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Toyota, Mazda will build $1.6B plant in Alabama that boasts 300,000-unit annual production capacity

A couple of months ago, we talked about the mutually beneficial long term partnership inked by two Japanese giant automakers, Toyota and Mazda. Later on, they revealed that this will involve the construction of a manufacturing facility located in the United States. But it is only now that they revealed where this will be built.

The Toyota-Mazda manufacturing facility will be built in Huntsville, Alabama, which is located 150 miles (241 kilometers) away from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the location of Mercedes-Benz’s plant.

To build this, both companies invested as much as $1.6 billion. The factory will employ about 4,000 people (a plan praised by the US president when he was in Tokyo), with a long-term goal of producing up to 300,000 cars annually.

Read the entire article Toyota, Mazda will build $1.6B plant in Alabama that boasts 300,000-unit annual production capacity

US-bound version of the new 2017 Mazda CX-5 has a starting price of $24,985

Now that the new 2017 Mazda CX-5 is already being sold in Japan, it won’t be long before it arrives in other markets around the world. Withproduction currently underway at the carmaker’s Ujina Plant No. 2 located near the carmaker’s global headquarters in Hiroshima, Japan, the 2017 Mazda CX-5 would soon arrive at Mazda’s showrooms in other countries. So, if you have plans to get a new Mazda CX-5 on your garage, perhaps knowing how much one cost would help.

According to the Japanese carmaker, the base version of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 will be available in the United States with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MRSP) of $24,045, plus $940 in destination charge ($985 in Alaska) or taxes, fees or additional charges. This means that the least expensive 2017 Mazda CX-5 – in Sport trim with front-wheel drive -- is available for $24,985. When the 2017 Mazda CX-5 Sport is specified with i-Activ AWD (all-wheel drive), the MSRP goes up to $25,345, excluding destination charges.

Meanwhile, the Touring model of the 2017 Mazda CX-5 FWD has an MSRP of $25,195 excluding destination charges. When the 2017 Mazda CX-5 i-Activ AWD is specified, the MSRP increases to $27,215, sans the destination charge. The 2017 Mazda CX-5 Touring could be availed with two trim packages. These are the Touring Preferred Equipment package that is available at an additional $780, and the i-ActiveSense package that comes at an extra $625.

Read the entire article US-bound version of the new 2017 Mazda CX-5 has a starting price of $24,985

US deliveries of 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF to begin in 2nd week of December

There are a number of things many people are grateful for this Thanksgiving. For car enthusiasts and customers in the U.S., there is another one to add to the list and this is all due to Mazda North American Operations. It should be recalled that there was much excitement with the launch of the 2017 MX-5 Miata RF, the hardtop version of Mazda’s bestseller. Then it was announced that the first unit would be shipped to the U.S. by the first quarter of 2017 or sometime in February.

It has now been revealed that Mazda will be shipping the units two months ahead of schedule. For this latest shipment, 500 units are expected to arrive in the early part of December, with deliveries scheduled for the second week.

The reason for this is that there was a production shift at its Japan facility resulting in the first batch of units ready to be shipped to the U.S. The brand had initially released 1,000 units of what it dubbed as the MX-5 RF Launch Edition back in October. Mainly based on the MX-5 RF’s Grand Touring Trim, the Launch Editions were finished in the exclusive Machine Gray. In addition, this was the only version of the MX-5 in the U.S. market through would have a top that has been hand-painted in black and Auburn Nappa leather inside.

Read the entire article US deliveries of 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata RF to begin in 2nd week of December

2016 Mazda CX-9 has a starting price of $31,520 in the United States

Mazda North American Operations has priced the 2016 Mazda CX-9, its newest three-row midsize crossover SUV, at MSRP starting from $31,520. In addition to the pricing, the company has also released its packaging information. The 2016 CX-9 has fun-to-drive handling dynamics, offers a first-rate experience, and comes with bold KODO, its Soul of Motion design.

MNAO’s Senior Vice-President for U.S. Operations Robert Davis said that the company had high expectations when it came to the 2016 CX-9 which included having a more responsive powertrain and providing a smoother yet quieter ride, among others.

As its flagship vehicle, Davis continued, the 2016 CX-9 shows the future of innovative technologies and features that the company believes will advance their vehicles in their respective segments. Under a Sport trim, the 2016 CX-9 will have the standard LED headlights and taillights, much like the 2016 MX-5 Miata roadster.

Read the entire article 2016 Mazda CX-9 has a starting price of $31,520 in the United States

Plans by Mazda Motor Corp. to launch a diesel car in the United States have been facing delays, and the Japanese may have to put off the launch even further following Volkswagen’s emissions scandal in the country that triggered global regulatory scrutiny on diesel technology.

