Posts Tagged ‘europe’

Rumored Mazda CX-3 may not be for US

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 19th, 2014

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2014 Mazda CX-5

Mazda has used its Kodo design language to make some of the most attractive, affordable cars in the world right now, with the Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5 (pictured above), but it still lacks a crossover in the smaller class, which are becoming popular on the world market. It seems like a natural fit then, that the Japanese company would shrink its CUV design even smaller for a CX-3 to fill the gap. However, a rumor suggests that the compact might not make it to these shores.

The Mazda2-based crossover is due later this summer in Japan and is launching in Europe and emerging markets later, according to Automotive News citing a report in Japan’s Nikkei newspaper. The little CUV would cost between 1.5 million yen and 2.0 million yen ($14,700-$19,500) in Japan and be available with diesel and petrol engine options. However, the report made no mention of selling it in North America. There is a glimmer of a chance for the CX-3 here. Mazda is upgrading its Mexican factory to 230,000 annual unit capacity by 2016, which gives it the room to add the new vehicle.

While the midsize CUVs are hugely popular in the US, compacts like the Buick Encore are still a small portion of things. If Mazda could time the CX-3′s launch right here, it could take advantage of the lack of competition.

Rumored Mazda CX-3 may not be for US originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Feb 2014 16:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda hard at work on Skyactiv 2 engine technology

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 9th, 2014

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As Mazda continues the current rollout of its still-new Skyactiv technology, the automaker is already looking at improving its family of engines for even better fuel economy and emissions reductions. Automotive News reports that with stricter fuel economy and emissions regulations planned for 2020 and 2025 in Europe, Mazda will likely release engines with next-generation Skyactiv 2 technology by the end of this decade, and Skyactiv 3 units just five years later.

The latter is expected to focus on improved engine cooling and lessening energy losses, but the big news in AN’s report is that the next-gen Skyactiv 2 engines will use Homogeneous Charge Compression Ignition, or HCCI. This type of ignition is very similar to how a diesel engine operates (with high compression and using the compression stroke for fuel combustion rather than spark plugs), a method said to provide a cleaner and more efficient fuel burn – to the tune of a 30-percent improvement in fuel economy compared to current Skyactiv engines. Other automakers, including Hyundai, have already announced they are developing HCCI powerplants with similar technology and characteristics, so Mazda likely won’t be a lone wolf here.

Equipped with HCCI technology, Mazda figures to be able to compete with larger automakers in terms of fuel economy and emissions without resorting to hybrid powertrains, continuously variable transmissions or automatics relying on more forward gears (eight or more) for optimal efficiency. Some of the challenges of HCCI, according to AN, include the need for better engine cooling, risk of misfire at high and low rpm and uneven engine performance based on fuel properties.

Mazda hard at work on Skyactiv 2 engine technology originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Jan 2014 13:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda begins building Mazda3 in Mexico for US

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 7th, 2014

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Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operations

With fluctuations in international currencies and rising shipping costs to take into account, foreign automakers can’t get away with building cars overseas and selling them in North America as easily as they used to. Particularly with inexpensive mainstream models. And given the benefits of cheaper labor and free trade under NAFTA, many have opted to assemble their cars for the North American market in Mexico. That’s why the likes of Toyota, Mercedes and BMW have all opened plants in Mexico. And now Mazda has followed suit.

Ground was initially broken for Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operations at Salamanca in the state of Gunajuato back in 2011, but production has just now gotten under way. The first vehicle to roll off the line? A Mazda3 sedan destined for the United States. Soon, the plant will begin production of the next Mazda2 as well, selling it alongside its larger counterpart across the Americas and in Europe as production expands to 230,000 units annually. For more information, see the official press release below.

Continue reading Mazda begins building Mazda3 in Mexico for US

Mazda begins building Mazda3 in Mexico for US originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 07 Jan 2014 15:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Japan dominates Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Rankings, US and Europe gaining

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 28th, 2013

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Toyota Crisis Mounts as U.S. Steps Up Pressure to Fix Vehicles

Consumer Reports has released its annual Auto Reliability Rankings, and surprise of surprises, Japan is dominant. Among brands in 2014, Lexus, Toyota and Acura make up the top three marques, while Mazda, Infiniti, Honda and Subaru sit fifth, sixth, eighth, and tenth, respectively. For those keeping track at home, Japan’s dominance wasn’t complete, though.

Audi’s 2014 models helped the German brand jump from eighth to fourth, while Volvo saw a massive, 13-spot improvement, to seventh overall. Even GMC got in on the action, jumping three places, to ninth.

Outside of the top 10, America, Europe and Japan saw more mixed results. Scion took the biggest tumble of any brand, falling ten positions to number 11, while Subaru, though still in the top ten, dropped five spots (coincidentally, CR had nothing good to say about Subaru and Toyota’s joint venture, calling the BRZ and Scion FR-S each brand’s least reliable vehicle). Nissan fell nine places to number 22 overall. BMW and Mercedes-Benz each climbed one place, to fifteenth and thirteenth, respectively.

The big earners, though, besides Volvo, included Buick, which jumped nine places to number 12. Chrysler and Ram both saw improvements, turning in at 18 and 19 respectively, although Jeep dropped four spots and Dodge stayed level at number 24. After a big fall in last year’s rankings, Ford made a mild improvement, but was still dinged by CR over infotainment issues relating to MyFord Touch. Only Lincoln and Mini scored worse than the Blue Oval.

While the American and European brands have gained ground in terms of individual marques, Japan still has a firm grasp on individual vehicle categories. Of the 18 vehicle categories, ranging from subcompacts to sports cars to full-size pickups, Japanese models led 14 categories, including the midsize car and midsize SUV rankings. Europe captured the remaining four categories, while US cars and trucks were relegated to silver medals, at best.

Take a look below for a full press release on the 2014 rankings from Consumer Reports, and be sure to pick up CR’s December 2013 issue for the full story on the annual Auto Reliability Rankings.

Continue reading Japan dominates Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Rankings, US and Europe gaining

Japan dominates Consumer Reports Annual Auto Reliability Rankings, US and Europe gaining originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 28 Oct 2013 14:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda on sales upswing in Europe but won’t build there

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 21st, 2013

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Auto sales in Europe have been a tricky proposition for some years, but Mazda has seen some success on the backs of the CX-5 and new Mazda6. According to a report form Automotive News Europe, though, that doesn’t mean we should be looking for the Japanese manufacturer to set up production operations there.

Mazda’s European CEO, Jeff Guyton, explained to AN that “Our intention is to have manufacturing scale. That gives you scale economy and quality through repeatability.” In other words, a big honking plant in one part of the world is preferable to a half dozen small factories building the same vehicles.

European sales for Mazda are up 5.4 percent in the first half of 2013, with 74,000 units sold. That kicked the Zoom-Zoom brand’s market share up from one to 1.2 percent. Small gains, but gains nonetheless. According to Guyton, Mazda would need to sell 200,000 units of just one model in Europe for local production to make sense. Mazda’s best European year saw 320,000 units sold across the entire range.

Mazda on sales upswing in Europe but won’t build there originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 20 Jul 2013 17:10:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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