By on April 25, 2013

Mazda, the favorite car brand of enthusiasts that few seem to actually buy, looks set to become profitable for the first time in five years.

With Mazda so heavily reliant on exporting their Japan made cars, the recent weakening of the yen will no doubt help their financial fortunes. Naturally, Mazda is also playing up the success of their new models which feature the still-bizarre sounding Skyactiv technology.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, ork on Skyactiv began in 2006, with Mazda engineers tasked with creating a new platform and powertrain from the ground up. The 2008 financial crisis was a particularly trying time for Mazda executive VP Seita Kanai, who told the Journal

“There were many times when I lost my ability to think” after looking at quarter after quarter of dismal numbers,”

At that point, Mazda executives began to second guess if their bet on gasoline and diesel engines (rather than hybrids and other advanced powertrains) was the right choice. Kanai, however, decided to bring Skyactiv to market prematurely, putting the new powertrains (but not the lightweight platforms) in versions of the Mazda2 and Mazda3.

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73 Comments on “Mazda Eyeing First Profit In Five Years Amid Weak Yen, Skyactiv Success...”


  • avatar
    Astigmatism

    Let no one say that the Lord doesn’t reward good works and good people.

  • avatar
    mike978

    Was it premature in the Mazda 3? The CX5 came out around the time the new engine and transmission was put in the 3. It was necessary because along with the Jetta the 3 had terrible EPA fuel economy when all other competitors (Civic, Corolla, Focus, Cruze etc) had 35-40mpg Highway. Sales have certainly held up, if not slightly increased since then inspite of the car being relatively old. Imagine what the fuel economy will be like when it has the full suite of technologies.

    The new, more powerful 2.5 engine in the CX5 seems to have worked sales wise – with them increasing from an average of 5K a month to 7K in March. Will see if this holds up.

    Mazda really need to build a 250K factory somewhere in North America since Mazda 3 sales in the US and Canada are around 150K a year, the CX5 should easily get to 100K and the target of 30K for the Mazda 6 is laughably small.

    Glad they are doing well.

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      They’re on it: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/01/05/mazdas-new-mexican-plant-capacity-rises-to-230-000/

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      The Skyactiv 3 was “premature” because it was shoehorned into a car not meant for it. It lacks the exhaust manifold and has only a 12:1 compression ratio. (Regular US Skyactiv engines are13:1 & international ones are14:1.) Also, Skyactiv is about weight savings, body & suspension design as well as manufacturing process–all of which the 3 lacks.

      • 0 avatar
        NormSV650

        Maybe marketing verbage more so than results as cars.com saw 33 mpg on a to-and-from trek, or about one mpg better than combined. I saw a 36 mpg 6.5 hour out and back, all highway run in 20F weather in my Saab 9-5. Torque, like diesel, is where it’s at in turbos for fuel economy in the long haul. Plus it’s so much more fun to drive commuting than horsepower.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    It’s good to see Mazda doing well w/o Ford.The CX5 is a success with both critics and customers. Good, fun-to-drive, practical cars seems to be a good formula to follow…. Now, if we could just squeeze a little more oomph out of those skyactivs, Great!

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    Well, that’s nice to hear. Stubbornness — if you will — seems to be part of the corporate DNA, which has been transmitted down to at least one, maybe two generations.

    Consider that it was Mazda which actually commercialized Felix Wankel’s rotary engine and put it in a car — in 1972! When Auto Union (the predecessor to Audi). Compared to other gasoline-burning engines of the day, the Mazda wankel was smooth-running and had a great power-to-weight/displacement ratio. It also managed to meet contemporary emission control standards while being much more driveable; and, so long as it wasn’t deprived of coolant, was quite reliable and, for its time, durable.

    Unfortunately, the Wankel engine has proved to be a technological dead-end due to its inherent thermodynamic inefficiency, but the point is the Mazda folks in the late 1960s kept at it and brought something to market that was, in its time, quite successful. Remember, too, that, until 1973, fuel economy was very near the bottom of the list of customer concerns; so even the Wankel’s relative thirst for fuel was not the detraction at the time it was developed as it later came to be.

    What people like Mazda — who eschew exotic solutions like hybrids — need to do is show, on a dollars saved per year basis, that the incremental fuel savings of buying, say, a Prius, instead of a Skyactive Mazda 3 are not worth either the additional expenditure or the performance penalties of an anemic powerplant. Not to mention a car that simply cannot be repaired except at a Toyota dealership.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      The Mazada store is an interesting read. How close they came to ceasing to exist several times is amazing when you consider how they then came back. Kind of a Japanese Chrysler story.

