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Old 08-30-2022, 02:34 AM   #1
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Default Mazda pursues U.S. price hikes as profits plunge

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Mazda pursues U.S. price hikes as profits plunge



Compared with the older CX-5 compact crossover, for example, the CX-50 that was introduced this year is fetching loftier purchase prices, partly by luring buyers at higher trim levels.

Meanwhile, Mazda began raising regional prices in April to cover soaring input prices.

Mazda is betting on an upmarket portfolio shift that hinges on a global blitz of new large crossovers that follow the CX-50. The strategy will begin unfolding this year in Europe and Japan with the launch of the two-row CX-60. That model will be followed by two U.S.-focused stablemates, the CX-70 and CX-90, starting next year.

Aided by ultratight demand, Mazda's incentive spending in the U.S. fell to a record low of $650 per vehicle in July, Aoyama said. North American sales plunged in the April-to-June quarter on pinched production. But Mazda expects regional volume to increase for the full fiscal year.

"Although there are negative factors such as inflation and rate hikes, we think consumer sentiment and car demand will remain strong since used-car residual values have been at high levels and we have been unable to deliver vehicles fully over the past few years," Aoyama said.

"We will continue to pursue raising vehicle prices, along with efforts to improve the model mix and keep low incentive levels," he added.

Aoyama's assessment came as Mazda Motor Corp. reported financial results for the fiscal first quarter ended June 30. Hammered by lost production and slumping sales, Mazda posted a •19.5 billion ($143 million) operating loss in the period compared with a profit the year before.

Spiraling costs for raw materials such as steel and precious metals further undercut earnings. Skyrocketing prices chopped some •30 billion ($220 million) off quarter operating profit.
A beneficial foreign exchange rate was the biggest tail wind for the carmaker based in Hiroshima.

The Japanese yen's dramatic weakening against the U.S. dollar and other currencies added •17.9 billion ($131.3 million) to the bottom line in the April-to-June period. That was enough to drive a 32 percent increase in net income to •15 billion ($110 million).

Worldwide output slumped 22 percent to 209,000 vehicles as pandemic-related lockdowns in Shanghai crimped the supply of semiconductors and other components for Japanese plants.

In turn, global wholesale volume slumped 36 percent, to 166,000 vehicles. Shipments to the North American market slumped 37 percent to 64,000, as European volume fell 57 percent.

"The first quarter was off to a slow start as expected due largely to a production decline from parts shortages from China," Senior Managing Executive Officer Masahiro Moro said. "But the quality of sales and unit sales have improved, and our new models are well received. So we have high resilience and will take the necessary steps to recover as soon as possible."

Mazda said production is already rebounding, with the resumption of activity in Shanghai. It predicted a 19 percent increase in wholesale volume to 1.18 million vehicles this fiscal year.

Mazda forecast that uncertainty in global semiconductor supply will drag into 2023.
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Old 08-30-2022, 03:16 AM   #2
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Sad.. but they're stuck following the anti-EV precedent set by Japan/Toyota. All these decades studying burning hydrogen in ICEs has left them far behind.

It's a real shame, but their newest SUVs, while extremely handsome, are not at all sporty, and their push upmarket is working about about as well as Subaru's attempt in the mid-'00s. Their new I6 RWD/AWD platform is a decade too late.

Shame, too.. the CX-90 is going to launch soon in Europe, but is years from coming to the USA, and it's the only vehicle (aside from a Miata) with a Mazda badge that's even remotely in the running for my next new car purchase (in PHEV, please).
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Old 08-30-2022, 02:48 PM   #3
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I'm surprised Mazda hasn't been bought up, Mitsubishi should just can their whole line up, buy Mazda and convert any remaining Mitsu dealers to Mazda.

I won't need a cargo hauler for 2-3 years most likely but when I do a CX50 sized vehicle with some towing capability would be fine.

Only thing is Kia and Hyundai are nailing it on design and features for the price so...
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Old 08-30-2022, 04:26 PM   #4
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I applaud Mazda's attempt to try and shift direction. I'm excited for their RWD platform and I6 engines. Just like I was excited for the Skyactiv-X technology that has yet to make it to the states.

I'm afraid they are moving too slow for their own good. And obviously the economic constraints that the industry is facing are harder on a company as small as Mazda.

