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    William Maley

    Mazda's Premium Ambitions for the U.S.

      Mazda plans on becoming more premium. How do plan on accomplishing that?

    Mazda is in the process of trying to position themselves as a premium brand that you can actually afford. Autoblog had the chance to speak with Jacques Flynn, a lead exterior designer, and Jacob Brown, a PR representative for Mazda. 

    A key part of Mazda's premium plans is their Kodo design language. Flynn explained that Mazda will be simplifying and evolving the look of Kodo on their various models. A key example is the recently introduced second-generation CX-5. Compared to the outgoing model, the new CX-5 features fewer curves to make it look tauter. 

    Diesel will also play a key part in Mazda's premium ambitions. Brown explained that diesel has the air of premium surrounding it as luxury automakers, for the most part, offer them in the U.S. Mazda was hoping not to use urea-injection for their diesel models, but ultimately had to give in to meet emission standards and performance benchmarks.

    Those hoping that Mazda would bring back Mazdaspeed on some performance models will be disappointed to hear it could be a while before this happens. Both Flynn and Brown said the company's focus is "on making the core line-up cohesive." Being a small company, they cannot take any chances on working a number of projects at the same time since that could result in a misstep or two.

    Source: Autoblog

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    So first error by Flynn is to think Diesel means premium. Just because BMW and MB have had them for ever, does not mean it is perceived as premium. The attitude by most people towards diesel proves this out.

    Second, They still have the problem with head room. Their auto's are still built for small asian size people and they are missing what is needed in the American Market. 

    Yes yell at me, whatever you want, but for those over 5'8" tall there auto's are a failure and if you are fat which most of America is, again it fails. I also will not get into all the other issues I have found with both the CX-9 and CX-5, read my personal reviews on that.

    Here even if you are 5'8" tall you hit your head on entry. The problem is between the A and B pillar. You cannot get into this auto unless you face away from the auto, place your ass in the seat and dip your head as you swerve 90 degrees into the auto. Or 1 foot in, body at a 45 degree angle and slide in facing the front. Neither is comfortable or easy in getting into this auto.

    Does the new 2017 over the 2016 look nice? YES. Sadly it now looks more like the Mistubishi CUV from the side profile and more in the generic BLAH department with all the rest in this class.

    END RESULT, it will sell, but not as a Premium. Also Mazda is loosing their identity as right now Auto Design Style is very much blah and nothing that pops. The older curvy design was more pop and grabbed your attention than the new one.

    2017-2016-CX5.jpg

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    So first error by Flynn is to think Diesel means premium. Just because BMW and MB have had them for ever, does not mean it is perceived as premium. The attitude by most people towards diesel proves this out.

    - pure BS.  Diesel is premium because it lasts twice, three times, four times longer than gasoline engines.

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    16 hours ago, ocnblu said:

    So first error by Flynn is to think Diesel means premium. Just because BMW and MB have had them for ever, does not mean it is perceived as premium. The attitude by most people towards diesel proves this out.

    - pure BS.  Diesel is premium because it lasts twice, three times, four times longer than gasoline engines.

    Wrong, tell that to my Solid GM V8's that have half a million miles on them. Last longer as you state does not make a premium auto or engine.

    Yes if you abuse the engine as many do and do no maintenance, the gas engines will wear out by 100K miles versus diesel getting about 200-250K miles. Yet as with any engine. Take care of it, maintenance and you can make them last for ever.

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    DFelt that is unduly harsh, the Buick Envision wishes it looked as sexy as the Mazda CX-5.

    And nope, I'm 5' 10" and I FIT FINE in the CX-5, as it is!!!

    Nah, the problem with Mazda, the have great vehicles, just a lack of a distribtuion network and exposure to the North American market.

    Now enthusiasts will always want the hi-po engine or the most powerful engine that Mazda currently makes, the 2.5T, as CP said in every offering. And premium buyers nowadays expect some kind of 2.0T as atleast a base or mid-level offering too.

