Mazda to hike output capacity of Skyactiv transmissions

Article by Anita Panait, on July 4, 2013

Mazda Motor Corp. will increase the production capacity for its Skyactiv transmission series in two years to meet an expected surge in demand for its next vehicle products that will be equipped with the gearboxes. Most of the increased output will be shipped to Mazda's new vehicle assembly site in Salamanca, Mexico that will start operating in 2014.

Mazda is currently building the Skyactiv transmissions at its Hofu site in Japan, which production capacity will be expanded to 1.14 million units annually in July 2014, from the current 750,000 units. Mazda will further increase the output for the transmission when it opens another site in Thailand by mid-2015.

Mazda announced in January that its new site in Thailand will have the capacity to produce 400,000 units annually. Mazda's Hofu and Thailand sites will ship the completed transmission to its vehicle assembly sites in other countries, according to a spokesman for the Japanese carmaker.

The spokesman disclosed that Mazda's assembly site in Mexico will initially source transmissions from either or both of the Hofu and Thailand gearbox plants. Mazda's Salamanca, site will produce the Mazda2 and Mazda3 models when it starts operations in 2014. It will have an annual production capacity of 230,000 vehicles by March 2016.

The Mazda3 produced in Salamanca will be equipped with Skyactiv technologies. The 2014 Mazda3 is the carmaker's third model -- after the CX-5 crossover and Mazda6 sedan -- to be fully redesigned with Skyactiv engine, transmission and lightweight chassis and body. Mazda said the Skyactiv automatic transmissions will provide a 7-percent improvement in fuel economy over its outgoing line.

When Mazda decided to be part of the compact crossover SUV class, a segment that itself is highly competitive, it knew that it needed to introduce a model that would not only look good. It has to be a vehicle that would deliver the driving passion and the amount of emotion customers have long expected from a Mazda model. Given all of these, Mazda said that CX-5 will sport the brand’s new design theme dubbed as the "KODO - Soul of Motion."

In fact, it will be the first production car to use this new motif. This theme was inspired by the idea of motion as well as the power and beauty that nature reveals. Because of this, the CX-5 is able to get that excellent balance when it comes to performance and style. It was in 2010 when Mazda first revealed to the public the KODO theme. This was under the 4-door Shinari, which was a sports coupe concept.

Following it was the compact crossover SUV concept known as the Minagi, the same model that would serve as the basis of the CX-5. Thus beginning with the CX-5, this theme will serve as the design for a new generation of models to be released by Mazda. These are models that offer more force, run faster, and show more soul when it comes to motion.

The KODO displays agility, emotion, and vitality, as its spirit can be seen in how animals move. For the CX-5, designers at Mazda looked at the fastest land animal, the cheetah. The design team studied how cheetahs were able to utilize their whole body like a spring and use a large amount of energy into motion while ensuring grace and dexterity.

Indeed, because of this beauty, the team made sure that the appearance of an SUV would be taken through new heights through the KODO. As such, the CX-5 has an exterior that shows both functionality and sturdiness. In addition, it also offers an elegant feel when it comes to motion while increasing the expectation of what is sure to be an exhilarating drive.

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