We strongly considered a Mazda3 when we bought our most recent Impreza. Got as far as talking numbers but by the time the dealer was willing to negotiate, we'd already made our purchase elsewhere.

I recommend Mazdas whenever I can, because as long as the size is right for you, most non-enthusiats won't even notice the simpler rear suspension. Mazdas aren't as zoom-zoom anymore but they are great places to be and 2.5ltr engines whether turbo or not are powerful enough for their price points. And now that their CUVs are standard AWD they are still a bargain even in their bid to be more premium.

The question for Mazda now is, if their investment in more premium products will pay off in allowing them to raise prices and increase their margins. It's safe to say that Mazda isn't going to beat the Koreans at entry level value and volume. They need to be making more money off their fewer sales ASAP.

People complain that Japan doesn't often enough compete with Germans because so many of their premium offerings are FWD instead of RWD. Maybe Mazda's new platform will help, but I imagine it's badge as much as drive wheels that get people into German dealerships. And I don't think Mazda has the money to go toe to toe with Genesis. So where will their prices land? And will they find a balance between profit margins and volume?

I fear they are never going to see a return on their investment if they end up competing with Buick, Infiniti, and Acura.
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Old 08-30-2022, 04:45 PM   #5
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Mazdas have been in a "sweet spot" for quite awhile now among Japanese automakers as far as price/quality goes IMO. Their interior quality has generally been a noticeable step above Honda/Toyota while competing at a similar price point. I've always wondered if it's just a matter of time before they start moving upmarket. They're certainly not big enough of a brand to have a luxury subrand i.e. Lexus or Acura.

Here are YoY (MY2022 to MY2023) price increases for the CX-5 which is by far their most popular and successful model. These are not that bad IMO and certainly nowhere near as egregious as dealer markup, which it seems like some Mazda dealerships are adamant on tacking on and refusing to budge. I've been looking into both the CX-5 and CX-50 for my next car so I've done some research on forums and whatnot as far as dealership experiences go and this is what everyone has been echoing. $2K-5K on top seems to be pretty common. Some dealers even refuse test drives. The arrogance of dealers is likely what will be dealbreakers for a lot of buyers IMO...not minor MSRP price hikes. I just hope that enough consumers are smart enough to say "buzz off" to shady dealership practices and stand their ground. Obviously everything I just said is YMMV and highly dependent on your specific area, so take it with a grain of salt.

Quote:
CX-5 2.5 S: $27,975 ($850 more than in 2022)
CX-5 2.5 S Select: $29,775 ($650 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Preferred: $30,865 ($480 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Carbon Edition: $31,775 ($270 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Premium: $33,675 ($140 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus: $36,775 ($1,600 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Turbo: $38,125 ($500 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Turbo Signature: $40,925 ($1,050 more)
https://www.autoblog.com/2022/07/26/...ice-increases/
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Old 08-30-2022, 04:45 PM   #6
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Mazdas have been in a "sweet spot" for quite awhile now among Japanese automakers as far as price/quality goes IMO. Their interior quality has generally been a noticeable step above Honda/Toyota while competing at a similar price point. I've always wondered if it's just a matter of time before they start moving upmarket. They're certainly not big enough of a brand to have a luxury subrand i.e. Lexus or Acura.

Here are YoY (MY2022 to MY2023) price increases for the CX-5 which is by far their most popular and successful model. These are not that bad IMO and certainly nowhere near as egregious as dealer markup, which it seems like some Mazda dealerships are adamant on tacking on and refusing to budge. I've been looking into both the CX-5 and CX-50 for my next car so I've done some research on forums and whatnot as far as dealership experiences go and this is what everyone has been echoing. $2K-5K on top seems to be pretty common. Some dealers even refuse test drives. The arrogance of dealers is likely what will be dealbreakers for a lot of buyers IMO...not minor MSRP price hikes. I just hope that enough consumers are smart enough to say "buzz off" to shady dealership practices and stand their ground. Obviously everything I just said is YMMV and highly dependent on your specific area, so take it with a grain of salt.

