Posts Tagged ‘european’

What you missed on 9.11.14

Published by Mazda Blogs on September 12th, 2014

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Daily U-Turn

Luca de MontezemoloOur favorite Ferraris of the Montezemolo Era

Big news at Ferrari: CEO Luca di Montezemolo is officially stepping down. In his wake, he leaves quite a legacy, and thus, the Autoblog editors have been reminiscing about our favorite Prancing Horse models from Montezemolo’s tenure. Of course, what started as a simple discussion turned into an all out battle, but you can read our staff’s five favorite Ferraris from the ’90s and ’00s, here.

Maserati GhibliDriving Maserati’s diesel-powered Ghibli

Slowly but surely, automakers are warming up to the idea of diesel engines in sports car applications. We’ve seen products from Porsche, BMW, and Audi all burning hot oil, and the latest darling comes from Maserati, with its diesel-powered Ghibli sedan. This one isn’t headed Stateside anytime soon, but European Editor Noah Joseph took it for a spin to see how a diesel powerplant affects the already-good Ghibli. Read his notes, here.

Mazda MX-5 MiataMazda MX-5 Miata to ditch hardtop?

Say it ain’t so! Could Mazda be ditching the power folding hardtop with its fourth-generation MX-5 Miata? There’s plenty of evidence that suggests this could be the case, but there’s also a solid argument for the hardtop to live on. Read all about it in our report, and of course, let us know your thoughts on this matter, as well.

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What you missed on 9.11.14 originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 11 Sep 2014 19:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda reports highest profits in its 94-year history

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 26th, 2014

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2015 Mazda3

We may only be a third of the way through 2014, but for Japanese companies, March 31 marked the end of fiscal 2014, and it was a banner financial year for Mazda’s global operations. The Japanese independent saw its highest global operating profits in its nearly 100-year history. Its global operating profits were up a huge 238 percent. Yes, a 238 percent increase over 2012 to 1.36 billion euros ($1.88 billion), eclipsing the brand’s previous best year, 2008, by 12 percent. Net earnings, revenue and global sales volume also saw increases over the last fiscal year.

What’s most impressive, though, is where Mazda saw improvement. The notoriously rough European market was rather kind to the Zoom-Zoom brand, where sales increased 25 percent to 163,000 units. That figure was bolstered by a 35-percent sales increase in Great Britain and a 20-percent jump in Germany, Europe’s two largest markets. Japanese sales, meanwhile, were up a respectable 13 percent, to 244,000 units. In China, Mazda saw a 12 percent bump.

Notice we aren’t talking about North American sales? That’s because Mazda only saw a moderate, five-percent gain in the New World, with sales climbing to 391,000 units in the US, Canada and Mexico. This is particularly disappointing considering Mazda has launched three critically acclaimed products (CX-5, Mazda6 and most recently, Mazda3) for the North American market over the past two fiscal years. Still, it isn’t a particular reason to be concerned, as IHS industry analyst Stephanie Brinley notes. “Five percent isn’t terrible,” Brinley told Autoblog, saying that Mazda should see a bump in 2014 as the Mazda3 picks up steam.

While Mazda may have hoped its five-percent gain in North America was a bit higher, it shows solid progress on company CEO Masamichi Kogai and his promise to raise US sales to 400,000 units.

Continue reading Mazda reports highest profits in its 94-year history

Mazda reports highest profits in its 94-year history originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 25 Apr 2014 18:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda poaches designer Kevin Rice back from BMW

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 30th, 2013

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Kevin Rice

Kevin Rice left Mazda a baker’s dozen years ago, but now he’s back.

A graduate of the Transportation Design program at Coventry University (just across town from Jaguar headquarters), Rice worked his way up in the industry working for the likes of Opel and Italdesign Giugiaro before landing a job at Mazda. Between 1995 and 2000, he collaborated on such projects as the RX-8 and the 1999 Neospace concept that previewed the Mazda2 before moving on to BMW, where the new 3 Series and 4 Series were among the last projects he worked on during his 13-year tenure in Munich.

Now back at Mazda, Rice has been named the Japanese automaker’s new creative director, charged with further honing the brand’s KODO design language from its European headquarters in Oberursel, Germany. We’re looking forward to seeing what he and his design team come up with in the coming years.

