Posts Tagged ‘europe’

Mazda2 sedan images released ahead of Thailand reveal

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 21st, 2014

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Mazda2 Sedan

Mazda2 Sedan interiorMazda will let customers put some junk in the trunk of its Mazda2 with the introduction of a new four-door model at the upcoming Thailand International Motor Expo on November 28. While the show is still days away from beginning, the Japanese automaker is already spilling some of the details about the sedan variant of its fetching subcompact.

The four-door and traditional hatchback versions of the Mazda2 will both hit Thailand in early 2015. The two of them are essentially identical other than the added trunk and adjusted rear styling for the sedan. It basically makes the model look like a shrunken down version of the Mazda3 sedan, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The company has big expectations for the little car because they’re already Mazda’s bestselling passenger models in Thailand.

Both models will be sold with the SkyActiv-D 1.5 diesel in Thailand, which gives them lower taxes under the government’s low-emission, compact car incentive plan. According to a previous rumor, a gasoline-fueled mill could join the lineup eventually, too.

There’s also gossip that the Mazda2 sedan could eventually be sold in Australia and Europe, but US sales are still a mystery. When asked about the four-door here, Mazda spokesperson Eric Booth told Autoblog, “We’ll have more to say on Mazda2 at a later date. Right now, our focus is on the launches of the all-new CX-3 and MX-5 as well as the refreshed CX-5 and Mazda6.” The company is showing all of those models at this week’s Los Angeles Auto Show.

Continue reading Mazda2 sedan images released ahead of Thailand reveal

Mazda2 sedan images released ahead of Thailand reveal originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Nov 2014 13:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda previews 2016 Miata Global MX-5 Cup racer

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 5th, 2014

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At this point, we all know that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a highly capable racing platform. Mazda even claims that the car is the most road-raced model in the world. Fittingly, then, the Japanese brand is making a huge announcement about the future of motorsport for its next-generation convertible. The MX-5 Cup is going worldwide in 2016 as the MX-5 Global Cup, and all of the racers are getting behind the wheel of the upcoming fourth-gen Miata, similar to the gorgeous redhead pictured above.

“It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the 2016 MX-5 Miata is the perfect time to make this goal a reality,” said Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda in the company’s announcement.

The racing version makes its grand debut at this year’s SEMA show, although at the moment it’s really more of a concept. Mazda confirms that the racer uses the 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder, but the other important parts like tires, suspension and safety equipment are not yet determined. The cars “will be sold ready to race from a single supplier,” according to automaker’s announcement for the series.

The company has time to figure all of that out, though. The first of these one-make racers won’t hit the track in the MX-5 Global Cup until 2016 with a series of identical cars running in North America, Europe and Asia. The world championship will be at a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. The grand prize will be a test in Mazda’s prototype running in the United SportsCar Championship.

Tracks, dates and other details will be announced later. Until then, click through the gallery to check out this racer from every angle, and scroll down to read the company’s announcement.

Continue reading Mazda previews 2016 Miata Global MX-5 Cup racer

Mazda previews 2016 Miata Global MX-5 Cup racer originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 05 Nov 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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The cars that won’t live to see 2015 [w/video] [UPDATE]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 24th, 2014

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Acura TL

Every year in the fast-paced automotive industry brings new models, but it also spells the end for some that have been less successful. This year will be no exception.

Japan’s automakers make up the bulk of the list of discontinued models for the 2015 model year: Acura is replacing the TL and TSX with the new TLX sedan, Honda is bidding farewell to the Fit EV as the new Fit hatchback takes its place, and Nissan is saying goodbye to both the Cube and Murano CrossCabriolet. Both the Nissan Maxima and Mazda2 exit stage left before their upcoming replacements arrive, while Toyota is terminating the RAV4 EV and FJ Cruiser as well as the Scion xD, and Lexus IS C and IS F that are being effectively replaced by the new RC.

From our own domestic automakers, Cadillac discontinues the CTS-V sedan and wagon as the new CTS rolls in, Chevy is canceling the mild-hybrid Eco versions of the Malibu and Impala sedans, and Chrysler is killing off the 200 convertible as the new 200 sedan arrives.

German automakers are also well represented on the list, with BMW splitting the 1 Series coupe and convertible into the new 2 Series line, Mercedes reintegrates the CL-Class coupe into the S-Class family, and Volkswagen is finally killing off the Chrysler-made Routan. Elsewhere in Europe, the long-serving Gallardo is being replaced by the Hurac

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Huet Brothers working on new Miata-based retro coupe

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 15th, 2014

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Huet Brothers Coupe

Does the name Huet ring a bell? The Dutch brothers started out doing classic car tours in Europe before they started designed and building their own retro sports cars. The first was called the Huet Brothers Special. It was based on an old Triumph TR6 and surfaced back in 2009. But a few years later they started showing designs for a new coupe that called for a straight-six engine under a long bonnet with a fastback roofline, and started taking orders. Over the past two and a half years we didn’t see anything materialize out of the Huet Brothers’ plans, but word out of the Netherlands has it that the design is back on the table.

According to the Autovisie section of Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf, Tino and Paul Huet were planning on building their coupe on the base of the MX-5 Miata. But now that Mazda is preparing to launch an all-new model, the Huets have decided to wait until next year and build their dream car on the new Skyactiv roadster chassis.

Rather than trying to shoehorn in a bigger engine (or the subsequent diesel model that was set to follow), the Huets are reportedly prepared to stick with Mazda’s four-pot, offering it in stock form and various states of upgraded tune.

That would make the HB Coupe the third model – alongside Mazda’s own and whatever Fiat decides to do with its end of the bargain – to use the same underpinnings. That is, assuming the Huet Brothers can get the orders it needs to restart development production. So far they say they’ve got 21 orders on the books, but need 40 to get started.

Huet Brothers working on new Miata-based retro coupe originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 14 May 2014 19:15:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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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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