Quote:
CX-5 2.5 S: $27,975 ($850 more than in 2022)
CX-5 2.5 S Select: $29,775 ($650 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Preferred: $30,865 ($480 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Carbon Edition: $31,775 ($270 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Premium: $33,675 ($140 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Premium Plus: $36,775 ($1,600 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Turbo: $38,125 ($500 more)
CX-5 2.5 S Turbo Signature: $40,925 ($1,050 more)
https://www.autoblog.com/2022/07/26/...ice-increases/
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Old 08-30-2022, 08:03 PM   #7
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Default Mazda Drops Entry-Level CX-9 Sport For 2023, Crossover Now Starts $38,750




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Mazda Drops Entry-Level CX-9 Sport For 2023, Crossover Now Starts $38,750


Mazda is revamping the CX-9 lineup for 2023 and buyers are in for some sticker shock as the crossover now starts at $38,750.

Thatís a sizable jump from the old base price of $35,280 and the increase is largely due to the elimination of the entry-level Sport trim.

As a result, the 2023 CX-9 comes standard in a well-equipped Touring trim that features LED lighting units, privacy glass, and a power moonroof. The crossover also boasts a power liftgate and 18-inch alloy wheels with a gray metallic finish.



Moving into the cabin, buyers will find six leather-wrapped seats with heating and power adjustment up front. Other highlights include a tri-zone automatic climate control system, a wireless smartphone charger, and a 10.25-inch infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay compatibility.

The amenities donít end there as other highlights include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry system with a push button ignition, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink. Buyers will also find a three month or 2GB Wi-Fi hotspot trial and three years of complimentary Mazda Connected Services.

Speaking of tech, the CX-9 has an assortment of standard driver assistance systems including Mazda Radar Cruise Control with Stop and Go, Smart Brake Support with collision warning, and Advanced Smart City Brake Support with pedestrian detection. Theyíre joined by Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, and Lane Departure Warning with Lane Keep Assist.


The rest of the lineup appears to largely carryover, but prices have both declined and increased. The 2023 CX-9 Touring sees a $1,320 jump, while the CX-9 Touring Plus is now $160 cheaper. The Carbon Edition climbs $1,200 as does the Grand Touring variant. Lastly, thereís the range-topping CX-9 Signature, which begins at $48,460 for a $1,250 increase.

The 2023 Mazda CX-9 will arrive at U.S. dealerships this fall and all variants are powered by a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine that develops up to 250 hp (186 kW / 253 PS) and 320 lb-ft (433 Nm) of torque when running on premium. Itís connected to a six-speed automatic transmission and a standard all-wheel drive system.

Note: 2021 model shown and prices exclude a $1,275 destination and handling fee ($1,320 in Alaska)





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Old 09-06-2022, 09:31 AM   #8
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Really milking the touring thing aren't they. Trims used to be:

Base
Sport
Touring
Grand Touring

It's a Mazda, resale is going to be dismal when compared to Toyota/Honda. The real savior for Mazda had been the CX5. Now they have the CX-50, which as I have come to understand is all show with virtually no go to match it's "Rugged" looks and stance. Shame really cause I'd hate to see Mazda going down the same way as Mitsubishi.
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Old 09-06-2022, 09:47 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
Really milking the touring thing aren't they. Trims used to be:

Base
Sport
Touring
Grand Touring

It's a Mazda, resale is going to be dismal when compared to Toyota/Honda. The real savior for Mazda had been the CX5. Now they have the CX-50, which as I have come to understand is all show with virtually no go to match it's "Rugged" looks and stance. Shame really cause I'd hate to see Mazda going down the same way as Mitsubishi.
Surprised there is not a ďSignature Grand Touring.Ē

In all honesty, I really did like the top trim with awd turbo.
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Old 09-06-2022, 09:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Scooby-Doode View Post
Now they have the CX-50, which as I have come to understand is all show with virtually no go to match it's "Rugged" looks and stance. Shame really cause I'd hate to see Mazda going down the same way as Mitsubishi.
Huh, the CX-50 seems to be well received, but competent new vehicles are often doted on, even when they are average. I've seen a handful of the CX-50's in person and they look fantastic. A CX-50 with the upcoming RAV4 hybrid drivetrain would make a great daily driver.

