Posts Tagged ‘japan’

After another bad year, Mazda hunting for partners, could license Skyactiv

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 14th, 2012

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Mazda emblem

Mazda builds and exports more vehicles from Japan by percentage of total volume than any other automaker, which means it has been hit harder than most by the strength of the Japanese yen. Compounding matters further, between 2008 and 2010, Ford reduced its stake in Mazda from a controlling 33-percent share to less than four percent, meaning the automaker doesn’t have any extra-deep pockets to help bridge the financial gap until profits improve and a North American factory located in Mexico is completed.

The results of this perfect financial storm have been predictable: Mazda posted a net loss in 2011 of about $1.29 billion, marking the fourth consecutive year of red ink and the largest loss since 2001. That’s all very bad news for any automaker, but especially so for one as small and independent as Mazda. As such, it’s no surprise that Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi has said that his company is “actively” seeking partners and that “every option” is being considered.

Naturally, considering “every option” includes the potential of licensing its lightweight and efficient Skyactiv fuel-saving technology to other automakers. In any case, after already losing the rotary (for now, at least) the thought of an automotive world without the MX-5 makes us shudder. Here’s hoping Mazda regains its financial footing before anything drastic happens.

After another bad year, Mazda hunting for partners, could license Skyactiv originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 14 Feb 2012 09:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Takeri concept wows Tokyo Big Sight

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 30th, 2011

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Mazda has just taken the wraps off of its new concept sedan, the Takeri, at its display stand here at the Tokyo Big Sight expo hall (honest, that’s what it’s called). The C/D-sized concept sedan furthers Mazda’s Kodo ‘Soul of Motion’ design language while hinting at the next Mazda6.

Predictably, the Takeri (derived from the Japanese word for “Male”) is equipped with a full slate of Skyactiv features, including Mazda’s new Skyactiv-D clean diesel – a version of which we recently fell in love with in the CX-5 crossover – and a new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system.

In person, The Takeri offers a very attractive shape, with traditional Mazda cues including a prominent hexagonal grille (we particularly like the subtle matte metal element that links the grille to the headlamps) and short overhangs. More importantly, the showcar appears to be a production-friendly shape if you discount items like the showcar mirrors, slightly oversized 20-inch wheels and raise the roofline by an inch or two. Given the Mazda6’s slow sales pace, a successor can’t get here soon enough.

For more details, check out our high-res image gallery or click on the jump to read the official press release.

Continue reading Mazda Takeri concept wows Tokyo Big Sight

Mazda Takeri concept wows Tokyo Big Sight originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 29 Nov 2011 21:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda tweet confirms next-gen rotory engine with SkyActiv tech

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 12th, 2011

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Renesis Rotary Engine

In the soap opera saga of are they or aren’t they still developing a rotary engine, Mazda seems to have indicated the affirmative. According to a translation of a Tweet from Mazda PR posted on a Japanese car blog, a “new model with a next-generation rotary engine” is in development.

While there’s only so much to be gleaned from a single 140-character message – even in information-dense Japanese – this forthcoming vehicle will incorporate Mazda’s fuel-saving SkyActiv technologies, which is only logical. Being thirsty has long been the Achilles heel of the Wankel, and anything that can help boost mileage and cut emissions should be well-received in a successor to the discontinued RX-8.

Mazda tweet confirms next-gen rotory engine with SkyActiv tech originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 11 Oct 2011 14:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda MX-5 Miata gets Black Tuned for Japan

Published by Mazda Blogs on October 6th, 2011

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Mazda MX-5 Black Tuned Roadster

Even the plucky Mazda MX-5 isn’t safe from the temptation of a black edition. Mazda has just rolled out a Black Tuned Roadster in Japan, complete with a little more style than your run-of-the-mill convertible. The package is largely aesthetic thanks to the addition of a Brilliant Black retractable hard top roof and door mirrors as well as Gun Metallic 17-inch alloy wheels. Inside, both the seats and the steering wheel are covered in black leather with sand-colored contrasting stitching. Mazda is only offering the Black Tuned Roadster in three colors; Spirited Green Metallic, Velocity Red Mica and Crystal White Pearl Mica. But not… ummm… black.

As befitting a retractable hard top model, the Black Tuned Roadster comes as loaded as they get with standard gear like a Bose sound system and heated front buckets. Mazda isn’t saying how many of the models it plans to build, but we do know that base models come with a six-speed manual transmission while a six-speed automatic is also available. Japanese buyers can expect to shell out


Nissan offers rebadged Mazda5 in Japan as Lafesta Highway Star [w/video]

Published by admin on August 25th, 2011

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2012 Nissan Lafesta Highway Star

2012 Nissan Lafesta Highway Star – Click above for high-res image gallery

When is a Mazda5 not a Mazda5? When it’s a Nissan. Only it’s still a Mazda5 even when it’s wearing a different badge.

The two Japanese automakers have entered into an arrangement whereby the latter supplies the former with lightly facelifted versions of its latest minivan, and presto! We’ve got the new Nissan Lafesta. Actually, it’s full name is the Lafesta Highway Star, and is not to be confused with the Lafesta Joy, a separate model that will continue production at Nissan’s own Kyushu plant.

The Lafesta Highway Star, then, is produced by Mazda for Nissan, and receives some slightly different styling touches to set it apart. Okay, it pretty much comes down to a new three-bar grille. Otherwise it’s essentially the same as the Mazda5. And like the Mazda5, the Lafesta Highway Star offers flexible three-row seating, dual sliding doors and stop-start ignition.

One notable departure, however, is the availability of all-wheel drive on the Nissan, which Mazda offered for a time in the Japanese Domestic Market but has since discontinued. Of course, the Nissan is being offered only for Japanese domestic market consumption, so if you live anywhere else, don’t go pestering your local Nissan dealer for an AWD Mazda5, because the closest you’re gonna get is the high-resolution images in our gallery and the JDM launch video with press release after the jump.

Continue reading Nissan offers rebadged Mazda5 in Japan as Lafesta Highway Star [w/video]

Nissan offers rebadged Mazda5 in Japan as Lafesta Highway Star [w/video] originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 16 Jun 2011 10:01:00 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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