When the RAV4 landed, I wasn’t sure what to make of it. In a world of unified corporate identity the RAv4 goes off script with a look all to its own. While the old RAV sold on mini-truck looks, the new one is undisguised crossover. The new nose has grown on me slightly since I recorded the video above, but I still find the look a little awkward. Since I was scolded for wearing striped pants with a striped shirt the week I tested the RAV4, feel free take my style opinion with a grain of salt as you click through the jump.
Next week, Russian and Japanese dignitaries will assemble in the frigid Siberian port city of Vladivostok to celebrate the opening of the first Japanese car plant in the Russian Far East. On September 6, Mazda will start Russian production of its best-selling CX-5 SUV and the new Mazda6 sedan, says The Nikkei [sub] – most likely after having received an invitation. (Read More…)
Mazda’s new CX-5 SUV is enjoying brisk sales in Japan, and Mazda can’t keep up with the demand. Waiting times of five months or longer were common, says The Nikkei [sub], especially for the top trim lines with fuel-saving diesel engines and leather seats. Mazda would love to deliver them a little faster – but it does not have enough tires. (Read More…)
Mazda’s stock jumped 6 percent today in Tokyo on news that the Mazda CX-5 crossover SUV is available at Mazda dealers in Japan. Mazda plans for 1,000 units per month to be sold in Japan, and Mazda President Takashi Yamanouchi told The Nikkei [sub] that he expects annual global sales to reach approximately 200,000 units.
As a small, independent, enthusiast-oriented automaker, Mazda is constantly in a fight for its life, and with its profits eaten away by a rising yen, this is more true than ever. And though Mazdas tend to consistently receive critical praise for their handling characteristics, styling has long been something of a sticking point for the brand. Last year Mazda launched a new look, called KODO, which aimed to position the company as “the Japanese Alfa-Romeo.” And though the first KODO car ever shown was a rather stunning sedan (since nicknamed the “Mazda-rati”), its first production KODO design is a rather more prosaic compact crossover, the CX-5. Which, in a way is fitting: if Mazda wants to survive to build Miatas and Speed3s, it will need to sell a grip of compact platform-variants like this one. Not only does this CX-5 look like it should sell better than the aging Escape-rebadge Tribute it replaces, its fuel economy (ranging between 26-33 for FWD/MT and 25/30 with AWD/AT) is finally competitive too. Now, as long as it drives like a Mazda…