By on April 29, 2015

Mazda 6 sales chart

For the eleventh time in twelve months and the third consecutive month, U.S. sales of the Mazda 6 increased in March 2015. Only a slight 42-unit decline in December broke what would now be a full year-long streak of year-over-year improvement for the 6.

With help from a refreshed-for-2016 model already making up the bulk of Mazda’s 6 inventory, Mazda USA is now on track to sell more than 65,000 6 sedans in calendar year 2015, a rate of sales that would return the midsize Mazda to a nine-year high.

Last month was a particularly productive period according to Mazda’s end-of-quarter sales report: “The refreshed 2016 Mazda6 recorded its best month of sales since March of 2012 with 7,570 vehicles sold, an increase of 32.1 percent over March of 2014.”

We’ll shortly see whether Mazda can buck a historical trend that sees their April sales tumble after strong third months. In 2014, for instance, as the overall new vehicle market became 10% smaller in April than in March, 6 volume plunged 33%. The year before, the industry reported a 12% decline between March and April; 6 sales in April 2013 were less than half what they were in March 2013.

2016 Mazda 6

Seasonal changes are to be expected. But for industry observers who want to see whether the Mazda 6 can maintain a roster position in the big leagues, another drop below 5000 units will be informative.

Yes, 6 sales are steadily on the rise. And it’s not as though Mazda can manage the kind of production volume to match the Toyota Camry or Honda Accord. But there’s no denying the 6, however highly praised by reviewers, is a lower-tier player in the midsize category. There are no optional powerplants, the enthusiast-oriented suspension tuning doesn’t deliver the softness of segment leaders, and the overall Mazda brand has long struggled to rise from low-volume status.

In other words, even when the 6 is surging, as it was in March, it still ranked tenth in the segment in U.S. sales, behind even the sharply declining Volkswagen Passat. Among conventional volume-brand midsize sedans, only the Subaru Legacy sold less often than the 6, though interestingly, the Legacy’s surging, as well. Subaru reported a 90% improvement to best-ever March levels for the Legacy last month.

At the moment, however, in the lead-up to the CX-3 and MX-5 launches, the 6 is a very bright spot for Mazda USA. Sales elsewhere at the Mazda brand are down 5.5% through the first-quarter of 2015. 6 volume is up 27% so far this year.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar.

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42 Comments on “Not In The Big Leagues Yet, But Mazda 6 Sales Are Steadily Rising...”


  • avatar
    319583076

    These are really fantastic-looking cars. Mazda’s current styling is at least a local max, if not a global max.

  • avatar

    The first gen 6 was plain, in a vaguely handsome way. Glad to see numbers that show buyers didn’t like the inflated, awkward 2nd gen. The 3rd gen almost wears the corporate nose well, and has some nice angles to it. One issue I see is you can spend over or around 30k for the top of the line one, and it still comes with the small (only) engine. I have heard that the percentage of Accord/Camry buyers who opt for the V6 is small, so maybe Mazda is not losing too many sales there.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      The first gen was plain???
      Really? Compared to what other style at that tme?
      It was that car with its beautiful lights and sculpture that initially drew my attention to the Mazda line.
      Many here already had experience and loved the Mazda like the Protege…but the 04/05 6 made it for me.
      I actually made the Mazda3 my first purchase, but that car’s solid drive made me purchase my 09 6.
      And still today, it is my favorite drive…at least around the mountains and city. It gets a bit noisy at high speeds, so I drive the MKS when I need to cruise.

      • 0 avatar
        Land Ark

        Agreed, the first gen 6 was one of the best designs of the 2000s. Plus you were able to get it in longroof form! Plus Mazdaspeed6? I really liked that generation and would have bought a wagon had it come with AWD.

        The second gen looks like an overinflated balloon version of the first gen. Just awful.

        This gen is very attractive in a 2010s sort of way. It’s almost like they took what Infiniti was doing and dialed it back a few notches. I was considering getting one for my mom but when I sat in one it felt like I was falling into the seat and I knew she’d never be able to get in and out of it.

      • 0 avatar

        Maybe “plain” is the wrong word for me to use. After more than a decade of “flame surfacing” though, I prefer “plain” cars, like Audis. Maybe I should have said “understated” or “handsome”.

  • avatar

    That’s good. I don’t think I’d buy the Mazda6 because it has a harsh ride (especially with the 19-inch wheels) and too much cabin noise, but I’m happy to see Mazda having such success…

    • 0 avatar
      Akrontires

      Kyree-

      Full disclosure – I am a Mazda dealer in Colombia. They claim to have addressed the cabin noise issue for both the 2016 6 and CX5 along with vastly improved interiors.

      I don´t find the ride to be bad at all and the roads here are absolutely terrible (I´ve even driven one offroad) but of course I´m terribly biased. :-)

  • avatar
    skor

    I always liked Mazdas. Euro-car handling at Asian-car prices. If the tin-worm had not gotten my first-gen MX-6, I’d still be driving it.

