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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #1
via Cheers&Gears: "smk4565"
Could be some sort of FJ Cruiser successor that is more of an off roader than the current crop of crossovers...
...I think for sure they could do a CX-7 midsize crossover, the CX-5 is 179 inches long, the CX-9 is 199 inches long, so I would say they are missing a 189 inch long crossover, which is at the heart of the market.


Mazda plans new SUV for U.S. growth
Automotive News #print version
| Hans Greimel | November 25, 2017


HIROSHIMA, Japan — Four years ago, CEO Masamichi Kogai predicted Mazda would be notching annual U.S. sales of 400,000 vehicles by now. Instead, it is in a second-straight year of decline, with volume under 300,000 and market share retreating from an erstwhile goal of 2 percent.

Now Kogai says the U.S. resurgence will start in earnest in 2019 and kick into overdrive in 2021 when Mazda adds an all-new crossover designed for and built exclusively in the U.S.

Giving first details of the new nameplate in a Nov. 16 interview, Kogai said it has potential to be the brand's best-seller. He said it would slot into Mazda's three-vehicle crossover lineup without cannibalizing the CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9.

The vehicle will be produced starting in 2021 at the plant Mazda and Toyota plan to jointly build in the U.S.

Mazda will initially dedicate its entire capacity of 150,000 units there to the vehicle. For comparison, Mazda's best-selling nameplate, the CX-5, managed just 112,235 units in 2016.

"We have big expectations," Kogai said of the new utility entry. "This is our declaration that we are going to grow our business in the U.S."

Arriving in 2021, Mazda's new SUV is decidedly long term. But Kogai hopes for a hit by developing something uniquely tailored to U.S. needs.

"We are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV," he said. "R&D is coordinating with our North American operations on that right now."

The lineup has room between the CX-5 and CX-9, where the discontinued CX-7 used to sit, said Dave Sargent, vice president of global automotive at J.D. Power. Said Sargent: "They've got to fill out their crossover lineup if they want to increase volume significantly."

Mazda is racing to tilt its car-heavy lineup toward crossovers, which accounted for only 57 percent of its U.S. sales through October. Kogai wants Mazda's balance to be 60 percent. The industry at large's sales were 64 percent light trucks through October.

Fortifying crossovers is only part of Mazda's roadmap to growth in the U.S., where sales fell 2.4 percent to 241,108 through October and market share hovered at 1.7 percent.

Before the new crossover lands, Mazda is unleashing a blitz of new technologies, overhauling the U.S. dealer network and reining in incentives to get the U.S. back on track.

"We are in a transitional period," Kogai said. "We need to improve and strengthen our brand."

The new tech begins arriving in 2019, when Mazda introduces a mild hybrid, an electric vehicle and the company's Skyactiv-X gasoline engine, which features compression ignition for more power and better fuel economy. Also debuting that year will be a sexy new design language and a redesigned, lightweight vehicle platform with better driving dynamics.

But another big focus will be brand image and retail experience.

Mazda routinely ranks below average in the J.D. Power sales satisfaction, customer satisfaction and brand appeal studies. Consideration ranks ninth among non-luxury brands, according to Cox Automotive, behind every Japanese rival but Mitsubishi.

Meanwhile, Mazda's residual values still trail its main Japanese counterparts, and the brand spends more on incentives, per average transaction price, than Honda, Toyota and Subaru, according to Cox.

Last year, Mazda embarked on a three-year dealership upgrade targeting some 130 outlets across the U.S.

The campaign entails moving some locations and changing dealers, introducing new outlet designs and strengthening dealer training. Incentives are being structured around customer service and customer evaluation, instead of raw volume, Kogai said.

"We still need to have an improvement in the quality of sales," he said. "We are sticking to our right-price sales approach to improve our brand. We are building that foundation now. Customers are really seeing the value of the vehicles and not just purchasing them because of price."

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Mercury C557
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Re: Mazda's new...CX7/Xedge/...eBronco?

another comment from ^C&G^ by "dfelt"
Maybe this will be a CX-7 EV. That would be a smart move for them.​

Americans Are Gonna Love Our New Crossover, Mazda Claims
TTAC
– Steph Willems – November 25, 2017

There’s no automaker with an American dealer network that can’t make do with another high-riding utility vehicle...

...Mazda’s mystery vehicle will emerge from a joint Mazda-Toyota factory in a still-unknown locale in 2021. All of Mazda’s allotted plant capacity will go towards the new vehicle. That’s a potential for 150,000 annual units, assuming the crossover finds buyers.

“We have big expectations,” Kogai said of the planned model. “This is our declaration that we are going to grow our business in the U.S.”

Mazda makes a habit of tailoring models towards certain markets. The CX-4 is built for China. The not-quite-right-sized CX-8 is for Japan’s eyes only. Whatever new crossover emerges from the new joint facility will be designed not just to woo U.S. buyers, but to prevent it from eating into the sales of the CX-3, CX-5, or CX-9. A tall order.

“We are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV,” Kogai said. “R&D is coordinating with our North American operations on that right now.”

It’s expected that, given the segment’s thirst for larger vehicles of this type, the new crossover will slot between the CX-5 and CX-9. Maybe we’ll even see a return of the CX-7 nameplate. Still, the space between the brand’s two larger crossovers isn’t a vast, endless plain. Many consider the CX-9 a little on the small side for three-row duty. How does Mazda split the difference?

One possibility lies in growing the next-generation CX-9, thus increasing the size gap. That model is due for a full redesign in 2022.

Whatever form the lineup takes, Mazda’s buyers are increasingly turning away from passenger cars. During the first half of the year, crossovers accounted for 53 percent of the brand’s U.S. sales. Through October, that tally rose to 57 percent. Mazda would like to bring it up to 60 percent.

As it awaits a new factory and vehicle, Mazda’s goals amount to greater profitability, fewer incentives, and the rollout of a new platform and the company’s Skyactiv-X gas compression ignition engine. A fully redesigned Mazda 3 arrives for the 2019 model year.

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I'm particularly curious about this one myself. There's lots of speculation about a new CX-7, which of course makes sense. But the “we are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV” statement makes me wonder just how different. They're expecting to sell 150k a year, and you don't typically do that with products that wander too far from "normal" -- especially if it's wearing a Mazda badge.

Since it will be built at the Mazda/Toyota joint-venture plant, one can speculate that it could potentially share production and components with the TJ Cruiser, which Toyota seems serious about putting into production. (I think they should, but if they do I hope they tone down the ugly a bit.) I can see a jointly developed platform using Toyota's hybrid powertrain paired to Mazda's new HCCI engine, or possibly a plug-in EV with Mazda's rumored rotary range-extender. Could be interesting.








https://www.autoblog.com/2017/10/06/the-toyota-tj-cruiser-concept-is-a-giant-toolbox-on-wheels/
 
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