Mazda Motor Corp. estimates that its redesigned Mazda5 minivans will sell 20,000 to 30,000 units annually in the US. The redesigned minivans will arrive in the market this January. Last year, Mazda's sales were up 16% from 2008 with 18,488 Mazda5s sold.
According to Thomas Pixton, Mazda's senior managing executive officer, sales are expected to increase due to the Mazda5's improved fuel economy and an interior that's more functional.
Pixton said that minivans have received bad press in the US lately but he asserts that the upcoming generation is composed of stylish minivans with dynamics that are close to that of sedans. He added that the new series features Mazda's smile-shaped grill and wave-inspired side styling.
Another upside to the revamped Mazda5 is that they offer up to 15% better mileage because of a direct-injection gasoline engine and the i-stop engine idle-stop technology.
To date, it is unconfirmed if the US version will be fitted with the start-stop feature. The interior had been redesigned to carry up to seven people in three rows.
The second and third rows can be used as extra storage space. The Japanese version is priced from ¥1.8 million or $20,300 (at current exchange rates). This August, a four-wheel-drive version will be released.