Mazda Wants to Make “Vehicles People Will Pay More for” Sans Resorting to Luxury
The company is also still mulling the introduction of a Wankel-powered model
Mazda is a small automaker but one which has seriously improved its image and desirability over the past few years, addressing itself at people who could afford a premium vehicle but choose not to buy one. Its SKYACTIVE marketing ploy emphasized the effort the company put into engineering and it was that kind of pitch that won them new fans and also established those the brand already had.
Up until now we had not heard Mazda officials overtly say they are going after premium brands without resorting to the current and predictable raft of premium tricks other automakers are pulling, but now they have. WardsAuto quotes Russel Wager, Mazda’s VP of North American operations, as saying “We’re not trying to go luxury; that’s not in our cards. But we are trying to make vehicles people will pay more for.”
The firm’s latest vehicle, the new CX-9 (pictured) is an embodiment of that way of thinking, as it’s feels like a quality product, but without going down the flashiness and bling route that most competitors go down. In its accompanying press blurbs, Mazda says it “combines sophistication and comfort for the driver and passengers alike. Aimed to be be just much a driver’s car as it is a practical family-hauler for seven.”
That sounds like it puts it firmly in mainstream territory, yet if you take a look at the car (inside and out), you will not know whether it’s a volume brand or something posh as it does a beautiful job of blurring that distinction - in a good way.
The same source adds fuel to the fire of speculation surrounding the reintroduction of a rotary-powered model. Mazda made its intentions to add a larger flagship coupe to its roster very clear with the RX Vision concept, especially since it bore the RX nameplate which the company only uses on models powered by Wankels.
Wager explains that the production version of the concept “wouldn’t come to market unless it has a rotary engine. That’s what they are working on.” He is confident regarding the brand’s future, saying they “are comfortable with our place in the market” and that they “know how to make great cars and make money.”