    • 0 avatar
      icemilkcoffee

      Not just that- the Skyactiv drivetrain is competing against several other non-hybrid solutions. For example- Gm, Ford and Chrysler have bet heavily on turbocharged gas engines. But these have mediocre gas mileage improvements, with much higher repair costs. Fiat and BMW has gone into throttle less valve trains. Again- so-so gas mileage improvements while adding a lot of complexity. Likewise the rush to CVT. Some mpg improvement but at the expense of lots of aggravations and very expensive repair costs.

      Whereas Mazda’s Skyactiv sticks with a naturally aspirated engine, hooked up to a conventional automatic transmission. They are still able to achieve class leading fuel economy, but without the compromises or complexities of the other appraoches.

      • 0 avatar
        danio3834

        Actually, I would say Chrysler is taking a similar approach to Mazda, by making overall drivetrain improvements to make their gains. Chrysler added the 1.4 Multiair turbo to the Dart, but the volume engines will be naturally aspitrated, a lot of them with alternative valvetrain arrangements.

        Similarly to Mazda, they’re smaller than their national counterparts so have to make broader, more cost effective solutions.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Mazda could have saved themselves a lot of heartache by not over-styling the second generation Mazda 3. I don’t know anybody that bought one, and I know a number of people that intended to until they saw it.

    • 0 avatar
      azmtbkr81

      The 2nd gen 3s look better in darker colors. I have a 2010 3 hatchback in dark grey and I receive compliments and questions about it all of the time.

      To me the Golf is the only better looking hatchback on the market and even the ugliest 3 is 100 times better looking than the chubby mini CUVs that seem to be so popular these days.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      IMO, the nagare psycho clown fish styling cost Mazda more sales than fuel efficiency, interiors, or any other common complaint. Also, their brand recognition is poor because over the last several years they’ve had no money for advertising.

      I will agree with azmtbkr81 & say that they are bearable in black, but I have to disagree on the rest: the Golf is blander than a Toyota, mini CUVs aren’t that terrible, and no Mazda3 has ever looked better or gotten more attention than my Protege5.

      • 0 avatar
        azmtbkr81

        Beauty is in the eye of the beholder I suppose. The styling isn’t for everyone but plenty of people seem to like the sleek, “futuristic” lines. I’ve yet to have anyone outside of this forum tell me that they don’t like the look of it (perhaps they are simply being polite).

        That said my biggest complaints are the mediocre fuel mileage and extremely low front bumper. I have to inch my way down even the shallowest of driveways and stay far away from parking lot curb stops to ensure that I don’t scrape. Other than that it has been an enjoyable, trouble free car for the last 3 years.

        • 0 avatar

          The Mazda3 sells really well to younger folk. They seem to like the distinctive and sporty looking snout.
          Also remember the Mazda3 competes in Europe and European taste for car designs in its price bracket tend to be more aggressive and “progressive” with the Golf being one of the few in the segment with a conservative appearance. Though if you look back at the MK1 and MK2 golf they were a radical original design.

    • 0 avatar
      DDayJ

      I bought one. Love it.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    “Mazda, the favorite car brand of enthusiasts that few seem to actually buy…”

    Ha ha ha! Most truthful statement I’ve read this month!

    That goes for the ‘small-diesel-manual-wagon’ crowd, too. Youthful enthusiasm is wasted on the young, because as a rule, young people have no money to buy anything, but dreams are still free.

    Perhaps that’s why they build Camrys, Accords, Malibus, Sonatas, Optimas, Altimas and Impalas. People that can afford something buy these. Me? guilty as charged.

    Sad, because it wasn’t always that way.

    • 0 avatar
      Larry P2

      Just like that Chinese mid-sized diesel pickup that everyone on TTAC’s seems to clamor for: Meets with a huge yawn and negative vitriol when it is actually released.

      You’ll see the same thing happen when Alfa releases the jaw-dropping extravagantly-overpriced, woefully-underpowered junk that has received such unhinged, glowingly positive reviews here in TTAC: It is easy to predict they will be a huge sales flop.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      I don`t know if the statement “Mazda, the favorite car brand of enthusiasts that few seem to actually buy” is strictly true. How many car buyers are auto enthusiasts? I would expect 5, perhaps 10% at most. If that is the case then they are getting quite a bit of that small market.

