I think consumers have spoken very loudly as it relates to the new Mazda 3. It was already the worst selling compact in the US, and YTD sales are down an additional 17% at 24k(8k per month) YTD, barely able to sell over 10k units in it's best month for March. By comparison the aging Focus is down 16% (51k YTD)with sales at about 24k for March.
The 6 has had a 17% sales increase YTD and is still the worst selling midsize sedan. But that is just 12k YTD and selling just 5k units for March. Compared with the Fusion down -3.7% but at 77k YTD and 32k for March.
Mazda missed the mark in several ways with the 3. The nose/hood is too long which creates an uncomfortable parking situation for many females who drive this class of vehicle. Then huge smily face grill is a bit embarrassing. And the pop up navigation that seems an afterthought, is a attractive break hazard for anyone with small children in the compact class. It seems Mazda designed the car for the empty nester, when the class is driven by adults with small children. The 6 is a similar story.
I have to think that if Mazda stuck with the rotary engine, they would have something the other Japanese brands didn't offer, which would set them apart even with a quirky design.
Mazda has lost their way in styling IMO. That is not an easy position to find yourself in. I actually think they are in dire straights given the onslaught of same or better product offering attractive style.