Posts Tagged ‘collaboration’

Mazda engineers urging execs for more RWD models

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 3rd, 2013

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2009 Mazda RX-8

According to Edmunds, Mazda engineers are pressuring the company to create more rear-wheel-drive models, in an effort to better differentiate itself from its rivals. This push is reportedly coming from middle and senior engineers within the company, and these folks at Mazda believe this rear-drive strategy would allow the automaker to produce more distinctive, fun to drive cars. Mazda discontinued the rear-drive (and rotary-engined) RX-8 a few years ago, leaving the MX-5 Miata as the company’s only RWD offering.

As enthusiasts, we’re fully on board with Mazda offering more rear-drive cars, but unsurprisingly, the company’s top management isn’t exactly keen on the idea – and with good reason. First and foremost, the cost associated with redesigning fresh architecture for new models would be very high, and considering the fact that Mazda hasn’t exactly been raking in the dough lately, an expensive new venture like this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. What’s more, Mazda’s latest front-drive models – the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 – have been very well-received, and are helping the company gain sales momentum.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t other options. Edmunds reminds us that Mazda is already partnering with Alfa Romeo on the next-generation Miata, and if this collaboration is successful, perhaps the relationship could bear additional fruit. After all, Alfa Romeo is said to be working on returning to its rear-wheel-drive roots, so Mazda’s engineers might be able to make a case for more RWD goodness after all.

Mazda engineers urging execs for more RWD models originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 02 Oct 2013 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to build small Toyota in Mexico for US consumption

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 9th, 2012

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Mazda2 - White - front three-quarter view

Mazda and Toyota have announced a partnership to produce a new vehicle for our market. Mazda will build a subcompact economy car for North America based on its own Mazda2 at its soon-to-be-finished facility in Mexico for sale under the Toyota banner. The plant will build around 50,000 units per year once production begins in during the summer of 2015, leaving a further 90,000-unit capacity for Mazda vehicles.

Toyota has invested a proportional amount of funds in the plant’s production equipment to offset the cost, and hopes to have a more competitive North American lineup as a result of the collaboration. Mazda, meanwhile gains the benefit of spreading production costs over a greater number of vehicles per year.

The move certainly makes sense as Japanese manufacturers look to send more manufacturing out of Japan in the face of the stronger yen. In addition, last year’s earthquake and tsunami disasters underscored the need for a production network capable of flexibly responding to localized disasters, leaving many Japanese automakers with production delays and thin supply.

Mazda, meanwhile, has increasingly sought outside assistance with its manufacturing and engineering efforts as it looks to turn a profit again. The company recently courted Italian automaker Fiat in a tie-up that will see Mazda develop the platform for the next-generation MX-5 Miata and an Alfa Romeo roadster. As for the new partnership, while Toyota isn’t saying what this subcompact model will be called, we have to wonder if it’s a next-generation Yaris. Last we heard, the subcompact was slated to be built in France and imported into the US. Check the brief press releases from both automakers below for more information.

Continue reading Mazda to build small Toyota in Mexico for US consumption

Mazda to build small Toyota in Mexico for US consumption originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 09 Nov 2012 10:17:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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