Continue reading Mazda poaches designer Kevin Rice back from BMW

Mazda poaches designer Kevin Rice back from BMW originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 30 Oct 2013 11:02:00 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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2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 2nd, 2013

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With the Chicago and Geneva auto shows not even out of the way yet, the automotive world’s sights are set on the New York Auto Show for the naming of the 2013 World Car Awards, and the top 10 finalists for World Car of the Year and World Performance Car were recently announced and will be voted on by 66 journalists from around the world (including our own European Editor, Matt Davis).

Vying for the top award are the Audi A3, 2013 Range Rover, 2014 Mazda6, Mazda CX-5, Mercedes-Benz A-Class, Peugeot 208, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, the trio of Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86, Volkswagen Golf and the Volvo V40. Since its inception, past winners of this award include Volkswagen Up! (2012), Nissan LEAF (2011), Volkswagen Polo (2010), Volkswagen Golf (2009), Mazda2/Mazda Demio (2008), Lexus LS 460 (2007), BMW 3 Series (2006) and the Audi A6 in the award’s inaugural year.

The competition is no less fierce for the performance car of the year with the Aston Martin Vanquish, Audi RS5, BMW M6, BMW M 135i, Ferrari F12Berlinetta, Mercedes-Benz SL63 AMG and SLS AMG, Porsche Boxster/Cayman, Renault Clio Sport and the Scion FR-S/Subaru BRZ/Toyota GT86. This award was first handed out in 2006 with previous recipients including Porsche 911 (2012), Ferrari 458 Italia (2011), Audi R8 V10 (2010), Nissan GT-R (2009), Audi R8 (2008), Audi RS4 (2007) and the Porsche Cayman S (2006).

The top three finalists for each award will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show on March 5, and the winners will be revealed on March 28.

Continue reading 2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced

2013 World Car of the Year finalists announced originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 01 Feb 2013 18:02:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda debuts supercharged MX-5 Miata Yusho concept in Leipzig

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 4th, 2012

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Yusho Concept - white, front three-quarter view

Mazda has unveiled a pair of special MX-5 Miata models just for the 2012 Leipzig Motor Show, including a supercharged version of everyone’s favorite roadster. For the latter showcar, dubbed “Yusho,” Mazda has turned to our friends at Flyin’ Miata for a supercharger kit to boost the machine’s grunt to around 241 horsepower. As you may recall, that’s the same blower that powered our Targa Newfoundland racer. Mazda also threw in a new engine management system paired with a set of new fuel injectors and a free-flowing exhaust. The powerplant also benefits from beefier Cosworth pistons and connecting rods, while a sport clutch handles dumping all that power onto the six-speed manual gearbox.

A set of 4.10 gears in the rear differential also helps the Yusho sprint from corner to corner. With a set of Bilstein shocks, Eibach lowering springs and semi-slick Toyo tires, this is likely the most fun you can have with your top down. While the Yusho is merely a concept, Mazda is also debuting a limited-production special edition MX-5 Miata as well.

At Just 200 units, the Senshu MX-5 Roadster Coupe comes with a retractable hard top, sportline interior and a Bilstein sports suspension. Designers applied a unique racing stripe, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels give the machine a little more menace. Mazda will only produce 200 of the Senshu Miata models, and each one will cost European buyers €1,280 – about $1,600 USD – over the base price. Check out both press releasesfor yourself by scrolling down.

Continue reading Mazda debuts supercharged MX-5 Miata Yusho concept in Leipzig

Mazda debuts supercharged MX-5 Miata Yusho concept in Leipzig originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 04 Jun 2012 15:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda stops RX-8 production

Published by admin on August 23rd, 2011

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2009 Mazda RX-8

Automotive News is reporting that Mazda has stopped production of its RX-8 sports car due to lackluster sales and ever tighter global emissions standards. Mazda managed to move a mere 1,134 of the models last year, and 2011 hasn’t treated the rotary any better. Sales are down 21 percent through July. The Japanese automaker was forced to remove the model from European showrooms last year after it failed to meet emissions standards, and the company says that it simply can’t justify continuing to manufacture the vehicle without sales in the old country.

According to the report, production wrapped up in Hiroshima, Japan in July, and global sales will finish up this year. Currently, Automotive News says that U.S. dealers have 300 RX-8 units in stock. While this may be the end for the rotary sports car in the near-term, Mazda has made it clear that the manufacturer isn’t giving up on its rotary heritage any time soon.

Mazda stops RX-8 production originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 22 Aug 2011 10:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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