Archive for the ‘Mazda Blogs’ Category
What do the Dodge Dart, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Mazda3, Subaru Impreza, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Jetta all have in common? Well, actually, lots. They are all four-door sedans that fall into the so-called C-segment, and they are all trending downward in sales. This data comes courtesy of Wards Auto, and, while not all such vehicles are down – the Hyunai Elantra has been trending upward – the deficit reportedly rings in at six-percent overall for the segment.
Where are all those compact sedan buyers going? To compact SUVs, at least in part. Wards cites data showing that sales of small SUVs and crossovers are up big over the last several months. Vehicles like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4 and Mazda CX-5 are all showing sales increases as buyers shift from sedans to utility vehicles, says Wards.
Still, it’s way too early for automakers to give up on C-segment sedans. Though down, sales of popular models like the Civic and Corolla are good enough to put them well into the top 10 sales chart (in ninth and sixth place, respectively).
Remember when C-segment cars were supposed to be hot stuff? Yeah, about that… originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 15:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Japan’s larger automakers – companies like Toyota, Honda and Nissan – have tremendous engineering talent at their disposal. That’s largely because, selling as many cars as they do, they’ve got more revenues to tap into. Logic might dictate, then, that smaller automakers like Mazda, which no longer has the deep pockets afforded to it by its former partnership with Ford, might have less of a budget and workforce for engineering. But Mazda has been raking in record profits, and it plans on cashing those revenues in by hiring a substantial new pool of engineers.
According to Automotive News, Mazda is preparing to hire as many as 185 new engineers over the next two years – almost four times as many as the 50 engineers it previously targeted. Many of those engineers will be put to work developing the second-generation, Skyactiv 2 technologies that are on the drawing board while the first round of Skyactiv features are still being rolled out.
The boost in recruitment is enabled by a positive fiscal year that ended last March, marking the first profits Mazda had logged in four years. Sources anticipate that the fiscal year culminating at the end of this month will mark the company’s most profitable yet, netting over a billion dollars to eclipse the fiscal year that ended in 2008 when it recorded $872.5 million in profits.
Mazda goes on engineer hiring binge as recovery picks up speed originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
It looks like Toyota is going to have a little more zoom-zoom in the future. The giant Japanese automaker has struck a deal with Mazda to use its Skyactiv engines for the possible replacement to the Yaris. The new subcompact will be built under contract by Mazda at its new factory in Mexico.
Keishi Egawa, CEO of Mazda in Mexico, told Automotive News that Toyota would be responsible for the interior and exterior design and would allocate 50,000 subcompacts per year to Toyota of the factory’s 230,000-unit capacity. Production of the new model will begin between April 1, 2015, and March 31, 2016. Toyota has not confirmed whether the presumed Yaris replacement would also share other components with Mazda.
An official production date for the next Mazda2 hasn’t been set yet, but it’s expected around the second half of 2014, according to Automotive News. Mazda also hasn’t said what version of the Skyactiv is going into the little hatchback. While the Hazumi concept, which likely previews the next 2, is using a new Skyactiv-D 1.5 diesel, this powerplant is unlikely for the US version.
The deal seems to be an ultimate vindication of Mazda’s promise that Skyactiv would allow for class-leading, fuel-efficient engines. “You can’t out-Toyota Toyota and you can’t out-Honda Honda. You’ve got to be you,” said Mazda USA’s director of communications Jeremy Barnes to AutoblogGreen in 2011. Now, it has the world’s largest automaker striking a deal to borrow its tech.
Toyota will use Mazda’s Skyactiv engine in new subcompact originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 08 Mar 2014 15:05:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
To say the 2014 Geneva Motor Show was packed full of news is an understatement as big as the show’s home at the Palexpo convention center. Despite everything that we were able to cover during this year’s show, there’s still more coming out of Switzerland, including the announcement of the finalists for the 2014 World Car of the Year Awards.
We reported on the original list of finalists over three weeks ago, and now, that initial list has been pared down to three finalists for each of the five awards. The finalists were announced at a press conference by frequent Autoblog contributor and co-chair of the awards, Matt Davis (above).
The finalists for the overall title of 2014 World Car of the Year are the Audi A3, the BMW 4 Series and the Mazda3. The World Luxury Car of the Year will be either the Bentley Flying Spur, the Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Land Rover Range Rover Sport, while the Performance Car of the Year will be awarded to the Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, the Ferrari 458 Speciale or the Porsche 911 GT3 (which, um, yeah…).
Rounding out the trophy contenders are the finalists for World Green Car of the Year, which include the Audi A3 Sportback G-Tron and Audi E-Gas, the BMW i3 and the Volkswagen XL1. Finally, World Car Design of the Year will be contested by the BMW i3, Mazda3 and Mercedes-Benz C-Class.
The official photos of Mazda’s Hazumi concept leaked out yesterday, but we have finally gotten to see it in real life at the Geneva Motor Show. Our view is that its Kodo lines looks as good on the diminutive car’s sheet metal as they did in photos.
The Hazumi was designed to appear to be bursting with energy, and it seems to deliver. While Mazda refuses to actually say that this is the concept for the next Mazda2, it makes it clear that the little hatchback is “foreshadowing Mazda’s next-generation subcompact car.” We can all read between the lines.
Hazumi also introduces the new Skyactiv-D 1.5-liter diesel engine but details about it are scant at the moment. The specs for the engine are still unannounced, but the company promises that it is both very efficient and has lots of torque for its size. Mazda is also promising that its Mazda Connect infotainment system will be available in the car too. Scroll down for the brief press release a brace of videos that celebrate the tiny concept’s arrival.
Mazda Hazumi Concept previews next Mazda2 in Geneva [w/videos] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 04 Mar 2014 15:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.
Alfa giveth and Alfa taketh away. With apologies to Job (he has gone through a lot, after all), that’s how things are looking at the Italian automaker – whether it’s the promise of new products or its impending return to the North American market. But it’s especially true when it comes to new roadsters.
While Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the 4C Spider at the Geneva Motor Show this week, reports are now suggesting that its other roadster project is being called into question. That project is a joint venture between Fiat and Mazda, which was set to produce a version of its next MX-5 Miata as an Alfa Romeo, and was even changing the design to accommodate Alfa’s requirements.
Now it appears, however, that the whole project in doubt. The problem seems to stem from Sergio Marchionne’s pronouncements that, as long as he’s in charge, there won’t be an Alfa Romeo built outside of Italy.
The principal poses some problems, but also leaves some windows open. For one, it could mean that the Alfa project would be postponed until after Marchionne retires, but that’s not expected to happen any time soon. For another, it could mean that the Alfa roadster would be developed by Mazda and based on its architecture, but assembled back in Italy – although the deal is said to call for Mazda to do the manufacturing. The prospect that our colleagues at at Automotive News Europe are betting on, however, is that Marchionne will switch its commitment to Mazda to another brand.
Eliminating Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia as possibilities, ANE figures the project could be transferred to either Fiat or the Abarth performance brand. Bertone’s Fiat Barchetta concept looked promising in 2007, and Abarth was long rumored to get its own roadster – and both manufacture outside of Italy as it is. But for that matter, we wonder why – with Fiat and Chrysler now under the same umbrella – it couldn’t be done instead as a Dodge or SRT. The Copperhead concept of 1997 and the Demon of 2008 did show some promise, after all. What do you think?
Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.