By on December 28, 2015

2016 Mazda CX-3 GT (18 of 25)

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.

2016-Mazda-CX-9-6

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.

2015 Jeep® Cherokee Limited

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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71 Comments on “TTAC News Round-Up: Mazda’s Crossover Mania, Hyundai Lands a Lambo Man, Toyota is Just The Tops...”


  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Mazda realizes CUVs are the new cash cows?

    What next, Packers draft some offensive linemen?

  • avatar
    RHD

    The station wagon has returned, bringing profits and practicality, though no one dares call it what it is.
    When the new Edge is called a Country Squire, we will have come full circle.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Yes, station wagons. That CX-3 is only 0.7″ taller than a Fit.

      That ain’t no crossover.

      • 0 avatar
        Mathias

        It ain’t no wagon, neither.

        It’s too short for that, which is the problem with all but the largest SUVs, CUVs, and of course the hatchbacks.

        If you don’t want to spend luxury-car money, the only real wagons left are the VW Golf/Jetta and the Subaru Outback — which are both decent sellers.

        The real test is when a car sells in various form factors, like the Focus used to. People do not want wagons. This will always be a mystery to me.

      • 0 avatar
        slavuta

        CX-3 is a half-assed solution. Sort of like obamacare.

      • 0 avatar
        Fred

        Ahh but it’s 9.5″ taller than a TSX Sportwagon and that to me makes it a CUV.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          If that TSX is indeed only 51.2″ high it is definitely one of the most execrable “wagons” ever foisted upon the public.

          Navel-grazing POS!

          • 0 avatar
            Fred

            That hurts my feelings.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Oops… you didn’t say *my* TSX Sportwagon. I will STFU up about someone’s personal choice.

          • 0 avatar
            George B

            How is the TSX wagon “execrable”? It’s underpowered, but that could have been solved by offering it with the 3.5L V6 available in the TSX sedan. The wheel arches are less obnoxious than the plastic cladding of some of it’s peers and the Acura grill can be replaced.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Your defense of the TSX sounds like “Aside from that, Mrs. Lincoln..”

            But all I’m concerned with are ergonomics and visibility.

      • 0 avatar
        Maymar

        As you’d put it, the CX-3 is a crampy little car (8cu ft less interior space than the Fit), just one with enough ground clearance and body cladding to convince people it’s a crossover.

    • 0 avatar
      Drzhivago138

      I think you mean the Flex. If we renamed the Edge anything, it would be Fairlane Squire or Torino Squire.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        I’d be fine with “Fusion Estate”, because that’s what it sort of is anyway.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          You always say how bad the Mondeo Estate is at being a wagon, how it doesn’t have any room!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I love the look of it. Mazda6 wagon as well. However, the cargo capacity is worthless for the size. The Fusion wagon has basically the same cargo capacity as my C-Max. The Mazda6 wagon is even worse. 17 cu ft of storage in a midsized wagon! Why even buy the wagon then?

            In comparison, the Edge has 40 cu ft of storage.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Considering my Deville can fit 18.1 in the trunk, that is indeed a useless wagon.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Heck, the regular Fusion/Mondeo has 16 cu ft of trunk space in the sedan. It does have a mail slot opening though. I think it would be better as a liftback, but Ford isn’t throwing down the cash for us to have that in the US.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think we could be headed in that direction, really. If you consider the styling thing we’re seeing now with reduced headroom at the back, and extra-slanty rear ends, a liftback makes more sense.

            The A7 and Tesla have em, and the CLS would be a better idea if it did. Consider the roof line on a new design like the Civic – it would be massively more useful as a liftback rather than have the tiny trunk opening.

            So once the liftbacks start coming along, and the small CUV merges with the sedan…

            You can have the AWD all-weather coupe or sedan or CUV, all with liftbacks.

          • 0 avatar
            Maymar

            What’re the odds that the Mondeo Estate’s 17 cu-ft of space is only measured to the top of the seat backs while the Edge’s 40 is to the ceiling? For what it’s worth, Ford UK quotes 530L of space while Ford Australia says 730 (for what amounts to the exact same car).

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            I used the Australian website (so 730 liters or 25.7 cu ft). I used the Mazda Australia website as well.

            I’ve been in the Mondeo Estate and Edge, and the eye test says that the Edge has a good deal more cargo space.

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            Guess I am confused about the 6 wagon cargo volume here. The 2015 6 has 14.8 CuFt now with a regular trunk. How could the wagon only get 2 more? Don’t they count to the roof as all SUV/CUVs do?

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    STATION WAGONS.

  • avatar
    Corollaman

    Not a 4 letter word, why is everyone so scared to use it?

    • 0 avatar
      James2

      Maybe “station wagon” sounds old and outdated (or seems too much Chevy Chase/Vacation) while “crossover” sounds new and modern. Just a thought.

      That new guy running Genesis… in a past life maybe he was Jason Statham’s stunt double.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Basic marketing, NEW! NEW! NEW! Station wagons aren’t new.

      And any marketing reference to the past must imply retaining or resurrecting some former exquisite glory. The kid-slimed interiors of last Century’s station wagons and their awkward land-bargeness are hard to wax nostalgic over.

    • 0 avatar
      GermanReliabilityMyth

      It’s better soccer mom repellent than a guy in a bowling shirt leaning out the window of his van marked “FREE CANDY.”

  • avatar
    Fred

    Renault also assumed the debt that Lotus F1 had amased.

