Posts Tagged ‘japan’

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to be revealed on September 3 [w/video]

Published by Mazda Blogs on July 3rd, 2014

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2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata test mule

Now in its 25th year and on the market in its current form since 2005, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been due for replacement for some time now. A mid-life facelift helped things along some in 2008, but the moment that roadster enthusiasts have been anxiously awaiting is almost upon us.

Mazda has now confirmed that the 2016 MX-5 will be officially unveiled on September 3 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca just ahead of the “Miatas at Mazda Raceway” event, where the Japanese automaker will also display “an array of heritage, concept and motorsports MX-5s,” just as it did alongside the upcoming new roadster’s Skyactiv chassis at the New York Auto Show.

Not to leave the European and Asian markets out of the fun, Mazda will simultaneously unveil the new Miata in Spain and Japan as well. But in the meantime you can view the teaser video and press release below to keep that excitement drummed up.

Continue reading 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to be revealed on September 3 [w/video]

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata to be revealed on September 3 [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 03 Jul 2014 08:59:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Honda may recall up to 1M vehicles for airbag issue, following Toyota’s lead

Published by Mazda Blogs on June 16th, 2014

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2001 Honda Civic

It seems Toyota won’t be the only one recalling the faulty Takata airbag inflators for long. Honda insiders in Japan claim that the company is getting close to announcing its own worldwide campaign that would begin before the end of June.

Unnamed sources close to Honda in Japan tell Automotive News that the company is pursuing an internal investigation into possibly affected models and is working with Takata to gather more information. They claim that it could involve even more than the 1.14 million cars worldwide that the automaker covered under the first recall for the problem in April 2013, including 561,000 vehicles in the US.

Toyota jumpstarted this process last week when it recalled over 2 million cars worldwide, including 844,277 in the US. Soon after, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration began a preliminary evaluation into the issue following six reported incidents, and started assembling data about potentially affected models from Toyota, Honda, Mazda, Nissan, Chrysler. NHTSA also began investigating Takata itself.

The safety hazard comes into play because it’s possible that the inflators contain an improper propellant that could cause it to burst in an accident. Not only does this affect airbag deployment, in some cases the shrapnel hits occupants too. So far, all six reported incidents to NHTSA have occurred in high humidity areas like Florida and Puerto Rico.

Autoblog reached out to Honda for confirmation of the report and was sent the following statement by email: “Honda is aware that the NHTSA has initiated a Preliminary Evaluation involving a variety of manufacturers with models equipped with airbag modules supplied by Takata. Honda will cooperate with the NHTSA through the investigation process and will continue our own internal review of the available information.”

Honda may recall up to 1M vehicles for airbag issue, following Toyota’s lead originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 16 Jun 2014 15:30:00 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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Mazda2 with extended-range hybrid rotary tech shown

Published by Mazda Blogs on December 23rd, 2013

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Mazda2 RE Range Extender electric car, front three-quarter view

Every story dealing with a new rotary engine from Mazda lands in a different place on the matrix of possibilities between “Coming soon!” and “Never gonna happen!” In 2011 it was speculated that the rotary engineering program would be shut down with the demise of the RX-8, in 2012 the program was still alive and taking lessons from the SkyActiv engines, in August 2013 a Mazda insider said a rotary engine called 16X would be here in two years, in November the CEO said the only way we’d ever get a new rotary is if Mazda could sell 100,000 of them per year. Meaning that, for the moment, you can forget about it.

And yet, last month Mazda was putting journalists in a Mazda2 RE Range Extender, an electric car using a 0.33-liter rotary to power its lithium-ion batteries when the charge runs down. With a 75-kilowatt, 100-horsepower electric motor turning the front wheels, the Wankel generator and its 2.6-gallon gas tank living under the trunk double the range of the electric-only Mazda2 to 250 miles.

There’s been talk of using a rotary to assist an alt-fuel vehicle for at least seven years, with Mazda pairing an electric motor with a rotary that ran on gas and hydrogen in a Mazda5 in 2007. Since then, almost all of those stories debating its return or demise also spoke of the oddball motor’s advantages, such as compact size and ability to run on various fuels, as an aid in an unconventional powertrain.

