Mazda says it’s not canceling its slow-selling 6 sedan, despite reports

Article by Christian Andrei, on May 11, 2011

Mazda has denied a report from a Japanese business newspaper that it has decided to stop selling the 6 sedan. Mazda told Car and Driver that it doesn’t intend to discontinue the model. In a recent interview, Mazda’s U.S. CEO Jim O’Sullivan said that the current 6 lineup would be around for the next several years.

He also said that there won’t be significant changes to the 6 within the next two years except for the addition of new four-cylinder SKYACTIV engine and transmissions.

There is no diesel planned for the 6 in the foreseeable future but there is one planned for another Mazda product (believed to be either the CX-5 or CX-9) within the next 18 months. It’s possible that the Mazda 6 won’t be produced at the company’s Flat Rock, Michigan, facility, anymore.

Mazda shares this factory with Ford and it’s likely that Mazda will later transfer the production of the 6 to Mexico, which has cheaper labor. Ford recently asserted that at its UAW facilities, it pays $8/hour higher for labor compared to its non-union factories. The AAI plant, which builds the 6, is a UAW facility.

Mazda 6 has been an appealing proposition thanks to its aesthetic exterior and its roomy and functional interior. For the 2011 model year, the Japanese carmaker provided the updated model with its new family face and implemented a excellent selection of updates and upgrades inside. On the front end, the Mazda 6 is provided with new, more pointed and lowing fog lamps bezels that frame an "inner eye" -- a round fog lamp inside a lowing lower lid.

Aside from the newly designed headlamps, the front of the Mazda 6 is marked by an upper grille – black on all grades and body-colored on the Sports Grade -- with a new winged Mazda logo. It is also marked by deeply etched character lines that run from the grille between the fenders and the bonnet. Mirroring the winged motifs on the front are rear combination lamps -- the use of both clear lenses and LEDs -- with new chrome-plated winged decorations, making them appear wider and lower.

Customers are provided with a palette of 10 colors to choose from for the body. These include two new colors for the Mazda line-up -- Clear Water Blue Metallic and Midnight Bronze Mica -- and two new tones for Mazda 6 -- Graphite Mica and Black Mica. Customers could also choose between 17-inch and 18-inch aluminum wheels, both featuring a very sporty, 3d design.

These weigh one kilogram lighter than their predecessors. On the other hand, the interior of the new Mazda 6 has been more refined, featuring new decorative surfaces, new materials and new upholstery as well as new color combinations.

For instance, the cabin now features new chrome detailing with piano-black paneling, while knobs and switches for the climate control and audio dials, parking brake and the inner door handles are now chrome-plated.

Meanwhile, the interior’s audio and climate control panelling and its center stack frame are now in piano black, and so are the panel around the shift gate and the panel with the steering wheel buttons.

Standard models now feature matte-silver coating on decorative panels and a full-gloss silver-hairline finish for the Sports Grade model. Furthermore, seat upholstery is specified with new line patterns and with brown leather now available for customers wanting a more premium feel.

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