By on August 21, 2012

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.

Waiting times have been trimmed to three months, says the Tokyo wire, but Mazda is battling with problems procuring enough 19 inch tires. Mazda pretty much gave up on the idea and plans to offer the CX-5 with 17 inch rubber.

“New, 17-inch versions are expected to reach customers at least one month sooner,” the Nikkei says.

With 3,835 units sold In July, Mazda’s CX-5 ranked 29th on Japan’s best seller list, ten places ahead of Toyota’s hotly debated hachi-roku.

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43 Comments on “Mazda CX-5 Impacted By Tire Shortage...”

  • avatar

    Might want to recheck that headline. Don’t think that Miatas are being impacted by tire supplies.

  • avatar

    Who is more ignorant? People that sell an inexpensive CUV with unobtanium tires or people who buy an inexpensive CUV with unobtanium tires? The Tire Rack currently offers two tires in the CX-5’s size: the OE Toyo with a 300 tread-wear rating and a $268 price or a bargain-basement Kumho Solus for $208. The Tire Rack tends to have some of the best prices and most comprehensive offerings in the industry, do good freaking luck to people that get a flat tire far from home on a Sunday and are looking at driving hundreds of miles on a space-saver spare while their AWD center differential commits hari-kari. Mazda first introduced the 3 hatchback on 205/50-17 tires years before they became commonly available and stocked. Looks like the plight of their customers at the time didn’t provide a teachable moment.

    • 0 avatar

      It really makes an argument against getting the high specced versions. 19″ wheels are an odd size in the first place – 20″ tires come in a variety of common sizes, whereas 19″s are few and far between. I rememebr lusting after an R3 a year ago, and then loking at tire pricing and availability – It wasn’t good.

      And on the 3 – my wife has a ’10, and the tires are a common 215/45/17. How narrow were the old 3’s wheels? 17×6.5″? I’fe never heard of that, though 16×6.5 was a fairly common size for years.

      • 0 avatar

        16×6.5 or 7 was common as mud, as was the 205-55-16 tire. Good ones are still pretty reasonably priced, too.

      • 0 avatar

        Mazda did this with certain trim levels of the Protege as well. I had an ’02 that used 195/50/16 instead of more common 205/45/16 or 205/50/16..

        It wasn’t so bad that you couldn’t get tires for it, but it limited selection enough to be annoying.

      • 0 avatar

        2004-2009 OEM Mazda3 wheels are 17″x6.5″. I run 215/50/17, as the slightly larger diameter over the stock 205/50/17 provides a softer road feel.

      • 0 avatar

        When I had my Mazda3 (2007), it came with 205/50/17. When it was time to replace them, I used 215/45/17. Pretty much the same sidewall, just a little bit wider.

        Ever since then, anyone I know that has to get new tires and there doesn’t seem to be very many available (I use TireRack), I tell them to switch up the size a litte bit and see what is available. If you call TireRack, they will usually tell you if a tire will fit, even if it isn’t the original size.

      • 0 avatar


        I got around the Protege tire problem by switching wheels. The stock ones wore out so fast & were so expensive that switching to a more common size paid for the new wheels.

    • 0 avatar

      The Tire Rack does not have to supply tires to every single CX-5 that rolls off the assembly line.

      • 0 avatar

        No, but it’s probably a good indicator of the existance and availability of tires of that size/type. Not to mention, if Tire Track only has two tires that size, and they’re both $200+, good luck finding a dealership with those tires, or that size, let alone a pricepoint near that price.

      • 0 avatar

        It’s possible that Tire Rack only gets the ‘failed’ tires that don’t meet OE specs for whatever reason i.e. cosmetic repair at the factory, don’t meet OE specs for balance, etc.

    • 0 avatar

      Have to agree there, 19″ rims are popular on a lot of performance cars these days, but the replacement tires are really expensive. You have to REALLY want that size tire to justify it. Why would you want it on a family CUV??

  • avatar

    If the CX-5 is the one that sells well, why it’s the MX-5 that runs out of tires? I don’t think the tires for both are interchangeable… They’re completely different kind of vehicle.

  • avatar
    Robert Gordon

    MX5 or CX5?

  • avatar

    The next time I buy a car, I’m checking how many choices I have at Tire Rack or simular. I remember having few choices for a Neon when it was new. Now our ’09 Caravan is waiting for a replacement Michelin. Seems like the Morpar vans are about the only car that uses that size. There were not a lot of choices when I was shopping for new tires.

    • 0 avatar
      el scotto

      Wow, that’s something most of us probably never think about. Tires for the mini-van? Why there’s a blue million of them being driven around.

    • 0 avatar

      I do that, too. If I don’t like the options on Tire Rack, I instantly start looking for replacement wheels that will fit a common tire size. If I was buying a CX-5 or similar, I’d actually negotiate to decontent the larger wheels.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    A few years ago, AM General had a tire shortage for the military HMMWV (the hummer) due to a strike at the Goodyear factory that made them.

    They installed a set of tires on the vehicle, loaded it up for delivery, removed the tires, put them on another vehicle, loaded it up for delivery, etc.

    The US Army took delivery and had just enough spare tires in the US to make it work. Goodyear management and executives ran the assembly line (with support from the striking workers) during the strike to make sure they had an adequate stream of replacements shipped directly to Iraq and Afghanistan. None were shipped to the factory.

  • avatar

    Wow. Given that weight and efficiency were supposedly given top priority in the engineering of this car, I’m very surprised to find out they equip them with such ridiculously large wheels. Even the standard 17 inch wheels strike me as being too much.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed. Wheel sizes in general are out of control. Pedestrian safety standards are forcing car designs that require large wheels to look good. Michael Karesh mentions wheel size in almost all of his reviews, though usually to say he thinks the wheels are still too small.