    • 0 avatar

      If you mean by Eurocars “German cars” – they do not handle like Mazda6 or any other Japanese car, they are much more refined and mature. Where did you get that idea? Compared with what Eurocar particularly – they different – A4, Passat, Mondeo, Renault, Skoda, Seat? Mazda6 is a typical Japanese car, there is no point to compare everything to and try to copy some anonymous European cars.

    • 0 avatar
      InterstateNomad

      Sorry to hear about your MX-6. Did you buy another mazda?

  • avatar
    2drsedanman

    I really like the looks of these and would love to have one with a 6 speed manual. And I like the fact you can get interior/exterior colors beside variations of grey/black (yes, looking at you Honda Accord Sport).

    But everytime I get in one, I am constantly rubbing against the B-pillar. Once inside, I feel my head is too close to the door and the A-pillar seems to raked back. I’m 5’9″, 200 lbs. I like the way it drives, but could never be comfortable getting in and out of it. This is an issue the Honda Accord does not have, at least for me.

    On a similar note, would it kill Honda to make an Accord sedan in the same San Marino red used in the coupe?

    • 0 avatar

      I’m not 200lbs, but I’m around that same height…and I have also noticed this.

      And yes, the Accord coupe has a great red that should be on the sedan. I’d also like to see Tiger Eye Pearl on an Accord sedan…although I’d probably just get the coupe, anyway.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      You get more interior colors in the 6, but I have to say I prefer the way the Accord Sport drives. That doesn’t take much away from the 6, though – it’s great but the Accord is a bit better.

  • avatar
    redav

    The chart looks like it should be updated.

    The second gen 6 ceased production in summer of 2012 when Mazda pulled out of AutoAlliance in Flat Rock. The intent was to start selling the third gen in the fall of 2012 as a 2013 model year, but they were late and couldn’t get the new car to market until Q1 of 2013 as a 2014 model year. Thus, there basically was no 2013 model year (they were just the remaining second gen cars made before summer 2012), and almost all sales in 2013 were the third gen model.

  • avatar
    Pch101

    The last 6 had high fleet sale percentages. It would be interesting to know whether things are different this time.

  • avatar
    Chocolatedeath

    Good for them. I am not shy about being a Mazda fan. The new interior is a good step up. I will admit that it is a little on the loud side but thats nothing that 100lbs of sound deadening wont fix. The optional engine I feel would get a few hundred more buyers per month as long as its not a 2 or 3k option. Make it 1500 bucks and we may have something. The 295 hp 4 cylinder is a good start and with AWD would be great. I would leave AWD as a separate option to control price.
    Also are they ever going to start making these in Mexico?

  • avatar

    The current Malibu is on Consumer Reports best buy list. However, the 200 isn’t, which is probably a better car.

  • avatar

    The Mazda 6 is like a art film the critics love, but nobody goes to see.

    • 0 avatar
      1998redwagon

      in part because it can be hard to find a dealer. their network is compromised in some areas. here in the upper midwest (northern mn) there is a subaru dealer that used to sell subarus/mazdas and service both. now they just sell subarus but service mazdas or at least they used to. i doubt if the mechanics are still getting training on the new mazdas.

      want a mazda? drive 3.5 hours south to the twin cities.

      • 0 avatar
        readallover

        I had no problem finding multiple dealers (Seattle). I had a problem finding a dealer with more than three or four 6`s. And the ones they had were completely loaded with high stickers. This was not a problem with any of Mazda`s competitors in the area.

    • 0 avatar
      tresmonos

      I was an internet fan of Mazda, mainly because of this website. After getting my old man in a CX-7, I will never look at a Mazda again. Their NVH is akin to a 2000MY Chevy Cavalier.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        Was that with the Mazda S-plan?

        I’d hate to be a Mazda dealer in the Detroit area. All those years with employee pricing for Ford employees. Now you have to get the scraps from VW, Nissan, and Hyundai.

        • 0 avatar
          tresmonos

          Even better for the dealer – it was sticker price. He operates his own company and always pays sticker for company vehicles.

          I do feel for those dealers. There are still a lot of Mazda metal in the Ford parking lots. Thank goodness for the Focus and Fiesta ST as they filled the Mazda void quite nicely. They seem to outnumber the Fusions in the plant parking lots these days.

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      “The Mazda 6 is like a art film the critics love, but nobody goes to see.”

      Or perhaps like Shakespeare; more often quoted than actually read. In any case, I am glad the numbers for Mazda are improving.

    • 0 avatar

      I order it on Netflix. In many cases I watch them like 15 minutes before giving up, esp if it is a European film. I was impressed with some though, like all Tarkovsky’s, Coen Bros and Kubrik’s films (if you can call it “art” film). I also was impressed with Donnie Darko – the film nobody wanted to watch in theater – highly recommended if you did not see it.

