Mazda Makes 50 Million in Japan
Mazda delivered 289,370 vehicles last year to customers in the U.S. That’s approximately the same number of Chevy Equinoxes that rolled off of dealer lots (290,458).
That said, whether it is from the points-of-view of styling or ride and handling, Mazda is punching WAY above its weight. Here is a lineup of cars and crossovers that are affordable yet have the sorts of execution and attributes that one would expect coming from a company that was focused exclusively on serving a niche, and having consequent significantly higher price points.
1967 Mazda Cosmo Sport
Even though Mazda has become more closely associated with Toyota (e.g., the two have established a joint-venture company, Mazda Toyota Manufacturing U.S.A., and are building a factory in Huntsville, Alabama, that is expected to come on line in 2021), there is something of an independent spirit at Mazda (i.e., Monotsukuri, an approach that includes speed, flexibility and cost-effectiveness in pursuit of beautifully crafted cars) that will undoubtedly remain (and which, arguably, will benefit Toyota to learn from, just as learning the Toyota Production System
Earlier this month Mazda reached a milestone in its history. It produced its 50-millionth vehicle in Japan. The company was established in 1931, when it began manufacturing three-wheel trucks at a plant in Hiroshima. It wasn’t until 1960 that it got into the passenger car market with the R360 coupe, which was a micromini.
It opened another manufacturing complex in 1982, the Hofu Plant in Yamaguchi.
Even though, at least in the context of a U.S.-based OEM, 50 million is a somewhat small number (e.g., in 2018 Ford sold 1,919,718 trucks), it is still a number that has to be respected.
Often when there are vehicles that have ceased production and are in the process of being completely moved out of the system there are sales numbers that look like this: Honda Insight: June 2016, 9; June 2015, 126; % change: 93.1% Sometimes there is a vehicle that has just gone into production and it catches the sales at just the right time so that there are numbers that look like this: Honda Ridgeline: June 2016, 2,472; June 2015, 7; % change: 33,856% OK.
When you think of Costco, you probably think about buying lots of stuff for your home and your family, but there are probably some things that don’t necessarily come to mind when you think of the membership-based store chain.
Back in 2012 Audi bought Italian motorcycle manufacturer extraordinaire Ducati for €860-million which, at the time, probably seemed like a good idea.