      It sucks because large wheels have many practical disadvantages, including higher running costs. It’s a problem when it starts impacting cars designed to be practical and affordable daily drivers, such as the CX-5.

      • 0 avatar

        When Bunkie Knudsen took over Pontiac, the first two things he did with the full size models were to take the multi-stripes of chrome off the hoods, and reduce the wheel size from 15″ to 14″. I’ve owned three full sized cars bigger than the full sized cars of today: a ’62 Buick LeSabre, a ’63 Chrysler Newport, and a ’65 Chevrolet Impala. All three had 14″ rims, and looked just fine. It’s unfortunate that styling is moving back toward the 1925 Model-T standard 21″ rims.

      • 0 avatar

        When Bunkie Knudsen took over Pontiac, the first two things he did with the full size models were to take the multi-stripes of chrome off the hoods, and reduce the wheel size from 15″ to 14″. I’ve owned three full sized cars bigger than the full sized cars of today: a ’62 Buick LeSabre, a ’63 Chrysler Newport, and a ’65 Chevrolet Impala. All three had 14″ rims, and looked just fine. It’s unfortunate that styling is moving back toward the 1925 Model-T standard 21″ rims, with expensive rubberband tires that all but a handful of people don’t want.

        PS: the WP server is preventing people from editing their own comments, as well as sending people who log in succesfully to their profile instead of TTAC.

      • 0 avatar

        ” sizes in general are out of control. Pedestrian safety standards are forcing car designs that require large wheels to look good”

        No, that’s just fashion. Designers were drawing pillboxes on twankie dueces before Euro NCAP came into effect, and we’ve had eras of outrageously tiny wheels as well.

        Two points:

        One, take a look at concept cars: they’re free of constraints like cost, usability or practicality. So you’d figure they’re have “classic” hood/cowl/wheel ratios—except they don’t. Designers like the current look, and they’ll run it into the ground in a few years, only to switch back when they’ve finally crashed the style train into a brick wall.

        Two, vehicles that are entirely practical, like minivans and style-free subcompacts, still have modest wheels, thin pillars and a decent amount of glass. Even minivans, which weigh a lot. That’s because they’re not subject to the designer’s Sexy Pen.

        Even normally-objective reviewers fall prey to this: consider Mr. Karesh’s criticism of the Honda Fit’s mini-minivan looks (A-pillar windowlets, dorkbox shape), despite that those same looks are why the Fit has quite good visibility

      • 0 avatar

        Well if it’s just a styling trend that will hopefully be dead soon, there is cause for hope.

      • 0 avatar

        Oversized wheels are high heels for your car. They may make it look better, but they make everything work worse.

  • avatar

    Well, I’d take a tire shortage over a tire recall any day…and so would Mazda!

  • avatar

    Sounds like BS to me. 4000 a month is a pretty paltry volume. As the article says- it ranks 29 on the sales chart in Japan. That’s pretty pathetic really.

  • avatar

    Do you think maybe they would sell more if supply weren’t constrained by a tire shortage?

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    I am reminded of the difficulty experienced by owners of the GLH and GLH Turbo Omnis and Chrysler turbocars in the 80s, when 195/50-15s of any rating were all but impossible to find locally if you didn’t live in a major metropolitan area. In the pre-Tirerack days, I ended up ordering a set of German market Goodyear GTs, which turned out to be mini-Gatorbacks instead of the omnidirectional tread of the domestic market GT casings.

    I have noticed all the mid-80s junkyard Chrysler turbocars in these articles featured 60-series rubber, which is a commonly used “wrong size” for the 15×6 alloy wheels of that era. 205/50-15s were considered acceptable substitutions, and were the default size once the GLHS and other Shelby limited editions hit the streets.

  • avatar

    Like Mazda has done, Chrysler did its customers a disservice back when the K-car came out. The wheel wells, at least the rear ones, were unusually small. Maybe that’s one way they got more passenger room. Anyway, the required tire size was very uncommon (at least in the early 80’s) and very pricey. But when has any car maker given a damn about the cost and scarcity of replacement parts? Indeed, they like to design cars so that the OEM is the only source of parts. The weird radio configuration in the ’96 Taurus is an example.

  • avatar

    I kept hearing this about there being a shortage of GT CX-5s, but the wife and I were shopping them a week ago and the local dealer had 7 CX-5s in stock, 4 of them GTs. Other dealers around here also seem to have plenty. What this anecdote means, I don’t know.

    The wife didn’t like the CX-5 much. Then we were going for a new Mazda3, but we couldn’t make the deal work, about $2k apart at the end.

    We ended up at the local primo used highline dealer and brought home a cherry 2002 GS300 with 61k miles and really complete service records, for $14,000. I think she’ll be happier with that anyways. It’s amazing how “new” it rides, drives, and looks for a car that’s 10 years old. I see how Lexus got their reputation. A heck of a lot of car for the money.

  • avatar

    What’s funny to me is how hard it’s getting to get smaller tires for old cars. I have one car with 13×5″ rims and you’re almost limited to limited-production “classic” tires these days. Even my ’90 Miata’s 185/60-14 tire options are getting fewer and fewer each year. Bridgestone recently discontinued the tires I have their RE-960 AS Pole Position tires only for the 14″ size, the other sizes are still available. I can easily see the day when I’ll be forced to buy new wheels just to find tires that fit like some old Mustang that came with TRX wheels.

  • avatar

    This really a big problem for Mazda . Mazda CX-5 is most selling car of Mazda . And most people use this car as a family car of for daily use. So Tire requirement is high always. The demand is high then also they are not producing enough tires and other accessories . It could damage company’s reputation and Sell of a cars.

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