Posts Tagged ‘green’

Mazda mulling furniture, designer goods in bid to command higher prices

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 1st, 2014

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Mazda Kodo Chair

Brands like Porsche and Ferrari make a mint every year by selling branded lifestyle goods like shoes, hats and even wilder items. Bugatti takes things to the extremes with things like its $84,000 belt buckle. These products not only make their respective companies some extra money, but they reaffirm their high-end design aspirations to wealthy buyers. However, the next firm possibly dipping its toe into this upscale pool is a bit more mass-market – Mazda.

That’s right. The Japanese automaker best known among enthusiasts for its segment-defining Miata and rotary engines is considering its own line of luxury goods in the coming years called Mazda Design. The project is the brainchild of styling boss Ikuo Maeda, and according to Automotive News, he has backing from company CEO Masamichi Kogai. Although the green light isn’t quite on yet, Maeda is already brainstorming. “Not only furniture, but I’d like to build a Mazda Design brand. That’s my dream,” he said to Automotive News.

The possible project is just one aspect of Mazda’s move to become a near-premium brand. According to Automotive News, it wants to see higher transaction prices partially by offering more stylish design than its rivals. Launching a line of luxury goods is meant to communicate this new focus to customers.

The Mazda Design line was previewed with the Kodo Chair (pictured above) at last year’s Milan Design Week. Named after the brand’s current, swoopy styling language, the seat mixed metal and leather in a reclined position to conjure up something out of a futuristic racecar.

Still, the move could be a gamble. Bugatti, Porsche and Ferrari sell vehicles to a wealthy clientele for whom dropping a few grand on something frivolous doesn’t matter match. Mazda buyers might not have that luxury.

Mazda mulling furniture, designer goods in bid to command higher prices originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 01 Oct 2014 08:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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Finalists for 2014 Green Car of the Year announced

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 18th, 2013

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Green Car of the Year Finalists

The list of finalists for the 2014 Green Car of the Year has been announced, and in a genuinely bizarre twist, there’s only one hybrid and no electric vehicles among the five contestants, despite the arrival of cars like the BMW i3 and Tesla Model S. Taking the place of the EVs are a pair of diesels, repping a technology that last won a Green Car of the Year award in 2009, when the Audi A3 TDI took the title. No diesel was in the running for last year’s award.

Naturally, both of the diesel finalists are fielded by the Germans – with BMW’s 328d and Audi’s A6 TDI getting the nod. In the case of the 3 Series, BMW installed a 2.0-liter, turbodiesel, capable of delivering 180 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque, while returning 45 miles per gallon on the highway. Audi and its larger, 3.0-liter, V6 turbodiesel produce quite a bit more grunt, with 240 hp and 428 lb-ft of grunt, but net a very impressive 38 mpg on the highway in the A6.

Finalists for this year’s awards include two diesels, three gas-powered cars and a plug-in hybrid.

This year’s awards are a coup for gas-powered vehicles, as well. Both the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 are finalists, with jurors citing the Mazda’s i-ELOOP and Skyactiv technology, which allow the handsome car to net up to 41 mpg. The Corolla, meanwhile, offers a new Eco trim, which can return 42 mpg from its 1.8-liter, naturally aspirated, gas engine.

Rounding out this year’s crop of finalists is the Honda Accord, which is available in gas, hybrid, and plug-in hybrid variants for the first time. The Accord Plug-In is capable of 115 mpge, while the Accord Hybrid returns 50 mpg in the city and 47 on the highway.

This is the first time in several years that the awards haven’t been dominated by electrified vehicles of some ilk. 2013 was won by the Ford Fusion, and saw two other hybrids and three gas-powered cars. 2012, meanwhile, marked a victory for the natural-gas-powered Honda Civic, against two pure electrics, a hybrid and a diesel model. 2011 saw the excellent Chevrolet Volt crowned champion, beating out an EV, two hybrids and a gas-powered model.

This year’s awards will be handed out at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show by Green Car Journal. We’ll be on hand, live in LA, for the awards. Until then, be sure to let us know what car you think deserves the crown in Comments. Scroll down for the official press release from Green Car Journal.

Continue reading Finalists for 2014 Green Car of the Year announced

Finalists for 2014 Green Car of the Year announced originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Oct 2013 18:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 9th, 2013

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When we first saw and drove new midsize sedans like the 2013 Nissan Altima and 2013 Ford Fusion, we had a feeling the Toyota Camry would eventually see a challenge for the top sales spot, but we had no idea things would move this quickly. Automotive News is reporting that the quarter tallies still show the Camry holding a sizable lead over its competition, but the Altima did manage to outsell the Toyota by 100 units last month. While a single month of not outselling the competition might not be enough to unseat the Camry from its 11-year sales throne, it goes to show how far recent competitors in the segment have come.

The four best-selling cars in the midsize segment (in order) are the Camry, Honda Accord, Altima and Fusion, with each car boasting more than 80,000 units through the first three months of the year. Both the Accord and Fusion are seeing double-digit year-over-year sales increases while the Camry and Altima have dropped somewhat. And it wasn’t just Camry that was losing ground. As we saw in the March 2013 By The Numbers post, Toyota sales as a whole were down slightly from 2012 while all of its key competitors (Chevrolet, Ford, Honda and Nissan) were in the green.

After the top four sellers in the segment, the next closest midsizers are the Chevrolet Malibu and Hyundai Sonata, but these cars are well off the competitive pace. Although the 2014 Mazda6 isn’t expected to take too big of a bite out of the midsize market, its attractive design and available diesel engine could continue the shakeup of this once-predictable segment.

Altima, Fusion shaking up midsize sedan sales race originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 09 Apr 2013 09:44:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


The Road to Targa Newfoundland, Part 3: Homework and gearing up

Published by admin on September 7th, 2011

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Alpinestars Gear

We’re officially less than five days from the first stage of the 2011 Targa Newfoundland, and I’m frantically busy trying to cram as much information into my brain before arriving in St. John’s as I possibly can. Having never navigated in a rally, there’s a slew of symbols, terminology and theory to absorb before the green flag drops on September 10.

Then there’s the small issue of establishing a working relationship with the Terratrip on-board vehicle computer. The thing has an instruction manual that could have been written by a Soviet-era novelist, and while I think I’ll only be responsible for a few button mashes here and there, I don’t want to be the guy who accidentally recalibrates the machine or keys in the self-destruct code. Keep on reading to see how the rest of our preparations are proceeding.

Continue reading The Road to Targa Newfoundland, Part 3: Homework and gearing up

The Road to Targa Newfoundland, Part 3: Homework and gearing up originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 06 Sep 2011 18:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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