According to Mazda spokeswoman Michiko Terashima, the carmaker’s engineers are trying to develop the Skyactiv-D engine to comply with US emissions standards sans any compromise in performance.

She added that Mazda has no specific time frame for introducing a diesel engine in the US but noted that VW’s scandal would not make the Japanese carmaker revise its plans. Many are seeing Mazda’s seemingly unclear launch plans for introducing diesel cars in the US as an example of collateral damage emanating from VW’s underhanded actions over US emissions tests.

Read the entire article VW emission scandal might affect Mazda’s diesel plans for the United States

It appears that Mazda didn’t abandon the idea of offering a diesel-powered Mazda6 in the United States. These words came from Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Mazda North American Operations, who said that the company is still very much committed to diesel and that they are still working on getting the performance aspects up to where they want them.

For those who don’t know, Mazda planned to offer the 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D turbocharged petrol engine back in 2013 but the company struggled to meet the tailpipe emissions standards in the United States.

The diesel models that are available overseas, the diesel engine delivers between 140 and 173 hp, while peak torque is 280 and 310 lb-ft.

Read the entire article Diesel-powered Mazda6 is still on its way to the United States

Mazda Motor Corp. admits that its Mazda2 hatchback has been sitting near the bottom of the subcompact car sales ranking in the United States so far this year. In fact, four of the top five subcompacts in the US are not Japanese cars anymore.

The current Mazda2 posted a 55-percent jump in sales in the first eight months of 2014 to 11,112 units, but is only good for 11th place in the US subcompact segment. Mazda hopes to change that soon with a redesign of the Mazda2 hatchback that will be rolled out in the US in 2015. After all, Mazda’s offering features its Skyactiv drivetrain, body and chassis technologies.

According to chief engineer Ayumu Doi, what will distinguish the new Mazda2 from other subcompacts are its improved drivetrain and sportier design as well as a more premium interior. He remarked that Mazda is aiming for an “upscale” in terms of quality feel."

Read the entire article 2015 Mazda2 aims to boost US subcompact sales and rankings for the Japanese company

Mazda Motor Corp. targets a significant surge in sales per outlet while also planning to get rid of underperforming dealerships. Mazda is focusing sales and marketing energies into 35 metropolitan markets it has identified as vital to its growth. Mazda’s plan calls for opening showrooms to replace outlets in poor locations or underperforming dealerships.

According to Akira Marumoto, executive vice president in charge of North America, Mazda commenced explaining the new strategy to dealers in October, saying that the carmaker will be "aggressive" with the shuffle. Marumoto remarked during the Tokyo Motor Show that their initiatives are “bearing fruit."

Mazda is on pace for a fourth consecutive year of higher sales in the United States. Mazda Chief executive Masamichi Kogai aims to sell 400,000 units in the US in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016, up a third from 300,000 units expected to be sold in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.

Read the entire article Mazda to replace underperforming US dealerships

Sales of light vehicles in the United States are estimated to top 16 million units next year, according to executives from Mazda, Toyota and Kia at the J.D. Power Western Automotive Conference. Jim O'Sullivan, chief executive of Mazda North American Operations, remarked during a panel that he is expecting auto sales growth in the US to continue three to five years from now.

He, however, said that auto sales growth in the US will be slow and steady, no thanks to economic headwinds brought by sluggish job growth and slow-rebounding housing markets. "There are still a lot of things that need to be worked out," O'Sullivan said. He also said that as long as the US auto industry sells around 16 million units, it still has three to five years of growth ahead of it.

Toyota Division general manager Bill Fay also expects sales in the US to exceed 16 million units in 2014, but said that the rate of growth next year would moderate from the gains experienced in the last few years.

Read the entire article Mazda, Toyota and Kia believe US sales of light vehicles will top 16 million units in 2014

The new chief executive of Mazda Motor Corp., Masamichi Kogai, is expecting the carmaker to achieve record sales in the United States in the next two years, as its recovers from years of losses thanks to increasing demand, new products and a lower cost structure. In an interview with Automotive News, Kogai remarked that Mazda's sales in the US should top 400,000 vehicles in the fiscal year endingMarch 31, 2016.

The sales target would exceed the record of 379,883 vehicles that Mazda set in 1986. The Japanese carmaker sold 277,046 vehicles in the calendar year 2012, with sales in the first 10 months of 2013 up 5 percent to 240,229 vehicles. Kogai aims for Mazda to sell 300,000 units in the current fiscal year ending March 31, 2014.

He expects the redesigned Mazda3 to drive the sales increase. Kogai expects Mazda to hike its US market share to up to 2.5 percent in the period, compared with a market share of 1.9 percent through October this year. Kogai disclosed to Automotive News that they have asked their dealers and distributors in the US to "pick up the challenge of hitting 400,000 units," a goal that will be influenced by the trend of the US industry.

