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

remember that cx 8 mazda usa cant have it wont remain exclusively in japan after all

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 Autofocus.ca and the founder and former editor of GoodCarBadCar.net. 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.

  • Syke Thanks, somehow I missed that.
  • 285exp I am quite sure that it is a complete coincidence that they have announced a $7k price increase the same week that the current administration has passed legislation extending the $7k tax credit that was set to expire. Yep, not at all related.
  • Syke Is it possible to switch the pure EV drive on and off? Given the wonderful throttle response of an EV, I could see the desirability of this for a serious off-roader. Run straight ICE to get to your off-roading site, switch over the EV drive during the off-road section, then back to ICE for the road trip back home.
  • ToolGuy Historical Perspective Moment:• First-gen Bronco debuted in MY1966• OJ Simpson Bronco chase was in 1994• 1966 to 1994 = 28 years• 1994 to now = 28 yearsFeel old yet?
  • Ronnie Schreiber From where is all that electricity needed to power an EV transportation system going to come? Ironically, the only EV evangelist that I know of who even mentions the fragile nature of our electrical grid is Elon Musk. None of the politicians pushing EVs go anywhere near it, well, unless they are advocating for unreliable renewables like wind and solar.
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