Mazdaspeed Not to Return for Some Time
Bad news for fans of the good old “MPS” or “Mazdaspeed” performance cars: Mazda‘s Masahiro Moro (somewhat newly made president and CEO of Mazda North America) has said that the upgraded cars will probably not be returning to the Mazda lineup anytime soon. Speaking to Motoringbox.com, Moro said that, basically, Mazdaspeed cars are just nor a priority for the brand right now.
“We have very good line up finally completed, the new CX-9 is about to arrive,” he said. “So we have big transformation in the line-up, all six models are built, we really focus on these six models to improve potential business for the next 2-3 years, which is my first priority rather than go to a different territory.”
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This comment was in response to rumors that the brand might use the new 2.5-liter turbocharged engine used in the CX-9 to reintroduce a range of Mazdaspeed vehicles.
So, in other words, Mazda is working to fix its retention problem. Back in January 2015, Automotive News reported that Mazda’s brand loyalty rating (that is, the number of customers who buy another Mazda vehicle after owning one), had been steadily rising in the past few years, reaching about 37% when that article was written. While improvement is a great thing, the excitement over that steady rise is mitigated somewhat by the average retention rates of the rest of the industry, which hovers at around 45%. That number has probably increased since the release of the new generation of MX-5 Miata and the refresh of several other models since then.
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Bottom line, though; this means that Mazda is concentrating on improving the vehicles it has and on selling its family SUVs and sedans, rather than allocating resources to reviving more niche, performance-oriented models.
There is one little glimmer of hope, though: Moro did grant that a 2.5-liter turbo Mazda6 would be possible, at least from a marketability standpoint, but that the majority of that market segment is centered on a naturally-aspirated 2.5-liter engine, especially in the United States. So, while it is true that Mazdaspeed will remain off the market for the time being, perhaps there is still a chance that we will see it again in the future.