Its development was said to be born from dissatisfaction of 70 percent of Mazda2 BEV owners in Japan who said they weren’t happy with the 124-mile range of their electric car even though they never needed more; however, such a car was hinted at by the previous Mazda CEO at the 2012 Moscow Motor Show. AOL UK drove the range extended version in November and found it to be a fine experience, with Mazda engineers at the event putting such technology at least three years out while stressing that the test car is just that, and not scheduled for production.

Mazda2 with extended-range hybrid rotary tech shown originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 23 Dec 2013 07:58:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Masamichi Kogai new Mazda president and CEO

Published by Mazda Blogs on May 10th, 2013

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There’s some executive rearranging going on in the top suite at Mazda Motor Corporation in Japan, with current CEO Takashi Yamanouchi telling reporters there “I’d like to hand over the work to younger people” now that the company has returned to profitability. Yamanouchi became CEO on November 19, 2008 of an independent Mazda that had to fight for its future in the immediate aftermath of the global financial crisis. What followed was four years of losses before finally getting back to black last year.

Masamichi Kogai (pictured) will be appointed the new president and CEO on June 25, pending approval at the company’s annual general shareholders’ meeting. Kogai assisted Seita Kanai with the production-efficiency initiative that Mazda called Mono Tsukuri Innovation, which worked to give export-dependent Mazda the best chance at profitability in spite of a rising yen. Kogai, lately in charge of production and purchasing, has been with the company since 1977 and worked in areas from R&D to logistics.

Kanai, who headed the Mono Tsukuri effort and was among the leadership on Skyactiv, will be promoted from executive vice president to vice chairman. Akira Marumoto will become executive VP of Mazda and assistant to new president Kogai. Yamanouchi will remain Chairman of the Board. There’s a short press release below to make it official.

Continue reading Masamichi Kogai new Mazda president and CEO

Masamichi Kogai new Mazda president and CEO originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 10 May 2013 09:33:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda’s first profit in five years in sight due to weak yen

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 5th, 2013

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2014 Mazda CX-5 - front three-quarter view

Automotive News reports Mazda is set to turn a profit for the first time in five years. The automaker is more dependent on exports from Japan than other automakers based in that country, and as a result, it has long suffered at the hands of a strong yen. But the currency has declined in value by some 16 percent over the past six months and Mazda’s shares have tripled in value to their highest level since 2008. Contrast this situation to a year ago when Mazda printed 1.22 billion new shares to raise cash. The move was equivalent to 70 percent of the company’s then-outstanding stock, and values tumbled to record lows as a result.

Now that the yen has fallen to a value of around 96 per dollar, Mazda operations in the US are more profitable and the company now projects it will earn around $279 million for the next fiscal year. Automotive News says a one yen change against the dollar can have a 9.1 percent impact on Mazda operating profit compared to 4.7 percent at Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries or 3.1 percent at Toyota. Those automakers better insulate themselves from currency fluctuations with overseas manufacturing facilities.

Mazda’s first profit in five years in sight due to weak yen originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 05 Apr 2013 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda’s awesome Hiroshima museum now navigable by Google Maps

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 15th, 2013

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Mazda Museum Hiroshima - classics display

Visiting an auto museum is one of the best ways we know to connect with car culture and to commune with the past and bone up on one’s knowledge. Most of us have a decent museum within a few hours drive of where we live, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to see the world’s great collections – factors like cost, time and mobility can get in the way. Videos are great, but they don’t allow us to browse at our own pace or choose what we’d like to focus on. The folks behind Google Maps have a solution – the virtual museum tour, as seen here at Mazda’s fantastic museum in Hiroshima, Japan.

The Google Maps tour allows viewers to take a walk through the main exhibition area of the museum, and you can focus on specific classic cars from Mazda, or check out displays featuring new technologies like Skyactiv. To take a quick spin through the museum – or a leisurely stroll at your own pace – scroll down to start your own virtual tour.

