Mazda Looks to Expand by 2016, Thinks Premium, Adds Diesel

By Matthew Askari | November 26, 2012
Mazda is looking to reposition itself in the U.S., and big changes are planned to help the comparatively small Japanese automaker get there. Currently, Mazda accounts for two percent of global auto sales, but according to a report in Automotive News, Mazda CEO Takashi Yamanouchi is hoping to raise sales in North America to 400,000 units by 2016. That would be an increase of 43 percent over the next three years, an ambitious goal to say the least. But Mazda has a plan. The automaker is planning to unleash a barrage of new models over the next couple of years, and a new, more upscale brand image will play a major role. Mazda is hoping new technologies and its bold new styling, inspired by the Kodo design language, will be the primary catalyst. The automaker is betting the new design and features will raise Mazda's residual values, and overall appeal. Additionally, dealerships will look to offer a more premium service, to strengthen bonds with customers. And while Mazda is banking on its fuel-sipping Skyactiv technologies to offer the efficiency Americans desire, it will also be bringing its diesel engines to the U.S. Japanese competitors such as Toyota and Honda have invested in hybrid technology to combat the gas pumps, but Mazda may be looking to the Germans on this front. Like Volkswagen, Audi, and BMW, Mazda is looking to offer high-mileage diesel powered cars and SUVs that are slowly gaining favor. At the 2012 LA Auto Show slated to kick off later this week, Mazda will officially announce its plans to bring its 2.2-liter Skyactiv-D diesel engine to America. The engine is already hard at work in Mazda's other global markets in the 2013 Mazda CX-5, and may make its U.S. debut in the hotly anticipated 2014 Mazda6.
Source: Automotive News