Read the entire article Mazda CEO expects record US sales in next two years

Mazda said that its 2014 CX-9 crossover has a starting price of $30,780 (which includes destination costs). The 2014 model received just minor revisions as the 2013 Mazda CX-9 was subjected to a significant face lift, including a new Kodo-inspired front fascia. The new model features a fresh design on its 20-inch wheels.

Its Brilliant Black and Dolphin Gray paint options have been replaced with Jet Black Mica and Blue Reflex Mica. A 3.7-liter V-6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission are available with all the versions of the 2014 Mazda CX-9. Mazda offers front-wheel drive as standard. Those who want all-wheel drive will have to pay an extra $1590 while those who like the look of Mazda’s special Crystal White Pearl Mica paint will have to pay $200 more on any version.

Paying the base price gives you the 2014 Mazda CX-9 Sport front-wheel drive. Add $690 to the price and get a power driver’s seat, heated front seats, and heated mirrors. The Touring trim level is priced at $33,275 and features heated mirrors, automatic headlights, heated front seats, leather upholstery, a backup camera, rear parking sensors, and blind spot and rear cross-traffic warnings.

Read the entire article 2014 Mazda CX-9 starts at $30,780 in the United States

Mazda is delaying the launch of its diesel-powered Mazda6 mid-sized sedan in the United States until the second quarter of 2014 due to delays in emissions testing. Robert Davis, senior vice president of US operations for Mazda North American Operations, disclosed to Mazda employees through a letter obtained by Automotive News that Mazda6 sedans -- powered by Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter turbodiesel -- will be rolled out to US showrooms in April 2014, instead of before the end of 2013.

Mazda later confirmed that the diesel launch of the sedan would be postponed until late-spring 2014, "to accommodate final emissions testing and certification." The delay will slow down Mazda's plan to become the only Japanese carmaker to sell a diesel-powered passenger car in the US.

Mazda opted to deviate from the current trend of launching plug-ins, hybrids and plug-in hybrids and instead chose to offer diesel-powered vehicles as a key part of its fuel economy strategy. In the letter, Davis said that final emissions certification testing on the powertrain is taking longer than Mazda expected.

Read the entire article Mazda delays rollout of diesel Mazda6 in the US to April 2014

Mazda is planning to roll out its redesigned Mazda3 compact car in dealerships across the U.S. this fall, in a bid to top sales of 300,000 vehicles in the country, three dealers for the carmaker told Automotive News. According to the dealers, the Japanese carmaker disclosed to them that it plans to release the third generation Mazda3 this fall.

Automotive News had reported that Mazda will roll out the compact car later in 2013 or in early 2014. The fall rollout of the Mazda3 will complete a revamp of the carmaker’s entries in the three largest vehicle segments in less than two years. The Japanese carmaker rolled out its new CX-5 compact crossover last spring and its 2014 Mazda6 mid-sized sedan last month.

Mazda considers the new vehicles as well as a larger marketing presence, as vital to achieving its goals of selling over 300,000 units in the US in 2013 and of posting a sales growth that exceeds the industry's overall rate. The Mazda3 has been the carmaker’s best-seller since its debut in 2003 to replace the Protege.

Read the entire article Mazda to roll out the 2014 Mazda3 in the US this fall, say dealers

Mazda has released an enhanced version of the Mazda5 that now has more safety and convenience features as well as more style. This latest version of Mazda’s revolutionary compact MAV is available in any of these body colors: Zeal Red, Jet Black and Meteor Grey. This model is known for having brought back sliding back doors to compact vans.

For its interior, there’s a new seat trim throughout the dashboard panel décor to offer a clean piano black finish that gives an incredibly sleek look. The Mazda5 is already regarded to be one of the safest and most driver-oriented vans in the world but this upgraded version has upped its appeal with power folding side mirrors with integrated LED turn signals.

So that driving can be a bit easier, Mazda made driving slightly easier by adding “lane change” turn signals that could be activated by merely pressing down the turn signal lever, instantly shutting it off after blinking three times. Meanwhile, the tire repair kit reduces the weight of the Mazda5, leading to fuel savings.

Read the entire article 2013 Mazda5 receives minor upgrades

Pricing information for the all-new 2014 Mazda 6 has been announced at its consumer site. Destination charges are included in the $21,675 price tag of the base 6 with a 2.5-liter I-4 and a six-speed manual. The 2014 model is only $155 higher than the current Mazda 6. While this is not yet the official pricing list of the 2014 range, it’s expected that the base car has a starting price of below $22,000 and that the high-level Grand Touring is priced from $30,500.

