Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi said that the automaker aims to double its annual sales in the U.S. in only four years. Mazda plans to move the brand further upmarket and to bring in a new 2.2-liter diesel to the U.S. market. When interviewed by Automotive News, Yamanouchi said that “if we make ordinary cars for the mass market, there is no reason for us to exist.”
Rather, what Mazda will do is to go up to a niche that’s regarded as “Japan premium” that would place Mazda in the same position as Saab, which was to be higher than mass market but not yet a full-fledged luxury brand. Mazda plans to begin with 2014 Mazda 6 sedan that’s set to debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Mazda seeks to overtake its present rivals by leveraging its stylish designs and its new in-car and powertrain technologies. Mazda will also put on display its twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter Skyactiv clean-diesel I-4 for the North American market at the L.A. show. This is actually the first time in a long period that Mazda has offered an oil-burning engine in the region.
Mazda thinks that the diesel option will help align it better with premium diesel options from Mercedes-Benz, BMW, and Audi and less with Toyota and Honda, which are focused on hybrids.
The European-spec CX-5 is equipped with a diesel engine that delivers 173 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. The official U.S. figures are likely to be released later in the week. Mazda has been concentrating on the new technologies and more stylish designs. At the same time, it is improving the customer service at its dealerships to help provide a premium feel to the brand experience.