Mazda Needs To Grow In The US, Which Means It Needs A New SUV

Industry News

That seems to be the only way to sell more cars in the US right now.

Mazda has been producing excellent cars recently, although this hasn't really translated into strong sales in the US. The Japanese company predicted it would sell over 400,000 cars by 2017, but failed to crack 300,000 units in a second straight year of declining sales. CEO Masamichi Kogai says Mazda will start to turn around its declining sales in 2019, and the company will take off in 2021 with a new crossover model for the US. In an interview with Automotive News, Kogai gave the first details of this new model that he expects to be a best-seller.

Kogai said that this new crossover would slot into the existing crossover lineup consisting of the CX-3, CX-5 and CX-9 without cannibalizing existing sales. The vehicle will begin production in 2021 at the joint plant with Toyota being built in the US. This joint venture factory was already designated to build the new Mazda 3 and the new Toyota Corolla, as well as some hybrid models, so perhaps this new Mazda crossover could borrow hybrid technology from Toyota. Mazda hopes to produce 150,000 units of this new crossover per year. Even Mazda's current best-seller, the CX-5, only managed 112,235 units in 2016, so the company has lofty goals for this new model.

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The details are still fuzzy on what this new crossover will be. Our money is on the rumored seven-seat version of the CX-5. Although, Kogai said that "We are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV," and that "R&D is coordinating with our North American operations on that right now." It seems like Mazda is making this SUV into a pretty big deal, which may indicate this could be something more unique than a three-row CX-5. A reborn CX-7, perhaps?

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