    Mazda rite now is basically what Nissan used to be a few decades ago. Like, exactly what Nissan used to be a few decades ago.

    But few things NEED to be addressed. I do find it annoying how the top end Signature trim CX-9 for example, has an exquisite interior, better than that of the Buick Enclave's by a wide margin in materials....but the seats don't have 10-way power. Passenger seat is 4-way power. No cooled rear seats. And no CarPlay/AndAuto. 

    Now I'm not saying that the seats are uncomfortable, just that, those numbers on a spec sheet seem like they matter, but they make a world of a difference in the validity, the meat behind the word "premium".

     

     

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    Mazda can't sell that many cars at low prices, now they want to be Premium and I assume charge higher prices? I think Mazda makes a good car, but they should never have gone away from Zoom Zoom, their marketing is weak as can be.

    Problem 2 is car makers are fleeing diesel, even Mercedes seems to be dumping them in the US, we know VW-Audi are.  So diesel will have no appeal in about 5 years when plug in hybrid is all the rage.  I don't see a diesel Mazda 6 or CX-9 jump starting sales.   

    Mazda 6 needs the 2.5T engine yesterday, a mid-size sedan with 181 hp max or whatever it has isn't going to have enough appeal.  I'd make a Mazdaspeed 3 with the 2.5T also.  I could see bringing back the CX-7 also, the CX-9 is a 3 row large crossover, the CX-5 is small, there is no middle.  A 4th crossover would jump start sales.

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    @dfelt I agree in regards to a diesel, nothing about diesels screams premium.

    In regards to headroom and size: I am 6'1" and I fit perfectly fine and comfortably in Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX5 and CX9.  And if you look at the dimensions they are not smaller then any other comparable car in the segment.  So your continued rumblings about cars built for small Asian people are complete BS.  There are maybe other issues with mentioned by few previous posts but size is not one of them.

    Mazda 3 front headroom: 38.6", hip room: 55.5"

    Cruise front headroom: 38.9", hip room: 53.1"

    Focus front headroom: 38.3", hip room: 53.9"

    Mazda 6 front headroom: 38.4", hip room: 56.1"

    Malibu front headroom: 39.1", hip room: 56.1"

    Fusion front headroom: 39.2", hip room: 55"

    CX-5 front headroom: 40.1", hip room: 55.2"

    Equinox front headroom: 40.9", hip room: 54.6"

    Escape fron headroom: 39.9", hip room: 54.8"

    CX-9 front headroom: 39.3", hip room: 56.7"

    Acadia front headroom: 40.3", hip room: 55.7"

    Explorer front headroom: 41.4", hip room: 57.3"

    So only CX-9 is somewhat smaller then the competition.

    Edited by ykX
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    2 hours ago, ykX said:

    @dfelt I agree in regards to a diesel, nothing about diesels screams premium.

    In regards to headroom and size: I am 6'1" and I fit perfectly fine and comfortably in Mazda 3, Mazda 6, CX5 and CX9.  And if you look at the dimensions they are not smaller then any other comparable car in the segment.  So your continued rumblings about cars built for small Asian people are complete BS.  There are maybe other issues with mentioned by few previous posts but size is not one of them.

    Mazda 3 front headroom: 38.6", hip room: 55.5"

    Cruise front headroom: 38.9", hip room: 53.1"

    Focus front headroom: 38.3", hip room: 53.9"

    Mazda 6 front headroom: 38.4", hip room: 56.1"

    Malibu front headroom: 39.1", hip room: 56.1"

    Fusion front headroom: 39.2", hip room: 55"

    CX-5 front headroom: 40.1", hip room: 55.2"

    Equinox front headroom: 40.9", hip room: 54.6"

    Escape fron headroom: 39.9", hip room: 54.8"

    CX-9 front headroom: 39.3", hip room: 56.7"

    Acadia front headroom: 40.3", hip room: 55.7"

    Explorer front headroom: 41.4", hip room: 57.3"

    So only CX-9 is somewhat smaller then the competition.

