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Posts Tagged ‘mazda’

Mazda Says No to New Miata Rumors

No Chicago Auto Show debut planned.

by on Jan.20, 2014

Sorry, says Mazda, but we'll have to wait to get a first look at the next-generation Miata.

As much as we’d like to see the next-generation Mazda Miata land in showrooms by, well, yesterday, it appears we’re going to have show some patience.  Widespread reports that the new 2-seater would be unveiled at next month’s Chicago Auto Show just aren’t accurate, it turns out.

“It’s not true,” Mazda’s chief U.S. spokesman Jeremy Barnes tells  “File that under the heading of ‘Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.”

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That’s too bad because Mazda – and the Miata – have always had a special relationship with the Windy City, the little sports car making its original debut at the Chicago Auto Show exactly a quarter-century ago.


Mazda Planning to Introduce New Diesel in 2015

Mazda6 gets the new powerplant: a company first.

by on Nov.22, 2013

The Mazda6 gets a diesel starting next spring.

After seeing its sales surge this year, Mazda is looking forward to another sold year of growth in 2014 by adding diesel power to its product line for the first time. The diesel-powered Mazda6 will join the maker’s lineup next spring, which is later than many observers had expected.

But James O’Sullivan, Mazda North America president and chief executive officer, explained the company elected to focus its marketing muscle on the Mazda3 first.

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The marketing campaign for the Mazda3 will start in earnest with a wave of in-theater advertising during the Christmas holiday season. Television commercials will follow after that, O’Sullivan said. (more…)

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…)

Mazda Adds Zoom-Zoom to the Assembly Line

"Mother plant" in Hofu churns out Mazda6 sedan at a prodigious pace.

by on Aug.28, 2013

Mazda6 sedans roll down the Hofu line.

It’s long billed itself as the “zoom-zoom” car company, but it’s not the performance of products like the little Mazda roadster or the new Mazda6 sedan that has the Japanese maker crowing this week.

Expected by some industry observers to face serious problems after the break-up of its long-running relationship with Ford Motor Co., Mazda had been delivering plenty of surprises lately, including a solid profit for the most recent quarter.

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And the maker says a key ingredient has been finding a way to ramp up the speed of its key assembly plant in Hofu to a pace even competitors like Toyota have to admire and envy. The nearly 31-year-old Hofu plant — which celebrated the production of its 10 millionth vehicle this week – is now rolling them off the line at an industry-leading rate of one every 54 seconds.

By comparison, Toyota Motor Corp., whose manufacturing system has long been considered an industry benchmark, takes anywhere from 57 to 115 seconds to roll out a new vehicle.


U.S. Automakers Protest Yen

Low rate gives Japanese makers pricing advantage.

by on May.10, 2013

Toyota gains a pricing advantage over U.S. competitors due to the weak yen.

American carmakers are complaining that the Japanese government’s deliberate manipulation of the yen is giving Japan’s carmakers an unfair advantage.

Matt Blunt, president of the American Automotive Policy Council, which represents the interests of General Motors, Ford and Chrysler in Washington, D.C., said Japan is taking unfair advantage of the global trading system after the value of the yen dropped to a new low relative to the U.S. dollar.

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“The depth of Japanese currency manipulation has reached a new low,” Blunt said in a statement.


Mazda Lines Up Alfa, Toyota While Looking for More Alliance Partners

by on Jan.21, 2013

Mazda's new deal with Alfa will help both makers develop new sports cars - including a replacement for the current Mazda Miata.

Little Mazda is lining up some big partners.

Struggling to regain its footing after the collapse of its decades-old alliance with Ford Motor Co., the Japanese maker has been looking for new opportunities and, in recent months, it has inked several potentially lucrative deals that could help it flesh out its product portfolio and shore up its bottom line.

The latest deal pairs Mazda with Alfa Romeo, the struggling subsidiary of Italy’s Fiat SpA. Last week, the two confirmed that Mazda will use one of its Japanese assembly plants to produce a new sports car both for its own dealers as well as Alfa’s.

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Separately, Mazda has signed a deal with Toyota that will see the smaller maker produce vehicles for the Japanese giant at a new factory in Mexico.

“I think you’re going to see us do more alliances where it fits the brand,” Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Mazda’s U.S. subsidiary, tells


Mazda’s Jay Amestoy Set to Retire – More or Less

Longest-serving executive at company.

by on Dec.24, 2012

Retiring, more or less...Mazda PR and motorsports chief Jay Amestoy with CEO Jim O'Sullivan.

In an industry where change often occurs overnight, Jay Amestoy has been a rock of stability for Mazda North America.  But after 22 years – making him not only the Japanese maker’s longest-serving executive but also the longest-serving public relations chief in the industry – Amestoy is stepping down.

The California native will formally retire on January 1 – though he won’t entirely abandon his ties to Mazda and will continue to work as a consultant to the maker’s president and CEO Jim O’Sullivan, with an ongoing role in Mazda’s ambitious motorsports program.

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“Mazda has been honored to have Jay Amestoy at the helm of our public relations and motorsports efforts for more than two decades,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president & CEO, MNAO. “Jay has not only been an advocate for the Mazda brand, but has been instrumental in building it up to what it stands for today. We congratulate him on what has been, and will continue to be, a wonderful career.”


Mazda Set to Build Last Car in the U.S.

Japanese maker will walk away from joint venture with Ford.

by on Aug.24, 2012

Ford will continue to build Mustangs at the AutoAlliance plant in Michigan.

Little Mazda Motors has long been known for doing things its own way, sticking with the rotary engine, for one thing, decades after other manufacturers gave up on the fuel-inefficient technology.  And the step the maker is expected to take today again runs counter to general industry trends.  But it leaves many industry observers wondering whether it will leave the Japanese maker at a serious competitive disadvantage.

Sometime today, the very last Mazda6 sedan will roll off the AutoAlliance International assembly line in Flat Rock, Michigan.  Mazda has been building cars at the facility in suburban Detroit for the last quarter century, having set up AAI as a joint venture with long-time partner Ford Motor Co.

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But Ford has all but completely walked away from that trans-Pacific partnership, selling off all but a small stake in Mazda in recent years and ending decades of product sharing programs.  Mazda, in turn, has been looking for a new partner and, with sales of the Mazda6 on the decline, it decided to walk away from the assembly plant joint venture – turning to a factory in Japan for the soon-to-be-updated Mazda6 model.


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.


Struggling Mazda “Actively” Seeking Partners

Could someone step in to fill Ford’s shoes?

by on Feb.14, 2012

Mazda's Takeri concept with CEO Takashi Yamanouchi.

Racking up mounting losses, Mazda is facing serious challenges that may require it to turn outside for help to resolve, the maker’s CEO confides.

That could mean seeking out a new partner to replace the once-powerful alliance between the Japanese automaker and America’s Ford Motor Co.  It could also force Mazda to have to share its new and highly-touted SkyActiv powertrain technology with an erstwhile competitor.

Mazda is in a serious bind.  The maker is forecasting a $1.3 billion loss for the current fiscal year, which ends March 31.  And it is struggling to reverse a sales slide that saw it drop to 1.25 million units, a 2% dip, in calendar 2011.

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The maker is meanwhile getting ready to walk away from its long-time manufacturing joint venture with Ford, known as Auto Alliance, where it had been producing the Mazda6 alongside the U.S. maker’s Mustang and other models.  Though Mazda plans to produce some of its smaller models – the Mazda2 and Mazda3 — in Mexico, it will be particularly vulnerable to lopsided exchange rates once the Mazda6 returns to Japan.