Posts Tagged ‘masamichi kogai’

Mazda CEO closes door on talk of RX sports car revival

Published by Mazda Blogs on November 11th, 2014

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Mazda RX-7

Some rumors in the auto industry simply refuse to die. Over the last decade, a few of the strongest have focused on Japan. A few years ago, we could have explained away the constant whispering over a new Toyota Supra, Acura NSX or Mazda RX-7 as nostalgia for Japan’s golden era of performance. Today, though is different.

We already have the Nissan GT-R, and, thanks to the Toyota FT-1 Concept, a Supra successor finally appears to be on the way. Acura will someday, allegedly, deliver on its promise to put the NSX on sale. So where does that leave the third member of the Japanese performance trio mentioned above? Well, um, it still isn’t happening.

We don’t have that kind of vehicle in our future product plan,” Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai told Automotive News when asked about a successor to the rotary-powered RX line. “If you increase the number of segments, then the resources we can allocate to each will decline and that will prevent us from developing truly good products.”

Kogai’s planning, according to AN, sees Mazda focusing more on its increasingly strong, efficient mainstream lineup, rather than its iconic sports cars, owing to its limited spending money.

“It’s difficult for us at present to further expand our lineup,” Kogai told Automotive News. “The company is still in the process of improving its financial structure. We want to focus our limited resources on the Skyactiv products that we have today.”

While enthusiasts may lament this move, analysts in Japan seem quite pleased with it. “A brand this size needs only so many poster cars,” Kurt Sanger, an analyst with Deutsche Securities Japan, told AN.

Do you agree? Should the growing proliferation of performance vehicles, particularly Japanese brands, push Mazda back towards a rotary sports car? Have your say in Comments.

Mazda CEO closes door on talk of RX sports car revival originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Nov 2014 18:30:00 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 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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