TTAC News Round-Up: Mazda's Crossover Mania, Hyundai Lands a Lambo Man, Toyota is Just The Tops

Aaron Cole
by Aaron Cole
ttac news round up mazda s crossover mania hyundai lands a lambo man toyota is

Newly promoted, high-priced executives at Mazda seem to think there’s something to this crossover fad.

That, Hyundai’s landed a Benjamin Button to lead Genesis and I wish I would have known how cheap I could have purchased an F1 team … after the break.

New Mazda boss keying on crossover sales

New Mazda North America chief Masahiro Moro will push the company to sell more crossovers next year when he takes the reins, according to Automotive News.

Moro will take over for outgoing, longtime CEO Jim O’Sullivan on Jan. 1, and Moro said that he’d like the automaker’s business to be based more on its high-margin crossovers and less on its slim-profit sedans, such as the Mazda3.

“In the past, we have had a business model with too much reliance on Mazda3 series,” Moro told Automotive News. “With that business model, it is very difficult to make good money.”

To bolster that bid to sell more big vehicles, Mazda introduced its CX-3 in 2015 and will bring a new CX-9 in 2016.

More “boom-boom,” less “zoom zoom,” I suppose?

Former Lamborghini exec leading Hyundai’s Genesis division

Manfred Fitzgerald, who led Lamborghini’s brand and design up until 2011, will take over at Hyundai’s new Genesis brand, the automaker announced Monday.

Fitzgerald will be based in Seoul, South Korea, and will be responsible for the fledgling brand’s strategy and marketing, according to the statement.

Apparently Fitzgerald is 52 years old, which you’d never know by the above photo.

Toyota will likely retain crown for world’s largest automaker

Toyota outsold Volkswagen for the fifth-straight month in November, which means that the Japanese automaker will likely retain its crown for 2015 as the world’s biggest automaker.

(Volkswagen, you may have heard, has had a little difficulty selling cars since the summer.)

Reuters reported that Toyota said group sales have slid 1 percent year-to-date over last year, but that the automaker shipped 9.21 million cars in November.

Renault bought Lotus F1 for less than you think

How does $1.50 sound? That’s how much Renault paid for the flagging Lotus F1 team, according to Motorsport.

The complicated stock transaction boiled down to just a single, British Pound, according to the report. Grigny will be the immediate owner of the team, according to Motorsport, and is a subsidiary of Renault. Grigny was involved in Renault’s last F1 bid, when the former was called Benetton.

All Pastor Maldonado needs to know is whose name to put on the check.

Recalls coming at year-end, but 2015 may come second

A flurry of year-end recalls for vehicles are bringing to a close a busy year for safety regulators, but that may not top last year’s record 64 million recalled vehicles, The Detroit Bureau reported.

The year-end rush may have something to do with the fact that Congress recently passed stiffer penalties for automakers as part of its federal highways bill.

Federal regulators have handed out record penalties already to automakers this year including $105 million to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and $900 million to General Motors for its faulty ignition switches.

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  • TrailerTrash TrailerTrash on Dec 28, 2015

    Don't you dare stop the focus of the Mazda3. It is simply a beauty and what really brought the Mazda brand back to where it is today.\ I don't mind thinking about margin...but can we try to do more than two things here? I see a car company suddenly moving from the control of the engineers and car guys to the offices of the bean counters and return of shareholder investments. That's all good, but remember what brought us here. Go back and watch the old movie Executive Suite again and try to get the picture.

  • Tekdemon Tekdemon on Dec 31, 2015

    It's rather ridiculous how much money Mazda wants for a CX-3 but the market weirdly places a premium on things that are crossovers, even if they appear to be the same damned size as a car.

  • ToolGuy CXXVIII comments?!?
  • ToolGuy I did truck things with my truck this past week, twenty-odd miles from home (farther than usual). Recall that the interior bed space of my (modified) truck is 98" x 74". On the ride home yesterday the bed carried a 20 foot extension ladder (10 feet long, flagged 14 inches past the rear bumper), two other ladders, a smallish air compressor, a largish shop vac, three large bins, some materials, some scrap, and a slew of tool cases/bags. It was pretty full, is what I'm saying.The range of the Cybertruck would have been just fine. Nothing I carried had any substantial weight to it, in truck terms. The frunk would have been extremely useful (lock the tool cases there, out of the way of the Bed Stuff, away from prying eyes and grasping fingers -- you say I can charge my cordless tools there? bonus). Stainless steel plus no paint is a plus.Apparently the Cybertruck bed will be 78" long (but over 96" with the tailgate folded down) and 60-65" wide. And then Tesla promises "100 cubic feet of exterior, lockable storage — including the under-bed, frunk and sail pillars." Underbed storage requires the bed to be clear of other stuff, but bottom line everything would have fit, especially when we consider the second row of seats (tools and some materials out of the weather).Some days I was hauling mostly air on one leg of the trip. There were several store runs involved, some for 8-foot stock. One day I bummed a ride in a Roush Mustang. Three separate times other drivers tried to run into my truck (stainless steel panels, yes please). The fuel savings would be large enough for me to notice and to care.TL;DR: This truck would work for me, as a truck. Sample size = 1.
  • Art Vandelay Dodge should bring this back. They could sell it as the classic classic classic model
  • Surferjoe Still have a 2013 RDX, naturally aspirated V6, just can't get behind a 4 banger turbo.Also gloriously absent, ESS, lane departure warnings, etc.
  • ToolGuy Is it a genuine Top Hand? Oh, I forgot, I don't care. 🙂