After sliding 10% in 2011, Mazda’s China sales have continued to shrink this year. The downtrend was accelerated by the row over the Diaoyu Islands, but even before the crisis erupted in September, Mazda China was forced to revise down its 2012 sales target from 250,000 to 185,000. To make a turnaround, the Japanese automaker plans to radically expand its product line for local consumers and make the Skyactiv technology a focus of its marketing communications.
Among the new releases in 2013, the most important will be the three locally built: the third-gen Mazda6 sedan, the CX-7 larger-compact/mid-size SUV, and the CX-5 compact SUV. The first two cars will be produced by FAW-Mazda in Changchun, the third by Changan-Mazda in Nanjing. Preparing to add, in the same year, two utility models to its local product line, which currently includes only sedans/hatchbacks and an MPV, Mazda the late comer is driving at full speed to enter the raging competition in the SUV realm.
With a fuel-efficient Skyactiv engine and no less interior space, the CX5 in most markets has replaced the CX-7, the production of which has been ended in Japan. By assigning the more appealing model of the two to its Nanjing instead of Changchun factory, Mazda apparently tries to balance the development of its two local ventures. As the 6 sedan has long dominated Mazda’s China sales, the joint venture with FAW has consistently outperformed that with Changan in sales (136,000 vs. 79,000 in 2011). Bringing the CX-5 to Changan-Mazda will help correct the imbalance.
Mazda CX-5 at 2012 Guangzhou Auto Show
Mazda CX-7 at 2012 Guangzhou Auto Show
Currently, the imported CX-5 gets only one engine option in China, a 2.0L Skyactiv engine. When made locally, a 2.5 liter, found on the CX-7, will also be provided.
Engine options of the upcoming Mazda CX-5 from Changan-Mazda
|Engine||Normally aspirated 2.0L (1998cc) L4 16V||Normally aspirated 2.5L (24888cc) L4 16V|
|With Skyactiv Technology?||Yes||No|
|Max Power (kw/rpm)||114/6000||120/6000|
|Max Torque||200/4000||205/2000- 5500|
Click here for our report on the shift of the production of CX-7 to China.