New Mazdas Loiter in Ports As Company Reports Profit Dive

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
new mazdas loiter in ports as company reports profit dive

The fiscal year that wrapped up at the end of March was not a good one for Mazda, the company claims, with profit cut almost in half amid fallout from the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday, Mazda revealed a full-year operating profit of just $408 million — its lowest showing in 8 years.

Smaller than its Japanese rivals and heavily dependent on the North American consumer, Mazda was hit hard by lockdown orders that dried up sales in the U.S. and Canada in March.

This, after a 2019 spent struggling to regain its footing in the market. The launch of the somewhat upscale current-generation Mazda 3 didn’t go off exactly as planned, though the company’s CX-5 crossover remains popular. Last year also brought the introduction of the CX-30 small crossover, a model that bridges the gap between the tiny, slow-selling CX-3 and the CX-5.

While the first two months of the calendar year did bring an improvement in U.S. sales, March wiped out those gains. Volume fell 41.8 percent that month, year over year, as dealerships closed and residents battened down the hatches. April wasn’t any better, with sales down 44.5 percent.

With operating profit down 47 percent (from last year’s $769 million), the automaker declined to release a forecast for the current fiscal year. All it would say is that the business environment is “expected to remain highly uncertain due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.”

Hampering Mazda’s return to full production in Japan is a backlog of undelivered vehicles clogging U.S. ports. Burning cash, the automaker has tapped three Japanese banks and other lenders for sizable loans, Reuters reports.

Globally, the automaker’s sales fell 9.1 percent in the year ended March, with North American volume down 5.8 percent. The U.S.’s share of that decline was 4.1 percent, though the overall cratering of the market in March meant that Mazda’s market share didn’t drop.

[Image: Mazda]

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  • APaGttH APaGttH on May 14, 2020

    Changing fortunes have hurt Mazda coupled with missteps. Americans are quite clear they don't give a crap about near-luxury quasi-performance. A series of questionable designs, pricing issues on some models, the bad history of the 3.0L V6, and a reputation for automatic transmissions even less reliable than Nissan. This is a brand I want to love - badly. For me Mazda is like Acura a decade ago. A brand I desperately wanted to love, their products "close" but not close enough. They have a couple of good products to offer, but not enough to stem the bleeding. In a lot of ways, I'm surprised they haven't looked for a merger or been absorbed. In hindsight, it seems Ford got a lot more from their partnership than the other way around.

    • Bd2 Bd2 on May 14, 2020

      Going mainstream "premium" (w/ the requisite price hike) has always been a risky move for the US market; see VW, which abandoned that and turned to developing vehicles specifically for the US market (copious amounts of interior space at a very competitive price-point).

  • Inside Looking Out Inside Looking Out on May 14, 2020

    Another Lancia, maker of semi-premium sporty cars?

  • Theflyersfan As a kid, a neighbor had one of these full-sized conversion vans with the TV and wet bar in the back. And it was so cool to go in - as a kid it was, driving it had to be terror at times with blind spots, iffy power and brakes, and the feeling that you're hauling your living room with you! Kids of the 1970s and 1980s had this experience. Afterwards with minivans and then CUV everything, not so much.And I'm crushed that a 1977 van doesn't have some kind of mural on the sides. Coyote howling at the moon, American flag, Confederate flag, bright stripes, something! You can't have a 1970's era van with plain sides! At least a "Don't Laugh. Your daughter's in here" bumper sticker on the back. I always get a Gacy or Bundy vibe with these vans...
  • Jeff S In the EV market Tesla is not a niche player it is the major player. According to the latest data of the California-based vehicle valuation and automotive research company  Kelley Blue Book, Tesla has the lion’s share with 75 percent market share in  the electric vehicle market in the first three months of 2022.Tesla has dominated the electric vehicle market for years in the United States. The electric vehicles manufactured by Tesla accounted for 79 percent of the new electric vehicles registered in the United States in 2020 and 69,95 percent in 2021. The decrease in the market share in 2021 might be explained by backlogs and the global chip shortage, but the company is ramping up its sales and has already increased its market share to 75 percent in the first quarter of the year. According to Kelley Blue Book, the top 10 EVs sold in the US in the first quarter of 2022 are;[list=1][*]Tesla Model Y[/*][*]Tesla Model 3[/*][*]Ford Mustang Mach-E[/*][*]Tesla Model X[/*][*]Hyundai Ioniq 5[/*][*]Kia EV6[/*][*]Tesla Model S[/*][*]Nissan Leaf[/*][*]Kia Niro[/*][*]Audi e-Tron[/*][/list=1]Tesla has delivered 310,048 vehicles in the first quarter of 2022, another first-quarter record. The success of Tesla is proven once again as the company has three electric cars in the top 10 most selling electric vehicles in the United States, while no other manufacturer has even two different models on the list.Tesla leads all others, selling slightly over 936,000 units in 2021. This gave the company a market share of nearly 14%.Mar 30, 2022
  • Jeff S I did not know Plymouth had a full size van prior to the mini vans. I did know about the Plymouth pickups and the Trail Duster.
  • Arthur Dailey When I grew tired of the T-Bird trying to kill me by refusing to start at the most inconvenient times/places, I replaced it with a '79 fullsized Dodge (Sportsman) van. Similar to this but with a different grille and rectangular headlights. The 4 'captains' chairs in my van were pretty much identical to the ones in this van. Mine certainly was not as nicely finished inside. And it was a handful to drive in snow/ice. One thing that strikes me about this van is that although a conversion it does not seem to have the requisite dark tint on the windows.
  • Jeff S I am not a fan of Tesla and they were niche vehicles but it seems that they have become more common. I doubt if I get an EV that it would be a Tesla. The electrical grid will have to be expanded because people over the long run are not going to accept the excuse of the grid can't handle people charging their EVs.