|CARS & BIKES
Mazda on the move
Jack G. Beasley
profiles one of Japan's less high-profile car manufacturers, Mazda, and sees how the
company is leading the field in terms of environmental friendliness.
ferocious new RX-7
Automobiles are very
important in our lives, not only for the obvious transportation functions but also for the
jobs they create. Most of us in Japan are aware of the top three car companies here and
what they are doing to clean up the environment through their engines and recyclable
parts. But these are issues which effect all car manufacturers, not just the Toyotas and
Nissans of this world. Welcome to Mazda.
Mazda Motor Corporation was established in 1920 with its headquarters in Hiroshima. Today
they are one of the leading manufactures in Japan. Operations encompass two domestic and
sixteen overseas production facilities. Mazda vehicles are available in over 130 countries
around the world.
Mazda, like other manufactures, have a responsibility to society and believe that
automobiles, like other products, have life cycles, generations which come and go.
Intrinsic to research and development, they believe that the future is not a mere
extension of the past but requires constant innovation supported by integrated
manufacturing processes in line with tomorrow's product demands.
With this in mind Mazda launched, in 1998 and 1999, the Premacy, MPV, Bongo and Familia
Sport 20. These new models seem to have gone down well with the motoring public, with
orders for the MPV in the first month at three times Mazda's target. Shortly afterwards
Mazda released the all new Premacy and the new MPV, embodying the new Mazda brand
personality: "Stylish, insightful and spirited."
for the MPV have skyrocketed
The MPV is a fully
redesigned minivan and was developed in response to worldwide customer feedback. As well
as its sporty appearance, this model's insightful and highly efficient packaging offers a
roomy interior and ample luggage space. New ideas incorporated throughout the MPV are the
result of in-depth surveys conducted around the world, and it is chock full of new ideas,
insightful functions and boasts a beautifully quiet ride, regardless of the number of
occupants or amount of luggage.
Premacy maintains leading safety standards
Both the all new MPV
and new Premacy models actively promote Mazda's commitment to providing the highest levels
of product quality and driving safety, achieved through a combination of active and
passive safety features incorporating the latest technology. These include use of highly
visible and easy-to-operate controls, high seat positions and large windows for excellent
visibility, 4W-ABS plus an EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) system as well as
front and side airbags for the front seats.
MX-5, the world's best-selling two-seat sports car
Other Mazda models
to take note of are the new (released January 1999) RX-7 with its high-powered rotary
engine and, of course, the famous MX-5 Miata, first introduced in 1989, which earlier this
year topped the 500,000 units production mark. The MX-5 is now the best selling two-seat,
lightweight open sports car in the world.
In North America the 626 Sedan is proving to be a real winner for Mazda as are their
B-Series pickup trucks. In Europe it's the 626 5-door hatchback models and the new 323F
compact car that are contributing to significant sales growth. B-Series trucks, produced
by ATT in Thailand, have been well received in the local market. In the first phase of
expansion, ATT began exporting this model to Australia and New Zealand in December 1998.
So what does this all spell for Mazda? 1999 marked "a year of positive change"
for The Mazda Motor Corporation. They showed their first consolidated profit since 1993
and only ´800 million short of their all-time record in 1985. With their environmental
projects and new ideas Mazda is a name that the top three in Japan will have to beware of
as it accelerates fast behind them in automobile markets around the world in the next