By on July 2, 2010

Just yesterday, I noted in my write-up on Mazda’s June sales performance that

with a Nagare-saddled Mazda5 replacement waiting in the wings, Mazda isn’t even well positioned to defend the segment it helped define in the US market, just as GM finally starts taking it seriously

Well, today Mazda announced to Automotive News [sub] that it would be targeting 30k annual sales of the Mazda5′s “Nagare-saddled” replacement. Last year’s 18,488 units was the second-best sales year on record for the 5, as sales fell from 2008′s all-time high of 22,021. In short, Mazda’s compact CUV has always been at least 8k units away from its new Mazda5 sales goal. On the other hand, Mazda never properly marketed the 5, and both GM and Ford are moving into the segment with the GMC Granite and Ford C-Max. Will Detroit’s move into this otherwise-ignored segment (currently contested by only the 5 and the Kia Rondo) bring buyers in, or force already-marginalized players like Mazda out? The fate of the 5 seems to hang on the answer to that one question.

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20 Comments on “Ask The Best And Brightest: Can Mazda Sell 30k Mazda5s Every Year?...”


  • avatar
    mjz

    They’ve ruined it! No wonder Mazda is going in a new styling direction.

    • 0 avatar
      Sammy Hagar

      Hmmm…I don’t know if you can “ruin” something that was already pretty blech. Don’t get me wrong: I thought the Mazda5 was an interesting vehicle (sliding rear doors, 6-passenger seating), but it was very boring and somewhat overpriced, IMO. Plus, it didn’t feel like a good fit for the Mazda3/Mazda6 “Zoom-Zoom” cult.

      As for the C-Max, sure wish Ford would have tried rear-sliders on it…makes all the difference in the world when loading brats and cargo.

  • avatar
    thalter

    Nope. Neither will Ford, GM, or anyone else, until gas goes back above $4.

    We won’t see demand for European style vehicles until we have European style gas prices.

  • avatar
    BryanC

    I’m so glad I bought mine before they changed the styling. I was expecting them to add that crazy smile to the front, since they want the family resemblance to the Mazda3 to be obvious. But I was surprised they made the tail lights so conventionally minivan.

    The curvy creases are distracting. Sigh.

  • avatar
    tj12

    With all of those busy character lines, it looks like they may have borrowed Hyundai’s designer for this one. Definitely a lot going on there…

  • avatar
    JKC

    Looks like a mutant carp as imagined by the illegitimate spawn of Salvador Dali and Speed Racer.

  • avatar
    racebeer

    I never thought I would catch myself saying this, but OMG!!!!

    75% of the ugliness so well exhibited by the Aztek, with about 50% of its utility.

    Ugh …………

    Was the 30k goal a misprint??? Maybe 3k. If they’re lucky.

  • avatar
    mjz

    The interior actually looks pretty good, but this may be the worst Mazda smiley grill yet, and those side swooshes are truly awful. What is happening to Japanese car designs?

  • avatar
    mistrernee

    The smiling grill was an improvement for the MX-5 in my opinion. Hasn’t really worked anywhere else though.

    What makes it especially bad is that most of it is just solid plastic and not actually a grill (at least on the 3), makes it look cheap and highlights how pointless it is.

  • avatar
    gsnfan

    They’re great cars. They look nicer than the minivans and are more practical than crossovers. The only problem is that some people may think that it’s too small for them.

    • 0 avatar
      Steve65

      I love them. They’re the only true “minivan” left in the market. If I was in the market for a new car, the older versions were high on the list. I’ll have to look at this new one in person before I come to any firm opinion.

  • avatar
    iNeon

    The PT doesn’t fit here? It’s sales are the numbers to beat.

  • avatar
    ohiomax

    Mazda’s problem is their designer have bets going with their friends at Acura as to who could put the ugliest front end on a vehicle and get it into production. On a serious note having been into 2 Mazda dealerships when buying a new car in 2009, their dealers are god awful terrible and in my opinion will lead to their death in the US. I ran into “no test drives unless your going to buy. No you can’t test drive that model, they all drive the same, test drive the 6 by the door. (I was attempting to compare buying the Mazda 3 or Mazda 5 minivan). At one the dealership that would allow us to test drive the Madza 5, we got “well Mazda my advertise 0% that doesn’t mean we have to lend for 0%, we start at 5.5% (Credit score is over 800) the dealer stated unless they can make money using Madza’s factory rebates or financing they won’t give or use them. Which is why I didn’t buy a Mazda nor probably will never go back to any Mazda.

  • avatar
    50merc

    Am I correct that the purpose of this commercial is to keep viewers from getting a good look at the new 5? If so, it succeeded. Which may be a good thing–though at least the tail lights have been corrected.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    We are on our second Mazda5 (an ’06 5-speed and now an ’08 automatic). We have two small kids (6 and 1.5) and find that the vehicle really fits our needs perfectly. It’s surprisingly fun to drive, easy to drive and park, and offers the option of occasional seating for 6 when the grandparents are in town. And I’m not sure about the comments about the price being too high, as I found it really cheap. Our Grand Touring (leather, moonroof, bluetooth, no navigation) car didn’t even hit $22k on the sticker and we paid much less than that. I do wish Mazda still offered the 5 with some options with a manual transmission like our ’06 but I realize that I’m in a very small niche of potential buyers.

    On the downside, it’s really noisy on the freeway… I think Mazda went a bit too aggressive on the tires… and the fuel economy is OK but really not that spectacular (average about 24 mpg in mixed driving with about 60% around town).

    I get a lot of questions about the car and a lot of people still don’t seem to have ever heard of it, even four years after it was first offered in the U.S. For that reason alone, I think if Mazda starts to market this vehicle it could increase sales. I do share a lack of lust for the new exterior styling changes, however.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    I am growing sooooo weary of the anti mazda smile.
    I haven’t met one person in the outer world that doesn’t like the look.
    It’s a very positive, fun looking direction mazda has taken that truly sets its cars and cars apart.
    When every one else is going for the male/macho/angry look, mazda gets it back to fun.
    Get over it.

    • 0 avatar
      TVC15

      Heed this wisdom. Mazdas, overall, are superbly built and positioned in the marketplace. Their styling does absolutely nothing to detract from that.

      Like it bland? Your Corolla awaits in refrigerator white.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I’d like to see the 5 make it. I rented one for a long road trip, and liked it more than I thought it would. But until gas goes up, I’m not sure many Americans can be coaxed into mini minivans.

  • avatar
    jenneil624

    Mazda will sell at least one of these. My wife wants to buy one at the end of this year. Believe it or not, she really likes the styling.

  • avatar
    jeffsnavely

    My wife & I each have one and love them. Previously we’ve had many many German cars & sports cars, and the Mazda5 holds its own for what it is.
    For the $17k I paid (new) I don’t know how the person above can say they’re overpriced!
    Where I live in northern VA there are tons of 5′s on the road, and its popularity has prompted other manufacturers to offer similar vehicles.


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