Mazda is planning to reduce its current workforce by 250 employees in Europe and the United States as part of the company’s efforts to further cut costs and put a stop to its string of annual losses, according to the Nikkei newspaper. The business daily said that Mazda will reduce the workforce of its subsidiary in Germany by a third to below 200 people, and will cut jobs in the United States by 20 percent to around 550 workers.
Last month, 107 of Mazda's employees in the US signed up to take buyouts as part of the restructuring of American operations. Mazda will implement the job cuts this fiscal year, according to business daily.
Mazda, however, has no plans to implement job cuts in Japan, but plans to restructure its sales administration operations this month by relocating some employees to its headquarters in Hiroshima from its Tokyo and Osaka offices, Nikkei reported. The company posted a 48 percent drop in net profit for the fourth quarter of its fiscal year to around JPY5.1 billion yen.
Mazda blamed the net profit dive to decreasing global sales, high costs of R&D, as well as to it heavy dependence on exports that makes it vulnerable to the strong Japanese yen. As part of its cost-cutting measures, Mazda recently disclosed an agreement with Fiat to jointly develop the next generation of Miata/MX-5 and Alfa Romeo Spider roadsters using a shared Mazda platform. The joint venture, however, does not involve any equity tie-ups.
The redesigned Mazda MX-5 offers a more enjoyable drive than before. The latest iteration of this historic roadster best-seller features more reactive accelerating and braking, as well as an assertive front design and improved enhanced pedestrian safety.
Mazda's technology team retuned the acceleration management for manual models to improve acceleration and the direct throttle response, particularly at slower speeds. By maximising the brake booster, the team also improved control over the brake return. The result is improved handling from exceptional load distribution from front to rear. Drivers will feel these improvements best when slowing through or speeding out of winding roads. The MX-5, always excellent on winding streets, now responds even more quickly.
Preventing pedestrian injuries
The newly designed MX-5 is also leading the pack in other ways. The new active hood automatically lifts the bonnet during a pedestrian impact, forming a bigger crumple zone to mitigate injuries, particularly those to the head. The reinforced lower part of the front bumper will better shield people's legs. The MX-5 is therefore set to meet the EU’s stricter standards for pedestrian safety.
When including the new safety elements, the designers redesigned the front of Mazda's classic two-seater. The recessed grille and newly designed bumper convey a wider low stance and a more forceful face, while the new fog light bezels and chin spoiler makes for better aerodynamics. Offered as a retractable hard top coupe or a classic soft-top convertible, the new MX-5 can come in one of eight colours including one brilliant new selection: Dolphin Grey. The glossed dark grey spokes of the steering wheel and panel inside deliver a polished sporty look.