      I would consider myself an enthusiast and am looking to replace my Legacy later this year. The problem I have is that Mazda’s are more expensive – the invoice-MSRP gap is much smaller than say Nissan or Honda have. So when I compare a Mazda 6 Touring for $25.3K to a Honda Accord Sport for $25K. Then go to AAA and price a car out you will see over $2K off the Accord,the Mazda virtually nothing off. Even if you wait you will probably get no more than $1K off. So the gap widens to $1.3K at least. Never mind if you want white or red which you pay extra for etc etc. If I compare to the Altima where $4K off is common then the price differential is massive for a typical buyer.
      I want to buy a Mazda but since I am looking at a midsize car practicality (and cost) must enter into it. Hence why them having an NA factory would help.

      To CJ’s point above on styling, I agree. Both the CX5 and new 6 show they have now got a good design language. No-one can seriously say styling is turning people off those. So the prospects for the new 3 are bright.

      • 0 avatar

        Mazda’s total sales last year were eclipsed by the Honda Civic. That’s what I meant by “few seem to buy” Mazda products.

      • 0 avatar
        jonsey

        You can’t get an Accord Sport in any color but black or silver. At least you have a choice on a Mazda6

      • 0 avatar
        duffman13

        Your price point may be true, but, Mazda is the only (correct me if I’m wrong) manufacturer that is offering 0% 60 month financing right now. The interest savings alone should make up for any sale price discrepancy over the course of the note.

        They’ve been offering it intermittently since 2010, we bought our 3 with it that April. I still see the ads for it every so often, especially in the spring and summer months.

    • 0 avatar
      Astigmatism

      To be fair, they are doing very well among those young buyers who actually do have money to buy a car. Their average ownership age is one of the lowest in the industry. Many of my young lawyer, banker, engineer and grad student friends drive Mazdas, and my wife is set to join them in a couple of months.

    • 0 avatar
      OldandSlow

      <>

      The main reason I have a Mazda Tribute versus another CUV is that Mazda and Subaru are only two Japanese brands left that offer a manual transmission in their compact crossovers.

      With the take rate on manual transmissions being so low – my preferences represent less than 5% of US car market – which does not make a good business case for zoom, zoom.

      • 0 avatar
        darex

        Not quite true. The Nissan Juke offers a manual in its top two trim levels (if you forego AWD); whereas, Mazda only offers it in base trim levels (in the 6 and CX-5, at least). Not sure about Subaru, but I suspect they too only offer manuals on base-trim models.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Zackman, it seems I try to make that point every day–so few people are ‘enthusiasts’ that they don’t matter, and even if they did, they don’t buy new cars anyway. The other 98% of the population don’t care about the same things, hence manuals, wagons, coupes, diesels, etc., get no love IRL.

  • avatar
    burakvtec

    I hope the best for mazda because mazda and honda are two producers in japanese automotive industry offer a identical design and enjoyable driving experience but mazda has never a popularity and success like honda I dont know why the reason maybe bad fuel consumption(was offering STILL 4 speed auto gearbox in current mazda 3 ) as mike said but I m sure they are producing better cars specially in quality than Toyota’s cars…

  • avatar
    thornmark

    According to the WSJ, the 2013 Mazda6 has the highest incentives of any car.

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Is that recent? I see adverts for $7K off a new 2013 Altima.
      I can see the 2013 Mazda 6 having high incentives (local dealers have $4K off) because it has been superseded by the superior (in fuel economy and styling at least) 2014 6 so it is not representative of Mazda
      Please tell me what the WSJ says about incentives on the year old CX5!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      That’s because the 2014 Mazda 6 is already at dealers and the previous Mazda 6 was a remarkably slow seller. It really wasn’t a bad car, certainly at least as good as the equivalent Fusion. It just goes to show how tough the midsized segment is if you don’t have the marketing power of a dealership on every street corner, one of the best cars in the class, or a willingness to pay people to take the cars off your hands.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        They really did screw up the 2014 launch, having it in the showroom but not for sale, then it being on sale but no “launch” – the review in Edmudns has only just come out, magazine reviews came out in late February. When the actually embargo was lifted on 4 February (review on TTAC and other sites) this was already several weeks after people could buy one. This all weighed on an already slow seller in the 2013 6.
        As CJ says Mazda haven`t the money to go the Nissan route of giving massive discounts on an already new car (so no excuses for aged product) or like Toyota having large numbers of dealers.

