Posts Tagged ‘mazda’

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 recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 18th, 2014

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2004 Mazda Tribute

The Mazda Tribute is being hit with a similar recall as its platform-mate the Ford Escape underwent a few weeks ago. Mazda is recalling 109,000 Tributes from model years 2001 to 2004. On the trucks, the subframe can rust from road salt, potentially causing the lower control arm to detach. If this happens, a loss of steering control could occur.

Mazda is adding a reinforcement crossbrace for added strength on the affected models. The recall covers Tributes currently registered in or originally sold in 20 northern states and Washington, DC, where road salt is used.

The reinforcement braces aren’t available yet to do the repair. Mazda will send a letter in May to owners of affected vehicles that will inform them of the problem, and a second letter telling them when the parts will be ready. Scroll down to read the full recall press release.

Continue reading Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue

Mazda recalls 109k Tribute models for rust issue originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Apr 2014 16:04:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 17th, 2014

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2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition

Ford may be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Mustang this week, but it’s not the only automaker with a sports car icon to fete at this year’s New York Auto Show. Mazda is also celebrating the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 Miata with an array of 15 classic models. It’s also showing off the chassis for the next MX-5, and unveiling a special 25th Anniversary Edition.

Next-gen Mazda MX-5 Skyactiv chassisThe special edition is based on the retractable hardtop model with either manual or automatic transmission, Bilstein shocks, a metallic red paint job with contrasting black roof and an off-white leather interior. Naturally, special badging can be found inside and out to set it apart from the record 940,000 other MX-5s sold to date, and just 100 examples will find their way to US buyers.

Along with the two-tone special, Mazda is also showing off the new Skyactiv chassis and engine that’ll underpin and power the upcoming next-generation MX-5 (as well as an as-yet-to-be-determined Fiat Group roadster if the two parties can work out their differences). With a lower center of gravity that’s also closer to the middle of the car, the new chassis promises even better balance and a good couple hundred pounds of weight savings over the outgoing model. Check it all out in the press releases below.

Continue reading Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis

Mazda reveals 25th anniversary edition MX-5 Miata alongside next-gen chassis originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 11:40:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda Miata 25th anniversary display is roadster heaven on Earth

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 17th, 2014

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Mazda Miata 25th Anniversary Display

As part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the MX-5 Miata, Mazda has put together a rather large display at its New York Auto Show booth, showing off significant models from the diminutive roadsters history.

The display represents a healthy split of volume models, with cars 14, 15 and 17 sitting alongside cars 500,000 and 700,000. There are also more than a few concept cars in the offering, such as the Super20 Concept we drove a few years back, as well as older offerings, like the Club Racer concept from the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, the M-Speedster from the 1995 Chicago show and the M Coupe from the 1996 New York Auto Show.

We’ve put together a gallery of images of the historical Miata display, which you can view above. Take a look and then let us know which of Mazda’s awesome roadsters is your favorite.

Mazda Miata 25th anniversary display is roadster heaven on Earth originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 17 Apr 2014 13:41:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2014 Mazda6: Winter’s End Update

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 14th, 2014

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2014 Mazda6 Long-term

The Winter Without End is seemingly dead. Outside my office windows, my brown and yellow lawn is fully exposed to the increasingly powerful sunshine, the morning birdsong is louder than anything until the garbage trucks start rolling, and I’m seriously considering having the summer tires put back on my personal fleet. That last one is a little scary, as I’m a firm believer in the April Snow Jinx, but you get the idea.

The long-term Mazda6 has also long since left my driveway. Looking back on my notes from the time it was in my charge, however, I see all remarks are dominated by one highlighted section at the top: “worst winter drive of all time.” I hardly need the reminder, to be honest. Here’s what happened.

When the Mazda showed up at my door, we’d already fitted the thing with its new winter rubber: Bridgestone Blizzaks. Plunking down for dedicated snow tires was a near necessity this year – as it almost always is in Michigan. We didn’t see much reprieve from snow-choked, iced over roads here in Ann Arbor, and the knobbier rubber proved invaluable in getting me out of my house time and again.

