What's Next For Mazda?
Ask me or any other of my automotive colleagues and we'll tell you- we all have a little bit of Mazda fanboy inside of us, some more than others. Aside from cars like the MX-5 Miata- which has and will continue to be one of the greatest roadsters ever built- most other cars in the Mazda lineup have a bit of a kick to them we just don't get with the Toyotas or Hondas of the world. As of now, a fresh looking lineup has already been halfway dished out, and former CEO Takashi Yamanouchi recently stepped down in order to "hand over the work to the younger people." This "younger people" being new Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai- who's worked the ins and outs of the corporation at an early stage. So what's next? Well, there's three main details that Mazda needs to remember in order to continually be successful in the future:
What's Old is New Unlike American automakers, the whole retro-phase is making a comeback mostly with the brands back east; Honda with a new NSX, Toyota reviving the Supra. But now Mazda needs to dig down into the archives and have a go. Once again aiming for Gen-Y buyers, cars like the RX-7, Mazdaspeed6 and a revival of the Miata (ditch the MX-5) nameplate should bring back enough of a nostalgic connection to hopefully produce some sales in the very near future. Simplify, Add Lightness The problem with the current generation MX-5 is that it's a bit heavier than we all would have liked- although we don't discount it as a fantastic little coupe. But together with Alfa and their own revival of the Spyder, we hope that Mazda ditches any type of unnecessary added weight and goes for a lighter feeling reminiscent of the first-gen roadster.
Need For Speed This is where things get sort of fun. While the RX-8 may have tickled our pallets in overall sportiness and drivability, it was severely underpowered, and generally just underperforming. Now that the RX-8 is officially dead though, Mazda says that they're hard at work on a new Wankel that should bear a similar semblance to the classic RX-7. At least, we hope. So, we're not entirely sure what Mazda has hidden up their sleeve, but we do know the brand is making money for the first time in over a decade, and they have big plans with a few fresh faces at the helm. We can't wait to see what happens next.