        • 0 avatar
          CJinSD

          Mind you my example of a heavily discounted car would be the Avenger 200, and my example of selling through sheer market presence would be the Fusion. The 2013 Mazda 6 was just a sportier Fusion, after all. ;-)

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Agreed – the Avenger/200 is also very heavily discounted. At least they have the “excuse” that it is an old model due for replacement soonish. The Altima is one of many midsize cars that are new (i.e. came out int he last 18 months as all new models).

          • 0 avatar
            Byron Hurd

            The 2014’s marketing campaign isn’t set to kick off until May. Some of it has started a bit early (the Star Trek tie-in, for example) but the full weight of it won’t be known until then.

            Mazda’s sales goal for the 6 is tiny and will probably fall before Q3. They intend to avoid incentives, even if it means low volumes, and they want strong residuals. If 6 sales are flat, they’ll switch the lines over to CX-5 production.

          • 0 avatar
            mike978

            Byron, I can see that with the tie in with the Star Trek film that date could change. But they ahd cars in showrooms in late December, people could buy in January, reviews were out (and the configurator) in February. Not all outlets had reviews until April (Edmunds and some of the auto print magazines for example). This was highly unusual.
            The way I have seen it and the Accord and ATS are good recent examples of this – you have the media reviews (all major outlets) and the configurator go live all on the same day and then a few weeks later the car is available for purchase. The bought media campaign then kicks in. Doing the bought media 5 months after the car is out seems late.

            I fully support selling the car for minimal incentives but a target of 30K is really not a serious target. They should sell 60-80K without much trouble bearing in mind the 3 sells somewhere in the region of 120K a year.

  • avatar
    stevelovescars

    I say this as a big Mazda fan, I have owned a gen 1 Miata, a Protege5, and am on my second Mazda5.

    There are have been a few issues with Mazda cars. They have had mediocre fuel economy, relatively high levels of road noise and, recently, polarizing styling. Having recently driven both the CX5 and the new Mazda6, I believe they have attacked these issues head on. The new 6 is a very impressive car. Very quiet, nicely designed interior and body, and still fun to drive.

  • avatar
    schmitt trigger

    Two months ago, I purchased a CX5 to replace my aging Honda Civic Hybrid.

    Althought not as fuel efficient as the HCH, (for starters, it is a SUV not a sedan), the fuel economy is really good, and without being a tire burner, it offers good acceleration and smooth engine power at highway speeds.

    My only complaint? At idling it sounds a little diesely… you know, the knocking. After 1500 RPM or so, the engine smooths down and stays that way until one reaches above 3500 RPM, which you never reach at highway speeds of less than 80 MPH or so….unless one accelerates enough to cause a downshift.

    Or perhaps I’m spoiled because the one thing that I could say for the HCH, was that its engine was very quiet and smooth at all but the highest RPMs.

  • avatar
    Jason Lombard

    “Mazda, the favorite car brand of enthusiasts that few seem to actually buy…”

    You know what? I did buy one. A Mazdaspeed6 at that—their flagship car at the time. What did I get? A horrible dealer experience (at two different dealers—the third was at least passable), premature part failure (multiple wheel bearings and control arm bushings at <35k miles), horrible parts availability—even through Mazda dealer channels, and apocalyptic depreciation. The car was never tracked or autocrossed—only commuter mileage.

    The car drove well, but the rest of the experience was so bad that I've sworn off Mazda indefinitely. It's too bad, because the CX5 would be the perfect vehicle for my wife to replace our aging Volvo wagon.

    I love rooting for the little guy. I WANT Mazda to succeed. But releasing a good product is only half of the battle. You then have to stand behind the product when stuff breaks.

    [/soapbox]

    • 0 avatar
      kvndoom

      The Speed6 and Speed3 were unfortunately designed by car lovers and fine tuned by bean counters.

      I had a 2009 Speed3 and I was shocked to find only one horn installed (most cars have two), and engine mounts made out of marshmallow. It was obvious that they started with a truly awesome car, then cut corners to meet a price point.

      Even though the GTI costs more and is slower (and likely less reliable long-term), I think it sells better because it feels like its price point while the Mazda doesn’t.

