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Mazda Previews SEMA Concepts

But mum’s the word when it comes to details.

by on Oct.29, 2013

Mazda sources have slipped over images of a handful of concepts coming to the SEMA Show.

We’ve been receiving plenty of preview material on the upcoming SEMA Show in Las Vegas, the annual aftermarket extravaganza likely to see 100 or more custom concepts from the major automakers – and even a few new production vehicles with Honda, notably, planning to unveil its updated 2014 Civic line.

But considering Mazda’s propensity for creative design we were excited to receive a packet of four images that, sources said, revealed the four concepts that will land on the Japanese maker’s SEMA stand.

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Unfortunately, our leaker reversed the normal course, providing pics with nary a word of what they reveal beyond differentiating between the Mazda3 and Mazda6 SEMA specials.

What’s to make of what we have in hand?  Well, to start with, one might note that after downplay its “zoom-zoom” tagline for a couple years, Mazda has begun replaying that familiar theme in its latest advertising.  No surprise.  (more…)

Axe to Fall at Mazda This Week

"Substantial" job cuts to begin with buyouts.

by on Mar.14, 2012

Mazda is counting on the new, SkyActive-based CX-5 to begin its turnaround.

With its parent company preparing for its worst losses in more than a decade, Mazda Motors of America will begin the first in a series of what have been described as “substantial” job cuts this week.

Though the maker has declined to discuss precise numbers, the first step will come tomorrow when Mazda discloses details of a first round of “voluntary” layoffs.  The maker is expected to follow with additional, involuntary cuts by sometime in April, according to sources familiar with the plan.

The move is the result of “the global headwinds” the company is facing, spokesman Jeremy Barnes confirmed earlier this month.

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The Japanese maker has forecast a loss of about 100 billion yen, or $1.2 billion, for the fiscal year ending March 31, its worst deficit in 11 years.  Mazda Motor Corp, CEO Takashi Yamanouchi recently revealed plans to raise as much as 150 billion yen through a new stock sale needed to replenish its coffers.


First Drive: Mazda Skyactiv

Can Mazda deliver hybrid mileage without the hybrid?

by on Aug.12, 2011

The new Mazda CX-5 crossover will be the maker's first vehicle developed specifically to use the new Skyactiv system, though the Skyactiv powertrain will appear first on the 2012 Mazda3 update.

“We are a very small company,” says Kyoshi Fujiwara – again.  It’s a mantra repeated over and over by the Japanese engineer who has become something of the chief cook and bottle washer for Mazda’s ambitious Skyactiv project.

The far-reaching effort could be the make-it-or-break it for, yes, this very small company, which has largely severed its ties with Detroit giant Ford Motor Co.  Long known for going its own way with unusual technology – think Wankel rotary engine – Mazda is doing it again with Skyactiv, a system that it claims can deliver the fuel efficiency of a hybrid without the performance and price penalties.

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Early next year, Mazda will introduce the new Skyactiv-G gasoline engine on the updated Mazda3 sedan.  But the technology isn’t limited to just a new petrol powertrain, ala Ford’s EcoBoost.  With Skyactiv, Mazda claims to have re-thought the entire vehicle, coming up with both gasoline and diesel engines, advanced manual and automatic transmissions and lighter-weight platforms that further enhance its drive for improved fuel economy without sacrificing the company’s familiar zoom-zoom qualities. recently got a chance to take an in-depth look at the Skyactiv system and files this report.