    While measurements are just one area, their lack of highly adjustable seats limits the room. As I have mentioned many times before, their design language cuts the entry into the front seats big time so you have a smaller opening and yes you gain some headroom once in the car. Sadly long bodied people loose out as the lack of the seats adjustments keep tall people from sitting in the front passenger seat and makes it doable but difficult on the drivers side.

    Just having measurements that equal everyone else does not make a comfortable or roomy interior.

    At 6'6" tall my legs are equal to my body, which is rare, most people are longer legs / arms than body and yet my wife and kids are all longer body than legs / arms and as such when a seat is not adjustable, your head clearly hits the roof.

    To each their own, but I have to say that I stick by my own experience of not being able to recommend the Mazda CX CUV line for many reasons that I have stated in my review posted here at the review forum. So many superior sized CUVs that does not leave one with the experiance I had with Mazda.

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      In order to realise its vision of modern luxury mobility with confidence, the company will curate closer collaboration and knowledge-sharing with Tata Group companies to enhance sustainability and reduce emissions as well as sharing best practice in next-generation technology, data and software development leadership. Jaguar Land Rover has been a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Motors, in which Tata Sons is the largest shareholder, since 2008.
      “We have so many ingredients from within. It is a unique opportunity,” said Mr Bolloré. “Others have to rely solely on external partnerships and compromise, but we have frictionless access that will allow us to lean forward with confidence and at speed.”
      Bringing all these ingredients together, Jaguar Land Rover is on a path towards double-digit EBIT margins and positive cash flow, with an ambition to achieve positive cash net-of-debt by 2025. 
      Ultimately, Jaguar Land Rover aims to be one of the most profitable luxury manufacturers in the world.
      Mr N Chandrasekaran, Chairman of Tata Sons, Tata Motors and Jaguar Land Rover Automotive plc commented: “The Reimagine strategy takes Jaguar Land Rover on a significant path of acceleration in harmony with the vision and sustainability priorities of the wider Tata Group. Together, we will help Jaguar realise its potential, reinforce Land Rover’s timeless appeal and collectively become a symbol of a truly responsible business for its customers, society and the planet.”
      Mr Bolloré concluded: “As a human-centred company, we can, and will, move much faster and with clear purpose of not just reimagining modern luxury but defining it for two distinct brands. Brands that present emotionally unique designs, pieces of art if you like, but all with connected technologies and responsible materials that collectively set new standards in ownership. We are reimagining a new modern luxury by design.”
    • By William Maley
      Yesterday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA officially merged to become Stellantis, the fourth-largest automaker in the world. But this merge has produced some consequences that need to be addressed. One of those being Peugeot's re-entry back in to the U.S.
      “We were last speaking about [Peugeot’s U.S. re-entry] a year and a half ago, before Stellantis. We can’t not take into account that in the coming days Peugeot will be part of this new world. I imagine in the coming months due to the new strategy we will have to adapt and reconsider all elements, including this one,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato to Automotive News.
      A key reason for this reconsideration not wanting overlap brands in the U.S.
      This is a polar opposite to comments made last year by Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America.
      Imparto's focus for Peugeot in the near future is concentrating on its core markets - Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. There are also plans to get the brand back on track in China. As for the U.S., Imparto said it was "still on the table" down the road.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Yesterday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA officially merged to become Stellantis, the fourth-largest automaker in the world. But this merge has produced some consequences that need to be addressed. One of those being Peugeot's re-entry back in to the U.S.
      “We were last speaking about [Peugeot’s U.S. re-entry] a year and a half ago, before Stellantis. We can’t not take into account that in the coming days Peugeot will be part of this new world. I imagine in the coming months due to the new strategy we will have to adapt and reconsider all elements, including this one,” said Peugeot CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato to Automotive News.
      A key reason for this reconsideration not wanting overlap brands in the U.S.
      This is a polar opposite to comments made last year by Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America.
      Imparto's focus for Peugeot in the near future is concentrating on its core markets - Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. There are also plans to get the brand back on track in China. As for the U.S., Imparto said it was "still on the table" down the road.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)
    • By William Maley
      It has been some time since we last reported on PSA Group's plan to re-enter the U.S. When we last checked in, Peugeot was chosen as the brand to be entering the U.S. by 2023 and rumors were swirling about a possible merger between PSA Group and FCA. A lot has changed since then as the two automakers begin to finalize plans for a merger, and the COVID-19 pandemic has no end in sight in the U.S. What does that mean for Peugeot's return to the U.S.?
      "My role is to grow the PSA business in North America, growing our mobility capability and preparing for the launch of Peugeot." said Larry Dominique, CEO of PSA North America to Automotive News.
      "From our standpoint, we're planning as if [the merger] doesn't exist. We're marching forward as if PSA was going to be there by themselves."
      Dominique is right now focused on the present with the top priority being building out a dealer network for both U.S. and Canada before the launch. He explained that the company is planning a two-prong approach, having franchised dealers and online retailing.
      "The future success for OEMs is the reduction of distribution costs while ensuring both retail and OEM margin sustainability. This has to be done through strong pricing power, not volume turnover," he said.
      Part of this is due to COVID-19 pandemic which has many automakers rethinking how they sell vehicles, something Dominique admits is a big challenge.
      "All my competitors are going to be focusing on digital, which means we have to step up our game and deliver an even stronger customer experience when we launch Peugeot in North America. We need to get out of an environment where the retailers are dependent upon just F&I and service to pay their bills."
      Another challenge facing Dominique, what models to sell in the U.S. The market has changed a lot since PSA Group announced its intentions to re-enter the U.S. Consumers now are focused on trucks and crossovers.
      "I don't have a full-sized truck,. But the C and D segments are what's relevant to us. The C and D segments are high volume and important to North America. That's where we're going to focus initially,"
      To us, this hints at the 3008 and 5008 crossovers being some of the first models to be available.
      Source: Automotive News (Subscription Required)