      As far as dealer support goes… it’s one reason I hesitate to ever buy any “performance” car again (especially turbos). Take it in for ANY warranty work and the first thing they ask (usually even BEFORE they check the odometer) is “have you done any modifications to this car”?

  • avatar
    mitchw

    If I may troll the B&B, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of interest here in the role Yen weakening has had on Mazda profit. (yes, I had a Miata)

    • 0 avatar
      mike978

      Isn`t the yen weakening a fairly recent phenomenon and if so then the impact on full year profits will not be very large. Will certainly help for the next financial year.

  • avatar
    200k-min

    I’ve had a number of Mazda 6’s as rental cars in the past year and they haven’t impressed me. Compared to the Optima, which I’ve also had a lot, it’s falls short in fit and finish. When I did have a first gen Mazda 6 I sold it because it felt tinny and cheap compared to my Accord.

    The sporty selling point is fine but the product doesn’t have the same engineering feel that the Camcords have. It may not be a quantative quality but I assure you it does sell cars. Mazda must find that secret sauce.

    • 0 avatar
      carguy

      Engineering feel is something that only recently returned to the Accord and is still somewhat missing from the new Camry – particularly in interior materials.

      I drove a 2014 Mazda6 over the weekend and was impressed with everything except the terrible nav screen which looked like it was taken from a 15 year old ATM machine.

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …the mazda2 has rolled with a skyactiv drivetrain?..since when, and which markets?..

    • 0 avatar

      Japan since 2011

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      It is interesting why they chose not to put it in the US version. Unless it is severely underpowered, I would think it would dramatically help sales, and it shouldn’t steal sales away from the 3.

      Perhaps they have a limit on manufacturing and can’t supply the US market and everyone else. Or they just didn’t have the manhours to update the US version. Regardless, a new Skyactive 2 should hit when they start producing cars for Toyota in their new Mexican plant.

  • avatar
    ant

    I just had to replace the whole exhaust system in my 11 year old protege due to rust.

    Also too, the gas tank has rusted through, and leaks.

    Who knows what other rust problems it will have in the next few years.

    I’m feeling gun-shy about Mazda these days.

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    The Mazda3 is the largest selling car in Australia at the moment. So it appears that Mazda is doing okay here.

    As for the Mazda has broken away from Ford is half true. I own a Mazda BT50 which is a clone of the global Ranger with a different skin.

    Every part on my pickup has FoMoCo labels, except the plastic engine cover.

    To me Mazda people are similar to Subaru people, they tend to buy Mazdas.

    To me Mazda is like Kia, they try and offer style in a vehicle, some might disagree.

    The Skyactive diesel is a fantastic engine, I hope it can deliver the goods. I don’t know if the diesel is ready for the US market yet, but I have read an article that Mazda was redesigning parts of the Skyactive diesel so it can function on the US’s lower quality diesel fuel.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      “I don’t know if the diesel is ready for the US market yet, but I have read an article that Mazda was redesigning parts of the Skyactive diesel so it can function on the US’s lower quality diesel fuel.”

      I don’t know if US diesel is “lower quality,” but I do believe it is different, and IIRC, our emissions requirement is harder to meet. I believe the reason they didn’t offer the diesel in the 6 at launch is because it wasn’t ready yet. I think they missed their target date for the 6 anyway, and getting that done plus that engine was just too much work.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        @redav
        Your emission requirements aren’t harder just different. That’s why in the Eurozone you can’t get the Transit with a 3.2 Duratorque, but it will be released in the US with one.

        Euro Transits are sold with the 2.2 Duratorque as they can meet EuroV and the 3.2 can’t, it meet EuroIV. Your NOx levels are more stringent. But they should align in a couple of years. Only if your diesel fuel was the same quality.

        Your diesel fuel contains 50% more sulphur, is more abrasive (wears components faster), is lower in cetane value.

        • 0 avatar
          wmba

          15ppm versus 10ppm sulphur, when eight years ago European diesel was 50 ppm. Not much different these days. The lower cetane rating is more myth than reality and has only the legs of Wikipedia to stand on.

          Since huge amounts of US diesel are shipped to Europe since the volume necessarily refined from crude is in excess of requirements, one can assume that US diesel is acceptable in Europe.

