Archive for May, 2012

Ram pickup leads group of Most Dangerous Cars In America

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 30th, 2012

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2011 Ram

Take a vehicle’s Insurance Institute for Highway Safety score, throw it into a data pot that includes Consumer Reports ratings, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash safety results and J.D. Power’s Initial Quality Study numbers, mix thoroughly, then pour out the most dangerous vehicle on the road today: The Ram pickup truck.

The website 24/7 Wall St. created this analysis to reveal the models with consistent quality problems and poor safety scores. All of the vehicles scored poorly in one area or another in crash testing, typically side or rear impact tests. They all scored badly in rollover testing, except the Jeep Wrangler.

In order, the best of the worst are:

1. Dodge Ram
2. Chevrolet Colorado Super Cab
3. Mazda CX-7
4. Mazda CX-9
5. Nissan Pathfinder
6. Jeep Wrangler
7. Suzuki SX4

And while the data may speak volumes, it doesn’t translate into poor sales, 24/7 Wall St. noted. “In fact, sales of all models are up from last year,” the site stated.

24/7 Wall St. did not reveal the safest vehicles on the road today using the same data, but all it has to do is turn its list upside down.

Ram pickup leads group of Most Dangerous Cars In America originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 May 2012 14:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat says it has "no plans" to take Mazda stake

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 30th, 2012

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Fiat Badge

Fiat Chairman John Elkann says his company has no plans to purchase a stake in Mazda, according to Reuters. Instead, the Italian automaker will focus its efforts on increasing its share of Chrysler to more than 60 percent. Right now, Fiat owns 58.5 percent of Chrysler, though the European company has made it clear that at some point in the future, it would like that figure to be closer to 100 percent.

Fiat and Mazda recently announced a plan to partner on the development of a new convertible sports car platform that will serve as the basis for both the next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata and a new Alfa Romeo model. That partnership led analysts to speculate on a potential investment deal between Mazda and Chrysler. Both companies have dismissed the notion.

Even so, it’s worth pointing out that Fiat has no interest in investing in Mazda right now. The company has its hands full with the European economic crisis and nursing Chrysler back to health, but there’s nothing saying that once those two issues cool down Fiat wouldn’t revisit the idea of a Japanese partner if the roadster partnership goes smoothly. Mazda could certainly use the cash, and we’re betting that Fiat wouldn’t mind injecting a bit of the Japanese automaker’s dynamic prowess and Skyactiv knowhow into its products.

Fiat says it has “no plans” to take Mazda stake originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 May 2012 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Releases Upgraded Demio with Improved Fuel Economy in Japan

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 30th, 2012


Fiat to assemble Mazda models in Fiat and Chrysler plants?

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 28th, 2012

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Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne cracks a smile in his trademark sweater

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, whose refrain is “We’re willing to engage in discussions with anyone else” when it comes to making deals to achive a larger economy of scale, has opened another front according to a report in Reuters. When the deal was announced for Alfa Romeo to codevelop a roadster with Mazda to be based on the next-generation MX-5 Miata platform, further cooperation in Europe was mentioned as an aside. It could go beyond that, though, with Reuters reporting that that Fiat is open to building Mazdas in Fiat and Chrysler plants worldwide.

Such an agreement would allow Fiat to address unutilized factory capacity and the platform-sharing necessary to the arrangement would lower development costs – a hot-button priority for both Fiat and Mazda. Of course, this is only a statement of willingness on Marchionne’s part, but with the same statement being made so often and Mazda being in a bit of a cost pickle, it’s probably only a matter of time before something more serious comes of it.

Fiat to assemble Mazda models in Fiat and Chrysler plants? originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 May 2012 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Production and Sales Results for April 2012 (Flash Report)

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 28th, 2012


Mazda Titan Qualifies for the New Eco-Car Tax Reduction and Subsidy in Japan

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 24th, 2012


Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 23rd, 2012

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2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata

The next-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata will have a sibling, but it won’t be a Mazda, it will be an Alfa Romeo. The Japanese automaker has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Alfa parent Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on the MX-5 platform that is expected to see production in Mazda’s Hiroshima factory, with the Alfa version coming in 2015.

Pegged as “a successor to the MX-5,” the production date will push the next-gen Miata’s arrival back a bit. In 2010 it was predicted we’d see the new Miata this year, with its 2,200-pound weight target, 50/50 weight distribution and potential twin-backbone chassis structure. Obviously that isn’t happening.

Whenever the new model and its Alfa mate do come, each brand will get “differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic and brand-specific light weight roadsters featuring rear-wheel drive,” using in-house engines provided by their own brands.

The link-up is excellent news for Mazda, the small, independent company searching for just these kinds of “technology and product development alliances” to help rescue it from years of losses, and supporting CEO Takashi Yamanouchi’s assertion that it’s “partner or die.” The negotiations also include further cooperation between the two brands in Europe.

Fiat head Sergio Marchionne’s search for partnerships to provide scale is no secret, nor his desire to improve Fiat’s position in Asia, which Mazda might also be able to assist with. And the idea of a properly sporting Alfa would be welcome round the world; with the loss of the Brera GT and Brera Spider in 2010, the Alfa line is down to two hatchbacks and a long-in-the-tooth sedan, none of them particularly sporty. With the 8C Spider beyond most budgets and the 4C still living in the ether, it’s been almost 20 years since the then 33-year-old Alfa Spider represented (or was meant to, at least) the kind of purposeful, two-seater Alfa being announced here.

The final agreement should be finalized later this year, and you can scroll down to read the press release.

Continue reading Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata

Mazda and Fiat to co-develop a roadster based on next-gen MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 23 May 2012 09:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda and Fiat Announce Co-operation Program [PDF format]

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 23rd, 2012


Mazda CX-5 Receives Maximum Five Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 23rd, 2012


Toyota CEO lists favorite cars from other automakers

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 21st, 2012

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During a meeting of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Toyota president Akio Toyoda offered a “Chapeau!” to his fellow CEOs by listing his favorite cars from other makers. He listed just one vehicle from five makers represented on the board, in alphabetical order: the Honda NSX, Isuzu Bellett, Mazda Cosmo, Mitsubishi Pajero (our Montero) and Nissan Skyline.

Toyoda didn’t give his reasons for choosing these car beyond each being “memorable.” Even so, going through the list any car enthusiast knows the Honda (Acura in the States) NSX needs no introduction nor explanation. The Mitsubishi Pajero is probably as well known for it’s off-road excellence as it is for its name change in Spanish-speaking lands due to the word “pajero” – all the more intriguing when it’s apparently named after an Argentine cat, Leopardus pajeros. And although the “Skyline” moniker was made famous overseas by the GT-R, the Nissan Skyline that Toyoda references has a long history and is our Infiniti G.

The Mazda Cosmo (pictured) was an Italian-esque little coupe produced from 1967 to 1995, the first series production vehicle with a two-rotor rotary engine. The Isuzu Bellett was that firm’s in-house replacement for the English Hillmans it was rebranding, the first Japanese car to get GT badging (it would also get a GT-R version), and it would cover just about every segment with sedan, coupe, station wagon and pickup truck variants.

Toyota CEO lists favorite cars from other automakers originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 May 2012 17:35:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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