      View full article
  • Posts

    • I'd love to have a Testarossa.  And a Ford pickup.  Maybe a  '92-96 style or a '67-69.  Wouldn't mind having a '90s Bronco also....test drove one back in '96, thought seriously about buying one then.
    • Yes, they really need some! 🙂 
    • Wasnt THE Trans Am version of the Firebird more or less a Cougar competitor? Although I do agree that an Oldsmobile F-Body would have been a better fit.  Maybe. It would have been a sportier version of a personal luxury coupe.  But it would have also  been a less expensive model of Oldsmobile's very own personal luxury coupe that is the Cutlass SX.  Would THAT be a good idea having a cheap pony car sold above the price tag of an already expensive Trans Am but being a cheap pony car non-the-less and offering not much more than what a Trans Am could offer anyway, and probably be LESS favorable  than the Trans Am OR the Cutlass SX?  But then again, an Oldsmobile F-Body personal luxury pony car coupe would have fit in PERFECTLY just below that SX and the big daddy Toronado.     But then again, the Cougar in the mid-1970s just became a bloated Ford Torino personal luxury coupe and strayed far far away from its original concept. But then again, seeing that Pontiac made '70s history with their SD455 Trans Am and  made a stellar movie appearance with a black and gold 6.6 liter Trans Am...and later years actually HAD an Olds engine under the hood to satisfy sales and CAFE numbers...maybe an Olds rocket 455 or 403 in the later years of their very own F-Body doesnt sound that out of this world after all.   An intersesting "what-if" ... 
    • I am having a Ford Truck fetish, go figure. Love this video of them wrenching on a basic F series.   
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