Continue reading 2014 Mazda6: Winter’s End Update

2014 Mazda6: Winter’s End Update originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 14 Apr 2014 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda spiders return, 42k Mazda6 sedans recalled for webby fuel tanks

Published by Mazda Blogs on April 5th, 2014

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2010 Mazda6 S sedan

It seems that Yellow Sac spiders really, really love Mazda. Three years after Mazda recalled 52,000 Mazda6 sedans over spider webs obstructing the evaporative canister vent lines of 2009 and 2010 Mazda6 models, another recall has been issued for 42,000 more of the models built between 2010 and 2012 and equipped with the 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine.

According to the automaker, there have been nine confirmed sightings of spiders in vent lines since the original recall. It seems that covers were applied at the factory to keep the arachnids from entering, but it hasn’t quite exterminated the problem. A reflash of the ECU is required that “[changes] the logic behind how the car purges the charcoal canister during normal operation,” says Jeremy Barnes, Director, Public Relations & Brand Experience at Mazda North American Operations.

So far, Mazda has not recorded any fires, accidents or injuries due to this tangled mess of webs. Recall notices will be mailed out to owners later this month. Scroll down below for the statement from Mazda, along with the official recall notice from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Continue reading Mazda spiders return, 42k Mazda6 sedans recalled for webby fuel tanks

Mazda spiders return, 42k Mazda6 sedans recalled for webby fuel tanks originally appeared on Autoblog on Sat, 05 Apr 2014 13:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Will Mazda show the next Miata’s chassis in NY?

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 21st, 2014

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Mazda MX-5 Miata Spy Shot

Mazda is being very sneaky about what it is bringing to the New York Auto Show, and it might have something to do with the next-generation MX-5 Miata. Australian website Motoring.com.au spoke to a company insider who told the Aussie publication that at least the chassis for the roadster will debut in Manhattan. As the rumor goes, the show will act as a kickoff for the PR campaign for the new model.

We contacted Mazda USA PR Director Jeremy Barnes to find out more, and he would neither confirm nor deny the rumor. “Just because you read it on the Internet doesn’t mean you should repeat it,” he said to Autoblog. That’s not exactly an outright denial.

Supporting evidence that the new droptop might be appearing in the Big Apple includes Mazda’s plan to celebrate the model’s 25th anniversary at the show. It’s bringing 15 cars from the first three generations to display. “It will be absolutely worth attending the New York Auto Show if you’re a Miata fan,” Barnes said. That at least hints that there might be something he’s not telling us. Otherwise, it’s a lot of sizzle without any new steak.

The new MX-5′s platform has been developed as a joint venture between Alfa Romeo and Mazda. However, there is now a question whether Alfa is going to actually use the platform, because Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly refuses to build the cars outside of Italy. Thankfully, the wait won’t be very long to find out whether some portion of the new Miata is being unveiled, because the New York Auto Show opens on April 16.

Will Mazda show the next Miata’s chassis in NY? originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 21 Mar 2014 15:43:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda to celebrate 25 years of MX-5 with 15 Miatas in New York

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 20th, 2014

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1989 Mazda Miata

Having first debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been on the market now for an impressive 25 years. So to celebrate that quarter-century anniversary, Mazda is bringing no less than 15 examples of the legendary roadster from throughout its history to the New York Auto Show this year.

Mazda isn’t saying just which versions of the MX-5 it’s bringing to the Javitz center this year, but with three generations to choose from and over 900,000 units built and sold, there are plenty of examples – including production versions, special editions and concept cars.

What would really put the cherry on this birthday cake, however, would be if Mazda were to surprise us in Manhattan with the debut of the highly anticipated fourth-generation Miata that we’re expecting to debut sometime this year.

The new MX-5 is tipped to go back to its roots style-wise, but grow in length ever so slightly to accommodate the requirements of Alfa Romeo, which was supposed to be partnering with Mazda on the development of the new roadster but is now said to be getting cold feet over the prospect of manufacturing an Alfa in Japan.