          Here, have a read:

          http://mobile.bloomberg.com/news/2013-03-28/diesel-exports-from-u-s-rising-as-plant-maintenance-winds-down.html

          • 0 avatar
            Big Al from Oz

            @wmba
            I’ve done some research. The US does export 10ppm sulphur diesel to the Eurozone.

            The difference is 50% with sulphur no matter which way you cut it. The cetane rating for diesel is lower than the Eurozone. The scar rate for US diesel is higher.

            What I’ve found out by researching is quite amazing concerning the US to Euro oil trade. If you want to read continue on. Also the global oil trade is facinating.

            The Eurozone exports 3/4 million barrels of gasoline to the US everyday and it imports distillates from the US. The Euro oil is primarily from the North Sea.

            The US exports similar amounts ofDistillates which are not just diesel, AVTUR, heating oil, etc are all distillates.

            The US doesn’t have complete 10ppm refining capability, most of this is focused around the Gulf region. The US can’t export its lower quality diesel, this is kept and use locally.

            The differences I pointed out ie scar wear etc is significant as this can cause issues like that that has arose with some VW diesel products in the US. The cetane rating for ULSD for US usage is lower as well.

            Distillates can also be blended, ie using a lower grade of oil/fuel blended into a higher grade of oil/fuel and yet maintain the final oil/fuel products quality and set limits.

            Contrary to what many think that the US is exporting lots of oil and related products it doesn’t. By value it only represents about 0.3-0.4% of your total economy.

            Your current government is trying to lift the restraints on oil and related product exports out of the US. The oil security requirements for the US are no longer valid as it will become and has become a gross exporter of oil and its products.

            The biggest hurdle the US has with the refining of fuel is the ability to bring new refineries on line due to ecological reasons.

  • avatar
    Fordson

    This is what is going to cause them problems…the horrible Tom-tom nav suite and tiny screen. Have not seen one good review of it and was personally not impressed by it.

    • 0 avatar
      andyinatl

      I don’t see a point in buying a car with nav system. I certainly would never buy one. Then spending hundreds to update the maps in few years. Would it be more prudent to use smartphone for a nav system and just invest in a good mount?

      • 0 avatar
        Lie2me

        I agree, factory installed nav systems are ridiculously overpriced and fraught with problems and I’m sure updates are expensive and difficult to obtain. Where for less then 300.00 you can get any makers top of the line with all the extras and usually you get free map updates. If you drive more the one car regularly, the portability with all your personal settings intact to me is an added bonus

        • 0 avatar
          darex

          Built-in units aren’t thief-magnets, and portable units are very unaesthetic. In the big cities, you’d be insane to leave any portable electronics visible in the car, and mounting/dismounting the mounts and gear is a tiresome activity. Lastly, I am a huge back-up camera fan. Best to have it all integrated into the dash.

  • avatar
    George Herbert

    I’m a sick enough puppy to own two – both RX-8s. Or rather, wife bought one, then I got one a year later.

    I’ve also driven rental 3s, 6s, and am planning on grabbing a CX-5 when I can find one test-driveable at a dealer. So far, impressed across the fleet.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    I think what this proves is that ambigous branding of powertrain technologies pays off.

    Skyactahemisynergyboost FTW!

  • avatar
    Darrencardinal1

    I have to say that I am a big fan of Mazda.

    I have owned 3 Mazdas, a Protege and two Miatas.

    I loved the Protege. I imagined it to be a poor man’s BMW 3 series. Tight, fun to drive, and quick. I also thought it was very stylish.

    The Miatas… well everyone knows about them and the hype is justified. I currently drive a British Racing Green 99 Miata, I used to have a 90. It is a beautiful fun to drive car, every detail about the car just seems right. My daily commute to work is a joy.

    I am not just a fan of the cars, I am a fan of the company. I appreciate what Mazda does, the vision they bring to their cars. Mazda is a treasure, they did the world a favor by taking the British roadster and doing it up right. Remember that back in 90 no one made them anymore. And what other company has the vision, guts, and sheer stubbornness to stick with the rotary as long as they did?

    I remember an article at TTAC not too long ago asking the readers what their favorite car company was that they don’t own; a company they admire even if they don’t own (or never had owned) one of their cars. As I recall the number one answer was Mazda.

    About the only knock on them is they seem to be more rust prone than other makes. I have not experienced this myself but I always keep them washed and waxed.

    One day I am going to own a 1993 Mazda RX-7. I still think that is one of the best looking cars ever made.


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