For the turbo 2.5L, I think 0-60 is 7.0s.

https://www.motortrend.com/reviews/2...-drive-review/

Quote:
It should come as no surprise the 2023 Mazda CX-50 is at its best on a sharp, twisty road, where its admirably precise steering and well-damped suspension give the kind of precision we expect from a German sports car. Mazda's G-Vectoring system makes smart use of the center and rear differentials to control weight transfer; among its tricks, it keeps weight on the front end to sharpen corner turn-in. Few cars (let alone SUVs) respond so intuitively to steering inputs as the CX-50-like the Miata, you can practically think it through the curves.

Last edited by DougNuts; 09-06-2022 at 03:46 PM.
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Old 09-06-2022, 12:30 PM   #11
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We were gonna purchase a CX-50, actually test drove one over the weekend, but 2 deal breakers: lack of rear headroom and lack of a hybrid option. I'm 5'11" and my head touched the roof while in the rear seats. Not a big issue since I'd probably ride in the front the majority of the time, but taking 3 adults in that car would get old quick.
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Old 09-06-2022, 01:00 PM   #12
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We were gonna purchase a CX-50, actually test drove one over the weekend, but 2 deal breakers: lack of rear headroom and lack of a hybrid option. I'm 5'11" and my head touched the roof while in the rear seats. Not a big issue since I'd probably ride in the front the majority of the time, but taking 3 adults in that car would get old quick.
I'm waiting for them to fix the rear suspension. It sags something awful under load and not even towing. It has a decent tow rating, but I would not trust it to tow knowing this. And the only reason I'd consider one is the option to tow I currently do not have.

I love the looks of them.
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Old 09-06-2022, 04:14 PM   #13
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Mazdas have been in a "sweet spot" for quite awhile now among Japanese automakers as far as price/quality goes IMO. Their interior quality has generally been a noticeable step above Honda/Toyota while competing at a similar price point. I've always wondered if it's just a matter of time before they start moving upmarket. They're certainly not big enough of a brand to have a luxury subrand i.e. Lexus or Acura.
Really only Toyota has thrived in the luxury segment. You can argue Nissan and Honda would be better off pulling the plug on their luxury brands that barely tread water. I feel Mazda is trying to offer vehicles for a segment that doesn't exist as most people seek Japanese vehicles for affordability and dependability, not luxury. Value is still king in the compact and midsize family segments. There is still a place for Mazda in the industry but it's extremely important that they remain as close as possible in pricing to an equivalent Honda or Toyota. If their offerings start blurring the lines to higher up offerings they won't stand a chance.
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Old 09-06-2022, 04:43 PM   #14
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Really only Toyota has thrived in the luxury segment. You can argue Nissan and Honda would be better off pulling the plug on their luxury brands that barely tread water. I feel Mazda is trying to offer vehicles for a segment that doesn't exist as most people seek Japanese vehicles for affordability and dependability, not luxury. Value is still king in the compact and midsize family segments. There is still a place for Mazda in the industry but it's extremely important that they remain as close as possible in pricing to an equivalent Honda or Toyota. If their offerings start blurring the lines to higher up offerings they won't stand a chance.
Mazda seems pretty well online in terms of pricing when I went to their site. Maybe Iím missing something?
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Old 09-06-2022, 04:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heavyD View Post
Really only Toyota has thrived in the luxury segment. You can argue Nissan and Honda would be better off pulling the plug on their luxury brands that barely tread water. I feel Mazda is trying to offer vehicles for a segment that doesn't exist as most people seek Japanese vehicles for affordability and dependability, not luxury. Value is still king in the compact and midsize family segments. There is still a place for Mazda in the industry but it's extremely important that they remain as close as possible in pricing to an equivalent Honda or Toyota. If their offerings start blurring the lines to higher up offerings they won't stand a chance.
Something for you to consider for thought. I agree with you 100% on the fact that nissan and honda are not really well served with the move upmarket, and people for years have said they need to drop the luxury line and absorb the best parts into the home brand. This is especially true for Honda/Acura.

I would offer this. Maybe Mazda agrees with you. They are foregoing the creation of a separate upmarket brand and just moving the base brand up market a bit. I would say they are doing exactly we have been telling acura to do.