Continue reading Mazda to celebrate 25 years of MX-5 with 15 Miatas in New York

Mazda to celebrate 25 years of MX-5 with 15 Miatas in New York originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 20 Mar 2014 11:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Mazda3 sales off to rocky start despite massive critical acclaim [UPDATE]

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 19th, 2014

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2014 Mazda3

UPDATE: We’ve updated this post to include quotes and information from Eric Booth, Senior Manager of Public Relations at Mazda USA.

Like just about every other auto publication we’ve seen, we loved the way the Mazda3 drove when we reviewed it a few months ago, but those glowing reviews apparently aren’t helping its sales. The new compact may be falling victim to a sales war between the Toyota Corolla and Honda Civic, with the newcomer getting squeezed out by those with more established names and bigger marketing budgets.

According to Automotive News, Mazda3 sales have fallen every month since last August, and its sales are down 27 percent in the first two months of 2014. It certainly isn’t helping that the entire compact segment is down five percent this year as well.

The biggest problem for the new model seems to be its price compared to rivals. Mazda is not offering the incentives that are on the hood of competitors. With the previous generation, the company offered more than $2,700 on the hood to move them out, but the current model only carries about $1,233 in markdowns, according to AN. “We are not chasing sales volume; we are chasing profit,” says Eric Booth, Senior Manager of Public Relations at Mazda USA.

There is hope on the horizon, though. Mazda’s factory in Mexico will build 10,000 Mazda3s a month by June. “The Mexican plant will help Mazda profitability,” said industry analyst Stephanie Brinley of IHS Automotive to Autoblog. Also, keep in mind that the automaker has about half as many dealers as Toyota or Honda. Brinley said that the 3 doesn’t have to match the volume of the Corolla to be a success, but it “doesn’t want to get lost in the noise,” she said.

If the Mazda wants the 3 to keep up, it will need to find a way to either price the car more competitively or show customers why it’s worth the extra cash over the Corolla and Civic. It’s quite a challenge.

Mazda3 sales off to rocky start despite massive critical acclaim [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Tue, 18 Mar 2014 11:30:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll]

Published by Mazda Blogs on March 3rd, 2014

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Alfa Romeo 2uettottanta by Pininfarina

Alfa giveth and Alfa taketh away. With apologies to Job (he has gone through a lot, after all), that’s how things are looking at the Italian automaker – whether it’s the promise of new products or its impending return to the North American market. But it’s especially true when it comes to new roadsters.

While Alfa Romeo is expected to unveil the 4C Spider at the Geneva Motor Show this week, reports are now suggesting that its other roadster project is being called into question. That project is a joint venture between Fiat and Mazda, which was set to produce a version of its next MX-5 Miata as an Alfa Romeo, and was even changing the design to accommodate Alfa’s requirements.

Now it appears, however, that the whole project in doubt. The problem seems to stem from Sergio Marchionne’s pronouncements that, as long as he’s in charge, there won’t be an Alfa Romeo built outside of Italy.

The principal poses some problems, but also leaves some windows open. For one, it could mean that the Alfa project would be postponed until after Marchionne retires, but that’s not expected to happen any time soon. For another, it could mean that the Alfa roadster would be developed by Mazda and based on its architecture, but assembled back in Italy – although the deal is said to call for Mazda to do the manufacturing. The prospect that our colleagues at at Automotive News Europe are betting on, however, is that Marchionne will switch its commitment to Mazda to another brand.

Eliminating Ferrari, Maserati and Lancia as possibilities, ANE figures the project could be transferred to either Fiat or the Abarth performance brand. Bertone’s Fiat Barchetta concept looked promising in 2007, and Abarth was long rumored to get its own roadster – and both manufacture outside of Italy as it is. But for that matter, we wonder why – with Fiat and Chrysler now under the same umbrella – it couldn’t be done instead as a Dodge or SRT. The Copperhead concept of 1997 and the Demon of 2008 did show some promise, after all. What do you think?

View Poll

Fiat reconsidering Mazda-based Alfa Romeo roadster? [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 03 Mar 2014 10:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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