Mazda’s Upscale Makeover
Although Mazda is one of the newer Japanese marques, the automaker has carved out a niche with its beloved performance-oriented, accessibly priced vehicles. But since it’s already known for making sporty, affordable, fun-to-drive cars, Mazda is ready to take things one step beyond by targeting a young, upwardly mobile audience with a taste for luxury.
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When Chief Marketing Officer Dino Bernacchi took over, market researched showed that shoppers associated Mazda with words like “sporty,” “fun,” “youthful,” “red,” and “cheap.” While that’s a good start, Bernacchi sought to clarify Mazda’s position in the market and provide a clear, unified message about the brand.
Bernacchi explained that Mazda’s sweet spot rests between mass market and luxury. As a result, Mazda is cultivating this reputation crafting high-quality vehicles with advanced technology and premium materials.
Mazda’s latest offerings demonstrate that luxury can be affordable, stylish, and fun. Its high-end “Signature” trim level, as found on the CX-5 and the CX-9, comes with soft Nappa leather, Santos Rosewood trim, and all-wheel drive, along with a host of convenient technologies like the Active Driving Display with Traffic Sign Recognition, Pedestrian Detection, and climate-controlled seating.
Drivers who pick up a 2019 model — like the CX-30 — will get to enjoy even more refined driving dynamics thanks to Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control Plus stability technology. When the car is cornering, GVC Plus lightly applies brake force to the outer wheels, giving drivers a smoother ride when performing high-speed lane changes and negotiating slippery surfaces.
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With so many available upscale amenities on Mazda vehicles, customers have begun cross-shopping with established luxury brands like BMW and Audi. That’s a great sign, according to Bernacchi — it’s all a part of growing beyond Mazda’s fun-loving reputation. But that’s not to say Mazda is abandoning its loyal fan base of dynamic drivers – when the automaker revealed the 30th Anniversary Edition of the MX-5 Miata, all 500 models were sold within hours.
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