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The AutoGuide News Blog is your source for breaking stories from the auto industry. Delivering news immediately, the AutoGuide Blog is constantly updated with the latest information, photos and video from manufacturers, auto shows, the aftermarket and professional racing.
The automotive industry is a global business that is constantly evolving and growing, and we here at AutoGuide know it can be hard to keep up sometimes. So here is a summary of the top stories you may have missed this week:
Mazda doesn’t plan to bring the Takeri to market, at least not in name — but the company’s North America president and CEO but Jim O’Sullivan was quick to point out that concepts are generally close to later production models with the brand.
GALLERY: Mazda Takeri Concept
Debuting at the Mazda booth, we will see the Takeri concept (pictured above) in for the first time on US soil. While the sedan concept itself is nothing new (first unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show), the drivetrain information is hugely important. Aside from being the third concept car to feature Kodo (Soul of Motion) design style, it will be the second car to fully embrace SkyActiv technology.
While there isn’t much detail in the release about the Takeri, the fact that Mazda is announcing a diesel sedan hints strongly that there will be a SkyActiv-D Mazda6 coming soon.
GALLERY: Mazda Takeri concept
The last time Mazda offered a coupe model based on the underpinnings of its mid-size sedan, it was called the MX-6. It was quite popular in its day, and two-generation of models had been produced before Mazda pulled the plug on the
sports sporty car back in 1997.
Now a unnamed senior company source has revealed that the new Mazda6 will spawn a coupe model, which will be based on the stunning Takeri concept car, which was a hit at the recent Tokyo Motor Show.
While the new sedan model of the Mazda6 is expected to hit the market in early 2013, the coupe version might arrive a year later. The coupe will follow the principals of other new Mazda SkyActiv vehicles, while adding new technologies like i-Eloop, which is Mazda’s version of a regenerative braking system which can help improve economy by 10%.
While European markets will likely get a 2.0-liter petrol and 2.2-liter diesel engines, the North American model could also be offered with a V6 engine. Only time will tell.
Kicking off the 2011 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda unveiled a stunning new concept car that will eventually head to production as the next generation Mazda6 family sedan. A shot at the bold styling direction of brands like Hyundai and Kia, Mazda’s new Kodo design language is certain to bring much needed attention to Mazda dealerships with the sort of styling one might normally associate with a premium European brand.
Mazda first debuted the new design language in the Shinari concept with the first production model to be inspired by it being the CX-5.
This new family sedan rides on an all-new SkyActiv platform that sheds plenty of weight from the current model, while power comes from a new SkyActiv-D diesel engine. Mazda has yet to announce specifics on the new diesel engine, but it is capable of 165-hp and 340 lb-ft of torque. Mazda has said it will sell a diesel model in the US but has not confirmed if it will be the next Mazda6.
Adding to the substance and style is some added innovation on the Takeri concept with a new i-ELOOP regenerative braking system that uses a capacitor instead of a battery to store electricity, allowing quick charging and use of energy. Mazda claims this new system, when combined with its i-stop start-stop system can deliver a 10 percent improvement in fuel economy.
The all-new Mazda6 could arrive as early as the 2013 model year.
GALLERY: Mazda Takeri Concept
See video of the Takeri concept below:
Reports are coming in that Mazda is planning to overhaul four of its existing models by 2014. The four models up for redesigns are the Mazda3, Mazda6, MX-5 and CX-9. We’ve already seen the new patent drawings for the upcoming MX-5 refresh, which will hopefully come in 2013 along with a new Mazda3 and CX-9.
The big news, however, is an all-new Mazda6 that is expected to be introduced before the end of next year. There’s a strong possibility that the new Mazda6 will resemble the Takeri Concept. All of the upcoming new Mazdas will sport Skyactiv technologies and ride on lightweight platforms that are being developed in-house at Mazda.
Mazda also stated that they have plans to add stop-start, regenerative braking and hybrid technologies to their models by 2016.
GALLERY: Mazda Takeri Concept
Banned from selling cars after they were caught charging a $25,000 mark up for a used Mazda6, Ken Trung and Mohammed Shaikh could be back working on a car lot as early as next year. The two men weren’t just fired for selling the family sedan for $66,000 at a Orangeville dealer outside Toronto, Canada, Mazda Canada actually revoked the dealer’s license.