It could be assumed that the price of the Grand Touring price tag is for a car equipped with the standard 2.5-liter Skyactiv four-cylinder that can deliver 184 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque. In GT guise, it will likely only be available with a six-speed automatic transmission. The same powerplant will be used by the base car. However, buyers can choose between six-speed automatic or manual transmissions.

The added price for the Mazda 6 GT will probably go to features like larger wheels; a moonroof; heated side mirrors; automatic wipers, headlights, and climate control; leather-trimmed heated seats; a power driver’s seat; and an upgraded sound system. It’s likely that a mid-grade Touring model will be positioned between these two extremes. However, it hasn’t been announced yet what the prices are for the added 2014 Mazda 6 trims levels.

Read the entire article 2014 Mazda 6 U.S. pricing announced

The all-new 2014 Mazda 6 sedan will provide an optional diesel engine when it starts selling later this year. Mazda displayed its frugal new diesel engine in the international versions of the new 6 sedan but until today, it’s not sure if the engine will be available in the U.S. Earlier this year, Mazda made a pledge that it will later install the SkyActiv-D 2.2 diesel in an American vehicle but no specific car was named.

Automakers don’t frequently offer diesel engines to the market for different reasons, one of which is the Americans’ usual dislike for compression-ignition engines. However, Mazda executives made a public commitment to sell more diesel engines (as well as more upscale models) in the U.S.

By doing this, Mazda would further boost its fuel-economy qualifications. Mazda hasn’t yet confirmed how much the 2.2-liter turbodiesel inline-four in the U.S. produces, the European 6 can deliver 173 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque from this engine. Mazda offers it with a choice between manual and automatic transmissions with six forward speeds. Its fuel economy can easily meet or exceed the 40 mpg mark on the highway.

Read the entire article 2014 Mazda6 will offer optional diesel engine in the United States

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.

Read the entire article Mazda wants to double its sales in the United States within four years

About 15%, or 107 employees, of Mazda's U.S. headquarters staff have accepted voluntary buyouts as part of the company’s restructuring plan. Documents submitted to the California state officials indicate that the employees will be released on July 2. The job cuts were confirmed by Mazda spokesman Jay Amestoy.

In early March, all 701 workers of Mazda’s U.S. employees were offered voluntary buyouts. Included in the offers are their separation pay, a lump-sum payment depending on years of service and assistance to find a new job. Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Mazda North American Operations, sent a memo to employees last March 7.

He informed employees that Mazda is faced with an “extremely challenging business environment” and so it had to reexamine its business to hasten “further cost improvements."

Read the entire article 107 U.S. employees accepted Mazda’s voluntary buyouts as part of firm’s restructuring plan

The Mazda CX-7 crossover will be discontinued for the U.S. market, the automaker confirmed during a recent press event. However, it will still be available in other countries. Sales of the CX-7 through February only averaged around 2,600 units each month. Mazda revealed that at the end of February, there were only 6,100 units of combined inventory and port stock available.

However, there had been no further dealer deliveries scheduled. It’s estimated that at this rate, dealers would run out of the CX-7 in May. In a recent interview, Robert Davis, Mazda's U.S. operations boss, said that the there’s no sound business case to support the CX-7 in passing the next set of U.S. emissions and safety certification obstacles.

Mazda hoped to pave the way for the new CX-5 and didn’t want its showrooms to be crowded with too many crossovers. The CX-5 has less overall length, wheelbase and width than the CX-7, but it still has a bigger interior. The CX-5 will be competing more directly with the major players in the compact crossover segment such as the Honda CR-V, Ford Escape and Toyota RAV4.

Read the entire article Mazda CX-7 to be discontinued in the United States this year

Mazda Motor Corp. is reexamining its business to “accelerate further cost improvements,” Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Mazda North American Operations, said in a memo sent to employees on March 7. Mazda has been reporting massive losses for the past four years and is now offering voluntary buyout packages to its American workers and as part of further efforts to reduce costs, there may be dismissals.

O’Sullivan said that Mazda is "in the midst of an extremely challenging business environment." This plan has been confirmed by Mazda spokesman Jeremy Barnes who said that Mazda has 701 U.S. workers. This announcement comes after the disclosure last month that its Japanese parent anticipates a net loss of 100 billion yen, or $1.2 billion, for the fiscal year that ends on March 31.

This will be the largest loss for Mazda in the last 11 years, mostly due to the impact of the strong yen. In the five regions of Mazda, just North America has reported a sales increase in the first three quarters of the fiscal year. Its U.S. sales are higher by 48% this calendar year until February. The memo stated further that this initiative will be done in three stages.

Read the entire article Mazda offers voluntary buyout packages to U.S. workers