WHat are you thoughts?
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Old 09-06-2022, 08:01 PM   #16
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I guess the question that needs answering is how much upmarket do they want to move - at least in terms of price. A $1.5K increase in price shouldn't be enough to turn away too many buyers IMO. Many of their models/trims got much smaller price bumps ($400-500).

I still feel that their cars are reasonably priced even with the price hikes. Now if they go balls out and start offering $70K+ vehicles then I would say that they are biting off more than they can chew.
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Old 09-07-2022, 12:23 AM   #17
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I guess the question that needs answering is how much upmarket do they want to move - at least in terms of price. A $1.5K increase in price shouldn't be enough to turn away too many buyers IMO. Many of their models/trims got much smaller price bumps ($400-500).

I still feel that their cars are reasonably priced even with the price hikes. Now if they go balls out and start offering $70K+ vehicles then I would say that they are biting off more than they can chew.
Agreed with most of this. Mazda seems like itís in a weird spot. They donít strike me as upmarket but are also above a standard non ďluxuryĒ vehicle in the CUV / SUV segment. I think they either need to go balls out and become true luxury with great tech offering and compete with Genesis or move it down and compete with your more common standard level brands.

Iíd like to see them move upmarket and compete with Genesis.
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Old 09-07-2022, 09:00 AM   #18
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Mazda always drops the ball in some manner. The CX9 would sell way better if it had a second row passthrough. Who wants a 7 seater where you have to climb over the 2nd row? It was clearly designed as a fancy 4 seater. We would have bought one, got the stupid Ascent instead.

The CX-5 nailed it, no real flaws, that's why it sells so great.
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Old 09-07-2022, 09:09 AM   #19
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Iíd like to see them move upmarket and compete with Genesis.
I agree. This is where they need to be competing. Hopefully the rwd architecture helps them to justify the change to consumers.

But right now a CX-9 tops out around $50k and a GV80 starts at $55k. So that begs the question how far and how soon can they jump? And how attached are they to their existing customer base?

Maybe the CX-90 is priced like a GV80 but has the space of a GLS or X7? So still a bit of a value proposition without much compromise besides badge?

I guess it's a given that it will overlap with the CX-9 for a bit as the other new crossovers have with their predecessors.

I'm most interested in a rwd sedan from Mazda though. So I hope they don't ditch it and just go for an all crossover lineup.
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Old 09-07-2022, 02:27 PM   #20
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Mazda always drops the ball in some manner. The CX9 would sell way better if it had a second row passthrough. Who wants a 7 seater where you have to climb over the 2nd row? It was clearly designed as a fancy 4 seater. We would have bought one, got the stupid Ascent instead.

The CX-5 nailed it, no real flaws, that's why it sells so great.
I've been actively looking for my next car, even though I don't plan to buy one for a few years (hopefully the used market cools off by then). The CX-5 and CX-50 are at the top of my list. My main gripe with the CX-5 is that it doesn't look great from behind, which is of course subjective. The CX-50 looks a lot better all around IMO. I think all Mazdas look great in the front but underwhelming in the back.

My other gripe is the lack of a hybrid powertrain. The 2.5 NA gets ok gas mileage. The turbo is not great but of course that's the tradeoff. It'd be nice to have a hybrid option.

Other cars I'm looking at include the Forester, Rav4, and CRV. The Forester has that "cool" outdoorsy Subaru image but it seems like you get less for more money. You can get leather, power seats, etc. for under $30K in the CX-5 whereas you'd need to pony up to around $33K for the Forester. Rav4 is attractive on paper but Toyota dealers are atrocious from what I've heard re: markup and long order times. The upcoming 2023 CRV will be a new generation and looks very sharp, maybe the best of the bunch IMO. I'd be keen on a CRV Hybrid Sport Touring from what I've seen and read so far, but of course it's not out yet so I'll have to wait for real-world reviews.