  • avatar
    Driver8

    I would have bought one in wagon form, if they sold it here. Getting a Golf Wagon instead.

    • 0 avatar
      Richard Chen

      Mazda got burned big time with the prior 6 wagon, IIRC selling <200/month, so don’t expect it back. Heck, even the Mazda5 sold better, and it’s on the way at the funeral home.

      VW has previously a 75/25 split on the TDI/gas Sportwagens, which comes out to about 5K-6K gas wagons annually.

      Wagon in the US? It has to be has to be jacked up (Outback 100K+ annual sales), hybrid (Prius v 30K), diesel (VW 15K), or expensive (Volvo, Audi, BMW, M-B). Or not a wagon (Kia Soul 100K+).

    • 0 avatar
      WheelMcCoy

      A Mazda 6 Wagon would just compete with the CX-5. But yes, I would have considered one as my wife currently drives the now discontinued TSX Wagon.

  • avatar
    ltcmgm78

    If I was in the market, I would most assuredly consider it. I think it is one of the more attractive sedans on the market today.

    • 0 avatar
      tonycd

      I completely agree. It’s stunning in person, especially in red.

      I’m also surprised to hear the comments about the interior upgrades. I thought the interior already looked terrific, way above the segment average.

      Great mileage, very good reliability — this thing seems to really have a lot going for it.

      I wouldn’t care about the mediocre acceleration, since today’s cars are so much quicker than they really need to be by the standards of just a decade ago. The constant noise might turn me off, though.

  • avatar
    zamoti

    I think it’s interesting that they still haven’t outsold the original Mazda6. I was really prepped to go find a used Mazda6 GT wagon with the Duratec 30 and MT, but alas could not find any left that were worth having. I liked the styling, I liked the interior and it seems that the sales history reflects that I wasn’t alone. The 2nd generation was rather unlovable and they ditched the hatch and wagon. I really liked the Mazdaspeed6, but came to realize that it wasn’t very reliable so as much as it was fun, I chose to avoid it.
    Maybe I can talk my brother into buying a used one…

    • 0 avatar
      Veee8

      I really like the styling of the new car, glad to see the sales rising – I presently own an 06 Sport Wagon with the V6 and 5 speed manual (125km), overall a nice car with a few vices.

      Pros:
      Seats – supportive, comfortable.
      Quiet at speed, a great long distance cruiser
      Handling – sure footed, 18 inch summer rubber.
      Styling – Clean, balanced.
      Manual – Kids can’t steal it,haha…
      No infotainment, just straight ahead buttons/dials..

      Cons:
      Rear quarter rust – a constant battle.
      Manual – notchy, but not vague.
      Heavy on gas around town
      V6 could use more torque for daily driving.

      Wish they made a new AWD wagon with a 6 speed manual, I’d consider it.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    The numbers don’t surprise me – I drove a 6 and it’s a VERY nice piece. Definitely harder-edged than what you normally see in this segment, but loves to play. And that red.

    One thing I noticed was a strange “warbling” throttle response in the manual version – almost like a very mild version of what you feel when the trac control kicks in, but turning it off didn’t stop it. About the only discordant note I could find in the drive. The 3 I drove didn’t have this going on.

    I hope word of mouth helps this car – it deserves far more success than it gets.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    To me, it doesn’t much matter how the 6 does by itself. Mazda sales are flat in Q1 2015 vs Q1 2014, which in a growing market means Mazda is losing share.

    • 0 avatar
      Demetri

      A lot of that has to do with the fact that they’re winding down the Mazda5 (loss of 1,000 units YTD), and have stopped selling the old model Mazda2 (loss of 3,500 units YTD). Take that out of the equation and they’d be up 5% YTD, on par with the industry average. The new CX-3, Mazda2, and MX-5 will make up for those lost units and then some when they arrive this year.

  • avatar
    SatelliteView

    I’ve had a 2014 GT with radar cruise control since June 2013. Have put 30k miles on it. 3/5 in Los Angeles, the rest are road trips, including a round trip from LA to New Orleans. I also have $2k of structural reinforcements on it from AutoExe.

    The car is a joy to drive briskly, waving through traffic, etc every time but on a long road trip the wind noise is TIRING
    The ride quality is not bad
    Engine is somewhat peppy, but 215 horses is what the chassis really wants
    Reliability is good. I drive hard – my engine lives between 4000-6000rpm – but not in an overly obusive way, and zero issues
    Very good brakes and their feel

    P.S. interestingly, when driving over steep drive way in my Mazda and my 1993 merc 400E, the Mazda is literally 7-8 more torsionaly stiffer. So all the people that talk about “plastiky” modern cars are ignorant


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