  • avatar
    GermanReliabilityMyth

    What’s old is new again and the world keeps spinning.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I would have thought Renault had an F1 team already? And doesn’t Nissan have one anyway, so they’re paying for teams twice?

    And why not just race as a Renault-Nissan team?

    I’m confuse.

  • avatar
    carguy

    So the magic trick to getting the US car buying public to fall in love with the versatility of hatchbacks and station wagons was to call them CUVs?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The greatest trick the automakers ever pulled was convincing the American public that the station wagon didn’t exist.

    • 0 avatar
      Zoom

      Jacking them up and offering AWD is the difference. Many people feel safer sitting higher. Entry/Egress is easier for older folks. Not sure why people keep equating CUV’s with hatchbacks and wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      smartascii

      Sort of. The magic trick was making them not look like wagons, which are long and low. The PT Cruiser was nothing more than a Neon wagon, but it was too short to look like one, and it had that Nostalgia! nose on it, so it was fine. The new Audi Q7, on the other hand, is called an SUV, but it’s long and low, so no one will buy any, because they’ll say it looks too much like a wagon. There are a few cars out there that don’t fit into any category (See: Forester), and they’re fine, too, as not-wagons. If the proportions are too wagon-y, all the manufacturer has to do is raise the visual height and/or shorten the roof, which is why all these things have slant-backs on them that destroy their utility.

  • avatar
    kmars2009

    Mazda makes decent vehicles, from what I have seen.
    Volvo is also big on CUVs…however a new V90 WAGON will be out in ’17. Should be interesting to see how they do. How BRAVE of Volvo to even go there.
    PS. The Volvo XC70 has been available all along…it’s a wagon…just jacked. Also, there’s the V60 and V60 CC.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      All Volvo wagon options currently available other than the XC70 are very overpriced while simultaneously not being good at wagon.

      And then when you consider the XC70 against a loaded up Outback, it’s overpriced too.

      I want Volvo to have good wagons, be reliable, look square and solid, and be competitive. But their price lists and insistence on 2.0TST-Hybrid BS isn’t working for me.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        but the turbo 4 in the volvo is far superior to the subie’s 4.
        and the 6 gets poor mpg.
        but don’t get me wrong. i like the subaru wagon and often consider it.

      • 0 avatar
        kmars2009

        It’s all about perspective. A XC70 moderately equipped is only $45K and will make sure you survive in a crash of any kind…a Subaru? Not so much. Volvo is still the epitome of safety in any automobile…next to Mercedes. Point blank!
        Also, the upcoming V90 will feature the same turbo fours found in the EXCELLENT XC90.
        If it’s out of YOUR price range, safety is not your real concern…not to mention worth it.
        I own a XC70…And will continue buying them until the V90 CC replaces it.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It’s good to see now you’ve made clear you are incapable of being level-headed or impartial about Volvo wagons.

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            Guess u gotta own one. The love will follow.
            PS. Nothing against the gay community, but nothing says Lesbian quite like a Subaru. I should know, I’m a male member of that community, and wouldn’t be seen in a Subaru!
            The guy homos like Volvo!

          • 0 avatar
            kmars2009

            BTW…if you want to know what companies can go the ling haul, just look at the big rigs. Freightliner(Mercedes Benz) and Volvo…I would trust either one to build safe, reliable cars too.

  • avatar
    Zoom

    Someone should write an article comparing hip height of hatchbacks to CUV’s, so everyone will stop equating them to hatchbacks/wagons.

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Hip-to-roof distance is more important for the orthopedically challenged.

      A practical means of testing that might to get the baddest-ass bastard you know to repeatedly punch you in the kidney region and then go car shopping.

      • 0 avatar
        Zoom

        Hip to roof distance in a compact CUV doesn’t seem to be less than its equivalent sedan. More leg strength is required for a lower seating position.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Well, no, but sedans aren’t to many us ever a possibility; they’re automatically disqualified because CAFE has turned them all into crampy, low-slung torture chambers.

          And muscular exertion for ass-finding-seat is not the issue; it’s the necessary flexion/rotation of arthritic joints that causes the Hurt.

    • 0 avatar
      slance66

      The point is that they provide the same function…dare I say, “utility” as wagons, or in the CX-3 case, hatchbacks. The CX-3 will compete with the Golf really, anyone who things otherwise is fooling themselves. But, for those in the north, it has AWD that the Golf lacks. Look at the little lifted Impreza, the Crosstrek from Subaru…it sells gangbusters at least here in New England.

      Ultimately I bought a CX-5 myself to replace a 3 series. It’s comfortable, good on gas, seats 4 maybe 5 (more roomy than the 3 at least) and holds lots of stuff. Should be decent in the snow too.

  • avatar
    George B

    I don’t understand the appeal of the CUV, but I only have one X chromosome and can easily fit my travel necessities into one carry-on suitcase. The origin of the name “station wagon” was the vehicle that transported people AND their large luggage to and from the train station. They were originally fairly tall vehicles based on BOF trucks, but evolved to become cars. However, the common theme is that a station wagon has room for both a group that includes women and their large luggage at the same time. One could argue that CUVs, SUVs, and minivans are all different evolutionary forms of station wagons.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    I’m 52 years old, also. Kind people tell me I look younger than that, but since I remember saying that to people in their 80s, I’m not sure how to feel about that.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Fitzgerald looks so multi-culti he should be in a Cadillac ad.

  • avatar
    deanst

    I doubt Toyota shipped 9 million cars in November…..

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    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.

  • avatar
    tekdemon

    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.

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