Back to Mazda, I do fancy their paint options more than the other brands. Their red is fantastic and absolutely stunning in person, and that new sand/khaki color on the CX-50 is fantastic. Even their greys are great. Subaru in comparison is quite lackluster.
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Old 09-07-2022, 04:16 PM   #21
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I took a hard look at the CX-5 and 50 before buying a CRV-Hybrid for the family. I have always been a Mazda fan and the 5 and 50 are nice for what you get, but the MPG was a concern (I was looking at the base NA engine) but what stood out to me was how much more room the CRV and Rav4 had in the back for storage and than the CX5 (50 was slightly better than the 5) but also the Honda had a bigger second row which was important to me.
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Old 09-19-2022, 04:28 PM   #22
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I have a 2021 Miata and may be looking for another 4 door car in the next year or two. The lack of plug in hybrid options is disappointing.
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Old 09-19-2022, 09:05 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by OldBlu View Post
I applaud Mazda's attempt to try and shift direction. I'm excited for their RWD platform and I6 engines. Just like I was excited for the Skyactiv-X technology that has yet to make it to the states.

I'm afraid they are moving too slow for their own good. And obviously the economic constraints that the industry is facing are harder on a company as small as Mazda.

We strongly considered a Mazda3 when we bought our most recent Impreza. Got as far as talking numbers but by the time the dealer was willing to negotiate, we'd already made our purchase elsewhere.

I recommend Mazdas whenever I can, because as long as the size is right for you, most non-enthusiats won't even notice the simpler rear suspension. Mazdas aren't as zoom-zoom anymore but they are great places to be and 2.5ltr engines whether turbo or not are powerful enough for their price points. And now that their CUVs are standard AWD they are still a bargain even in their bid to be more premium.

The question for Mazda now is, if their investment in more premium products will pay off in allowing them to raise prices and increase their margins. It's safe to say that Mazda isn't going to beat the Koreans at entry level value and volume. They need to be making more money off their fewer sales ASAP.

People complain that Japan doesn't often enough compete with Germans because so many of their premium offerings are FWD instead of RWD. Maybe Mazda's new platform will help, but I imagine it's badge as much as drive wheels that get people into German dealerships. And I don't think Mazda has the money to go toe to toe with Genesis. So where will their prices land? And will they find a balance between profit margins and volume?

I fear they are never going to see a return on their investment if they end up competing with Buick, Infiniti, and Acura.
Mazda has the interiors and ride to compete with BMW/Audi, they just need a new name. Create a luxury brand, call it BadgeHound, itíll sell like hotcakes.
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Old 09-19-2022, 09:15 PM   #24
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I took a hard look at the CX-5 and 50 before buying a CRV-Hybrid for the family. I have always been a Mazda fan and the 5 and 50 are nice for what you get, but the MPG was a concern (I was looking at the base NA engine) but what stood out to me was how much more room the CRV and Rav4 had in the back for storage and than the CX5 (50 was slightly better than the 5) but also the Honda had a bigger second row which was important to me.
Yeah, the CX5 is pinched in on the hindquarters and the sloping trunk, both cut into rear and trunk space. Itís fine if you need a smaller SUV, but they end up with each model being smaller than the competition.
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Old 09-22-2022, 05:54 PM   #25
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Something for you to consider for thought. I agree with you 100% on the fact that nissan and honda are not really well served with the move upmarket, and people for years have said they need to drop the luxury line and absorb the best parts into the home brand. This is especially true for Honda/Acura.

I would offer this. Maybe Mazda agrees with you. They are foregoing the creation of a separate upmarket brand and just moving the base brand up market a bit. I would say they are doing exactly we have been telling acura to do.

WHat are you thoughts?
I've personally been saying for a while now since just before I bought mine, Mazda is becoming the carmaker Acura *should* be. Affordable, relatively luxurious, well-built, and even innovating some interesting new technologies the way Honda/Acura used to (SkyActiv design/development, SkyActiv-X engine tech, G-vectoring Control, improving ergonomics, etc.). They are positioning themselves to move upmarket, but they've done it in what I think is probably the smartest way versus launching a new brand; they've been keeping themselves priced relatively competitive with their conventional competition while offering luxury/near-luxury quality interiors in their highest trim levels. The newer Premium and Signature trims are good examples of this.

My Mazda3 is 8 years old now, but I have a Grand Touring model with leather and all the bells and whistles, and I still get friends and strangers regularly complimenting the interior quality and even asking if the car is new. You can still get a base Mazda, but when you move up to the higher trims you're sitting in something very much competitive with an Acura or Infiniti. Also, the higher in the model range you go, the more pronounced the difference is. I think this will smoothly gel with the plan to move the more expensive models to the new RWD platform.
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