Mazda said that sales in the US from January to September this year are up 9% to 174,770 vehicles. Notably, the carmaker failed to keep pace with the overall US market, which reported a 10% advance.
Nonetheless, CEO Takashi Yamanouchi anticipates to soon achieve a significant growth. Over the next five years, he predicts US sales to double to 400,000 units.
Mazda is relying on new green-car technologies, known collectively as SkyActiv, which is characterized by efficient gasoline engines and weight-cutting engineering.
Yamanouchi said that most models will be equipped with the fuel-saving features by 2015. He added that these are expected to push the brand more upmarket and likely command more premium pricing.
Meanwhile, Mazda has been suffering with the yen's surge against the dollar and uncertainty about its longtime partner, Ford Motor Co., which is believed to further cut its holdings in Mazda.
From Ford's stake of 33% in 2008, it has recently fallen to 11%. Furthermore, the carmaker wants to move its image upscale, and according to CEO Takashi Yamanouchi it appears that the Japanese manufacturer wants to aim for the upper nonpremium segment and gradually increase their positioning. [via autonews - sub. required]