Continue reading Mazda’s awesome Hiroshima museum now navigable by Google Maps

Mazda’s awesome Hiroshima museum now navigable by Google Maps originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 15 Mar 2013 08:26:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda and Fiat finalize deal for Alfa roadster, next-gen MX-5 Miata

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 18th, 2013

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Mazda and Alfa Romeo logos

Although a little bit later than expected, Mazda and Fiat have signed a final agreement that will bring a next-generation MX-5 Miata to the Japanese automaker and a new roadster to Alfa Romeo. When the proposed arrangement was announced back in May, the two automakers had hoped to seal the deal last year, but it doesn’t appear that the production timeline for these cars has slipped any, with both expected to start rolling off assembly lines in 2015.

Other than a shared chassis with a rear-wheel-drive layout, it sounds like the two cars are still planned to be distinct in their own ways from their styling right down to their engines. Mazda will produce both cars at a plant in Hiroshima, Japan, but it isn’t clear what role each automaker will play in the cars’ developmental process. The big question, of course, is what clever portmanteau name we can come up with, like Toyobaru. Mazda Romeo is the easy choice, but Alfazda might roll off the tongue a little better.

Scroll down for a brief press release from both automakers.

Continue reading Mazda and Fiat finalize deal for Alfa roadster, next-gen MX-5 Miata

Mazda and Fiat finalize deal for Alfa roadster, next-gen MX-5 Miata originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Jan 2013 13:31:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda’s new Mexican plant capacity rises to 230,000

Published by Mazda Blogs on January 5th, 2013

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After the turmoil of last year, 2013 is getting off to a much better start for Mazda. The company has issued a release indicating that the forthcoming plant in Salamanca, Mexico has had its production capacity raised even though it isn’t scheduled to go online until March 2014. The original plans called for a 140,000-unit capacity, 90,000 of that allotted for the Mazda2 and Mazda3, the remaining 50,000 for a small car Mazda would build for Toyota that would be based on the Mazda2. The new plans call for raising that by 90,000 units to a total of 230,000 units within two years, by the end of March 2016, and it looks like it will all go toward Mazda production to satisfy growing demand for Skyactiv vehciles. The Mexican plant’s opening will be the return of Mazda manufacturing to North America, after Mazda6 production was moved back to Japan last year.

More good news for the company is that it projects 10 billion yen ($114 million) in net income for the financial year that will end in March. That would be a welcome turnaround from the 100-billion-yen loss in the previous financial year, part of a series of three annual losses in a four-year span.

You’ll find the press release with the factory update below.

Continue reading Mazda’s new Mexican plant capacity rises to 230,000

Mazda’s new Mexican plant capacity rises to 230,000 originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 05 Jan 2013 09:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 5th, 2012

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Mazda Makes a Marvelous Mid-Sizer

2014 Mazda6

It’s well known that Mazda is working through some corporate challenges at the moment, but the company’s second-half news has been, in general, far better than the headlines from the first half. Global sales are up 12 percent, the CX-5 has sold 200,000 units worldwide and U.S. dealers are begging for more inventory. There’s also a new factory on the way in Mexico that will assuage the profit-killing exchange-rate woes of building cars in Japan, and the next-generation MX-5 Miata – whenever it arrives – is going to bring an Alfa Romeo roadster with it.

Still, at the moment, it’s probably true that there is more love for Mazda – or perhaps there’s actually more nostalgia – than sales traction.

The company would like its brand new midsize segment competitor to change that.

So in one corner we have the 2014 Mazda6. In the other corner we have the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Volkswagen Passat and Chevrolet Malibu. That is not an exciting list for a car enthusiast, but arrayed en masse it’s like Neo taking on the endless Agent Smiths in the playground scene in The Matrix: Reloaded - what the other cars lack in individual character they more than make up for in suffocating, sledgehammer numbers. Example: Mazda’s entire export production – that’s every one of its models that it sells in every other landmass besides Japan – in August 2012 was 44,495. That same month there were 36,270 Camrys sold in the United States alone.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6

2014 Mazda6 originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 05 Oct 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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