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'Total revamp' on way from Mazda

2011-11-18 10:04

GOING FOR OVERHAUL: Takashi Yamanouchi, president and CEO of Mazda (left) and actor Patrick Dempsey next to the new Mazda CX-5 at the 2011 LA auto show. Image: AFP

LOS ANGELES, California - Mazda is planning to change 80 percent of its products and add six new ones over the next five years with new fuel-saving technology.

Company president Takashi Yamanouchi, the Detroit News reported, said during the keynote address at the Los Angeles auto show the company, though a small global player, had ambitious plans.


Mazda sells 1.3-million vehicles worldwide but expects that to grow to 1.7-million over the next four years to maintain two percent global share.

Yamanouchi asked at the show: "Do you know any other automobile company able to completely overhaul its powertrains, chassis and body architectures - revamp its entire vehicle development, manufacturing and marketing processes - all at the same time?"

One area of growth, he said, involved investment in production in Mexico to supply the growing market in Latin America, especially Brazil. Mazda does not have a strong presence in the region, Yamanouchi said, but with the yen still strong against the dollar and euro it might expand into Mexico to supply more Mazda2 and Mazda3 units to the US.

Mazda has pledged to cut the the average fuel consumption of its fleet by 30%, and that after improving by 30% from 2001-08.

Yamanouchi said he was also "very attached to the rotary engine - as long as I am the president of Mazda our R&D in this area will continue".

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