QOTD: What to Do With Mazda?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd what to do with mazda

Yesterday, Steph Willems asked in his Question of the Day what BMW should do with Mini and its lineup of identical-but-different vehicles almost nobody is buying. Since it seems like you’re quite eager to give brand strategy advice, let’s do it again today.

I want you to tell me what you’d do with Mazda, because its current PR line isn’t sitting well with me.

The PR I’m referring to is from the article Tim Cain wrote on Monday, where the CEO of Mazda North America outlined consumer loyalty, market share and brand advancement desires for the company.

If you haven’t read it already, click the link above so you’re informed for the rest of our discussion and we can engage in the sort of thought-provoking, worldly dialogue I desire every single day. (Oh, and Tim gets clicks.)

Masahiro Moro’s points can be broken down into the following:

  • Mazda owner loyalty is low (39 percent vs. industry average 53 percent), and needs to increase
  • 2-percent market share is the goal, up from a current 1.7 percent
  • The 2-percent share will be obtained though quality customers, not incentives and discounts
  • Higher prices for existing products (via upscale trim levels)
  • Mazda Premium strategy, image establishment
  • Mazda does not compete in over 40 percent of the market segments in America

Now, it’s fine to say you want more of the pie, and having high-quality pie — the kind grandma makes — is the best kind of pie. But making those kinds of pies requires love, care, and many ingredients. You can’t make the pie taste better by putting it on a more expensive plate; substance is required.

To get the bullets above pointed in directions Mazda desires, I think it still needs to make a few changes, and they’re substantive.

  • Address the NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness) issues present in all Mazda models across the range
  • Improve dealer coverage throughout the nation, because you can’t buy from a dealer that doesn’t exist
  • A premium image requires a V6 option, even if you borrow it from another company, like Toyota
  • Offer diesel options across the range to support diesel enthusiasts
  • Address that 40-percent segment deficiency with new models, and a modular architecture (like VW)
  • Dump the “Driving Matters” preachy tagline, because the 375 people who care about that are already buying Mazda anyway

Certainly, I’m missing some points, and no doubt you’ll tell me I’m wrong on some of them. But Mazda needs to get the ball rolling here.

So tell me, what would you do with Mazda at your command?

[Image: Mazda]

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2 of 161 comments
  • Crossx5 Crossx5 on Jun 03, 2017

    Being a current mazda owner, I can suggest my wish list here, along with usual suggestions in the article. I think they need a couple of things. - A differentiated product line like i and s. Where s can carry forward their current idea and i can evolve to more mainstream comfortable cars. - s can adopt higher power, rather more torque, engines like 2.5 or 2.2d turbos. - i can adopt to a higher combined power using borrowed hybrid tech. I recall toyota was licensing their for free. - Probably more niche products like mazda3/6 wagons. I would readily trade my cx5 for a 2.2d turbo mazda 6 alltrack wagon. A similar type formula had done wonders for Subaru. They didn't fight battles on other's ground buy created a new ground altogether.

  • Dash323 Dash323 on Aug 28, 2017

    Make that 2.5 the base model engine and retune the 2.5t so that the turbo doesn't pull as earl as it does in the CX-9. Now, this is an idea I've had since the new RF came out: Take the Miata power train and make coupe with the hatchback body lines of the 3. Maybe put in that 2.5 or 2.5t. I'm guessing the extra hp would offset the weight from making it a hatchback. Call it the MX-3.

  • Tassos Government cheese for millionaires, while idiot Joe biden adds trillions to the debt.What a country (IT ONCE WAS!)
  • Tassos screw the fat cat incompetents. Let them rot. No deal.
  • MaintenanceCosts I think if there's one thing we can be sure of given Toyota's recent decisions it's that the strongest version of the next Camry will be a hybrid. Sadly, the buttery V6 is toast.A Camry with the Highlander/Sienna PSD powertrain would be basically competitive in the sedan market, with the slow death of V6 and big-turbo options. But for whatever reason it seems like that powertrain is capacity challenged. Not sure why, as there's nothing exotic in it.A Camry with the Hybrid Max powertrain would be bonkers, easily the fastest thing in segment. It would likewise be easy to build; again, there's nothing exotic in the Hybrid Max powertrain. (And Hybrid Max products don't seem to be all that constrained, so far.)
  • Analoggrotto The readers of TTAC deserve better than a bunch of Kia shills posing as journalists.
  • Lou_BC How do they work covered in snow, ice, mud, dust and water? Vibration?