Remember That CX-8 Mazda USA Can't Have? It Won't Remain Exclusively in Japan After All

Timothy Cain
by Timothy Cain
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remember that cx 8 mazda usa can t have it won t remain exclusively in japan after

The Mazda CX-4 is essentially a more style-centric variant of the Mazda CX-5.

But you can’t have it. The Mazda CX-4 is for China alone.

The upcoming Mazda CX-8, meanwhile, straddles the middle ground between the CX-5 and CX-9: smaller than a CX-9, but still roomy enough to squeeze in a third row of seats, unlike the CX-5.

Our interest in the CX-8 was piqued when the right-hand-drive Mazda was seen parked on Chicago streets two months ago. But Mazda wouldn’t budge: this was no sign that the CX-8 was bound for America. Instead, the CX-8 is intended only to serve a purpose as Mazda’s large vehicle in Japan, where the CX-9 is too big.

It seems, however, that the Mazda CX-8 is destined for the export market after all.

Just as in the United States, where Mazda’s blossoming crossover lineup would do well to be expanded — Mazda USA now produces 54 percent of its sales via the CX-3, CX-5, and CX-9 — Mazda’s Australia outpost would also like to get its hands on more utility vehicles.

The key difference: Mazda is a bit player in the United States, claiming less than 2 percent of the market through 2017’s first six months. Mazda Australia, on the other hand, is a powerhouse by comparison. More than 10 percent of the new vehicles sold in Australia so far this year were Mazdas. Only Toyota sells more new vehicles.

The Mazda 3 is Australia’s fourth-best-selling vehicle; the second-best-selling car. Mazda’s CX-5 is Australia’s top-selling SUV/crossover; the CX-3 ranks fifth.

If Mazda Australia garners this kind of success with a limited lineup, how much more damage might be done with a fourth utility vehicle?

Wheels reports that the CX-8’s inclusion in Mazda’s 2018 lineup Down Under is not yet finalized, but, “Mazda Australia is confident the CX-8 will form a part of the growing model line-up.”

Of course, the respective success of Mazda in the U.S. and Australia is not the only key distinction. The CX-8 was intended to be a JDM vehicle only. JDM equals right-hand drive. Likewise, Australia is a right-hand-drive market.

Thus, don’t hold your breath for the CX-8 to arrive in America just because Mazda seems willing to adjust product plans for the Aussies. The 2018 Mazda CX-8 debuts in production form in Tokyo in October 2017.

[Image: Mazda]

Timothy Cain is a contributing analyst at The Truth About Cars and and the founder and former editor of Follow on Twitter @timcaincars.

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  • Chocolatedeath Chocolatedeath on Jul 12, 2017

    Still say that the CX9 as much as I like it is a half size to small. (interior wise) It needs to be Traverse sized and then bring over the CX8..

    • Rocket Rocket on Jul 12, 2017

      Thanks to terrible packaging, it's a half size too small on the inside for sure. The footprint is plenty generous, however. A case of form over function if ever there was one.

  • Rocket Rocket on Jul 12, 2017

    Forget the CX-8, I want a CX-9-based CX-7. Kill the third row, shorten it up to 189" on a 112" wheelbase to split the difference between the 5 and 9. I would even consider the CX-9 if they offered a 2-row option (in Signature trim). But as it stands the third row's only purpose from my perspective is to add weight and eat up a lot of usable cargo space.

    • See 3 previous
    • Rocket Rocket on Jul 13, 2017

      @rx8 Well, since the seats become the load floor when folded, I'm guessing the space would be even less useful without the seats.

  • Ernesto Perez There's a line in the movie Armageddon where Bruce Willis says " is this the best idea NASA came up with?". Don't quote me. I'm asking is this the best idea NY came up with? What's next? Charging pedestrians to walk in certain parts of the city? Every year the price for everything gets more expensive and most of the services we pay for gets worse. Obviously more money is not the solution. What we need are better ideas, strategies and inventions. You want to charge drivers in the city - then put tolls on the free bridges like the Brooklyn, Manhattan and Williamsburg bridges. There's always a better way or product. It's just the idiots on top think they know best.
  • Carsofchaos The bike lanes aren't even close to carrying "more than the car lanes replaced". You clearly don't drive in Midtown Manhattan on a daily like I do.
  • Carsofchaos The problem with congestion, dear friends, is not the cars per se. I drive into the city daily and the problem is this:Your average street in the area used to be 4 lanes. Now it is a bus lane, a bike lane (now you're down to two lanes), then you have delivery trucks double parking, along with the Uber and Lyft drivers also double parking. So your 4 lane avenue is now a 1.5 lane avenue. Do you now see the problem? Congestion pricing will fix none of these things....what it WILL do is fund persion plans.
  • FreedMike Many F150s I encounter are autonomously driven...and by that I mean they're driving themselves because the dips**ts at the wheel are paying attention to everything else but the road.
  • Tassos A "small car", TIM????????????This is the GLE. Have you even ever SEEN the huge thing at a dealer's??? NOT even the GLC,and Merc has TWO classes even SMALLER than the C (The A and the B, you guessed it? You must be a GENIUS!).THe E is a "MIDSIZED" crossover, NOT A SMALL ONE BY ANY STRETCH OF THE IMAGINATION, oh CLUELESS one.I AM SICK AND TIRED OF THE NONSENSE you post here every god damned day.And I BET you will never even CORRECT your NONSENSE, much less APOLOGIZE for your cluelessness and unprofessionalism.