the concept and production model offer the latest take on Mazda’s distinctive Kodo design language – which also was quite apparent in the updated Mazda CX-9.

Global News!

Mazda previously suggested that the CX-4 could be something of a coupe-crossover take on the latest-generation CX-5, the pairing aimed at the likes of the BMW X3 and X4 pair. In its tease of the new crossover, the Japanese maker described it as an “exploring coupe.”


Mazda Claims Double Win at World Car Awards

by on Mar.24, 2016

Mazda NA CEO Masahiro Moro and WCoTY organizer Peter Lyons with the MX-5 Miata.

For such a little car, the Mazda MX-5 Miata was the big winner at the New York International Auto Show on Thursday morning, collecting not only the trophy for World Car of the Year, but also being honored as the globe’s top automotive design.

The twin win came hours before the first formal unveiling of a special auto show unveiling of the Miata RF. The retractable fastback version of the two-seat roadster generated rave reviews when it was shown to a smaller group of journalists on Tuesday night.

Be a Winner!

“What a day for Mazda,” blurted out Masahiro Moro, who recently took over as CEO of Mazda’s North American operations. “This is a brand icon,” he declared, hoisting the hefty World Car of the Year trophy and inviting key members of the development team to join him on stage.