Carl Compton, executive director of the industry council, expressed that the regulator would prefer the two salesmen be permanently removed from showroom floors and away from vulnerable consumers. However, the two salesmen and their careers will be given a second chance. Ontario government tribunal chairman Harinder Gahir ruled the two salesmen are not chronic offenders and ordered a one year suspension plus a mandatory college certification course to reflect and familiarize themselves with legal and ethical obligations.
As Trung and Shaikh were fired last year, and face an extra year ban from conducting sales, Carl Compton added a comment, “It will be interesting to see how these guys account for the past two years on their resumes if they try to get back in at the end of their suspensions.”
President of the Automobile Protection Association, George Iny, also agrees with the ruling, noting, “It sends a good message. And if they come back, there should be further terms and conditions.”
[Source: The Star]
Have you ever wondered how many kids you could fit in your car before you would get arrested? Of course you haven’t. Then again, neither did a South African man who, in retrospect, probably should have.
The unnamed man (lucky for him) was arrested near Cape Town, driving with 17 children in a Mazda hatchback sedan – we’re assuming it’s a 6 hatch. Aged two to five, three of them were riding up front with the 20-year old driver, while the remaining 14 were piled into the back – making the most of the hatchback’s extensive cargo room with the rear seats folded flat. Not surprisingly, the car’s 14 child cargo capacity was absent from the dealer pamphlets
The “gentleman” in question was arrested, and not just for overloading his vehicle. As it turns out, he was also driving with a suspended license and his car was deemed unfit to be on the road.
Mazda will shift production of their mid-size Mazda6 from the current AutoAlliance International plant (a joint venture with former owner Ford) to Mazda’s facility in Hofu, Japan.
“Currently, production of the Mazda6 [known as Atenza in Japan] exists in three locations,” said Takashi Yamanouchi, Representative Director and Chairman of the Board, President and CEO of Mazda Motor Corporation. ”At our Hofu Plant in Japan, AutoAlliance International in Michigan, USA, and at FAW Car Co., Ltd. in Changchun, Jilin province, China. Our intention is to transfer production of our next CD-car for North America from AAI and consolidate it at Hofu in order to improve production and investment efficiencies and optimize our business.”
Mazda is currently collaborating with Ford to study the longevity of the AAI plant, but will continue to build the current model Mazda6 until its life cycle is over.
Mazda will cut ties with Ford and cease production of vehicles in the U.S. around 2013, relying instead on its manufacturing facilities in Japan and Mexico.
The automaker is reportedly looking to end its joint venture with Ford Motor Co., as it looks to make major changes in its production system. Currently both Mazda and Ford own equal shares of the AutoAlliance International joint venture and this shift would see Mazda sell off its shares to Ford, which would then take over full control of the Michigan assembly plant.
Mazda currently builds the Mazda6 mid-size sedan at the facility, but low sales of the model have made it a loss-maker. Mazda will continue to build the 6 at the facility until around 2013 when it will introduce a new version that will be built at the company’s plant in Yamaguchi.
Both models are nearing the end of their production cycles, (or have arguably exceeded them), and neither will live to see a second generation reports the Nikkan Kogyo business paper. The made-in-the-USA vehicles are being scrapped both due to low sales, as well as larger logistical problems.
As concerns the Subaru Tribeca, development of a next-gen model has reportedly been scrapped and the loss of the SUV isn’t something Subaru execs in America are upset over, as it would open up an extra line at the company’s Indiana plant where it is struggling to meet demand for the new Outback and Legacy. So far this year, Tribeca sales have reached just 910 units.
As for the equally long-in-the-tooth Mazda6, it sold just 45,000 units in 2010, less than half of what Mazda was expecting. Too important of a segment to give up on, it’s hard to think Mazda would drop the 6 entirely, and the automaker is reportedly mulling a decision to move production of a next-gen model to a new plant in Mexico.
[Source: Automotive News]
Mazda is planning to close down their assembly plants again, while stopping orders from dealers in the United States for their made-in-Japan vehicles.
The Mazda2, Mazda3, Mazda5, MX-5, RX-8, CX-7, CX-9 are all affected. Only the Mazda6 and Tribute will remain in production at their American plants, although the situation could change in light of the parts suppliers affected by the earthquake. As of March 1st, the company had a 94-day supply of vehicles, but the automaker declined to comment on specifics.
In 2010, imported cars accounted for 83 percent of Mazda sales, a much higher number than other Japanese automakers, who build a significant proportion of their cars in North American plants. Mazda’s factories in Japan are located in Hiroshima and Hofu, at the opposite end of the country from where an earthquake, tsunami and nuclear incident are taking place.
[Source: Automotive News]