Posts Tagged ‘getty-images’

Mazda CEO says rotary not viable, so don’t look for a new one

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 19th, 2013

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Mazda President Masamichi Kogai Introduces New Mazda 3/Axela

We have some very sad news to report, rotor-heads fans: Don’t expect a new rotary-powered vehicle anytime soon. This comes straight from Masamichi Kogai, the CEO of Mazda, which is the only company to ever market a commercially successful rotary-powered automobile in the world. The issue, as it has pretty much always been, is environmental.

While the Wankel rotary engine does indeed make a lot of power in a small, lightweight package, it does so while burning lots of fuel and emitting lots of noxious gases into the atmosphere, at least when running on gasoline. And that means the rotary engine will likely only ever be able to power niche vehicles. And that, in turn, means that it is very difficult to turn a profit on vehicles with rotary engines, particularly for a small automaker like Mazda.

“It has to be a viable commercial proposition. If we are going to adopt it, it has to be a product that can generate at least sales of 100,000 units a year. We have to be able to achieve a profit,” said Kogai in an interview with Automotive News. Mazda sold 56,203 RX-7 models in the United States (the automaker’s biggest market) in 1986. Sales of the RX-8 peaked in 2004, its first full year on the market, with just 23,690 units.

There is a sliver of hope, though. “We are the first and only manufacturer to commercialize the rotary engine. In that respect, we have some responsibility,” said Kogai. Research will continue on the rotary engine at Mazda, and, since the engine will run on a wide variety of fuels, including hydrogen, it is possible that we’ll see a rotary return on an alternate fuel sometime in the not-too-near future.

Mazda CEO says rotary not viable, so don’t look for a new one originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 19 Nov 2013 14:29:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda refurbishing this NFL running back’s 22-year-old daily driver

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 10th, 2013

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Redskins'  running back Alfred Morris poses with his 1991 Mazda 626

I don’t actually care for the Washington Redskins (which is a good thing, considering the start to their season this year), but I love their running back, Alfred Morris. Why? Well, to start with, Morris helped deliver a dominating 10-3 season for my fantasy football team last year after a flash of prescience saw me pick him up off the waiver wire in Week 1 (hit me up on Twitter if you need fantasy sports insight, guys, I’m sort of like the Ruxin of Autoblog).

Morris is also pretty endearing because of his loyalty to his car, Bentley. Hold up – that’s not to say the running back has splashed out on a Continental GT or a Flying Spur. No, Morris gave his much-loved 1991 Mazda 626 the tongue-in-cheek name “Bentley” while he was still a student at Florida Atlantic. One 1,613-rushing-yard rookie season and a $2.2-million contract later, and Morris is still using his Mazda as his daily driver. It might be easy to assume that the young player is simply being really prudent with all of his newfound wealth, but the guy really just has a thing for his five-speed-manual 626.

And Mazda, of course, loves the story of Morris’ affection. In an effort to keep his 626 running strong and looking good, the company’s Washington D.C.-area dealers have agreed to refurbish Bentley back to its original showroom freshness. Rather than spoil the classic (?) lines of the 626, the Mazda folks are essentially restoring the car for Morris. The cracked dash will be swapped out for a factory replacement, the engine and transmission given a thorough going-over and the whole vehicle generally made as fresh as Will Smith circa 1991. Bentley is expected to be completed and rolling through the capitol city by October 15, and in the meantime, Morris has been driving around in a new 2014 Mazda6 loaner car.

Continue reading Mazda refurbishing this NFL running back’s 22-year-old daily driver

Mazda refurbishing this NFL running back’s 22-year-old daily driver originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 10 Oct 2013 13:27:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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