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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I believe that Mazda has an advantage over other car companies because they do not have a "luxurious" brand associated with them. For example Toyota has Lexus, and Honda has Accura. The disadvantage of having a luxurious brand associated with Toyota is that they cannot make their corollas and camrys resemble Lexus cars. If they did, then Lexus wouldn't sell because they want their customers to feel "upper class" and special for driving one. There needs to be obvious aesthetic and performance differences between Toyota and Lexus, so even if Toyota wanted to make a luxurious looking Corolla (even with cheap parts), they cannot because they need to sell Lexus' too.

With Volkswagen and Audi, this practice is very evident. The interior for the Jetta is very, very basic, as opposed to the A4. Yes, Audi's cost more because they have better parts than VW, but Mazda managed to make a luxurious looking interior without breaking the bank (even if the parts are cheap).

Another thing, Mazda cars aren't really competing with themselves, like the Camry and Avalon are. So, that's also another plus.

My point is, Mazda doesn't have to scale down its design in order to complement its luxurious brand, so in essence, Mazda has no limit in terms what the car can look like. I'm not saying that Mazda can spend a lot of money to buy high quality, expensive parts. I'm saying that Mazda can use cheap costing parts that look and feel high quality and put them in their cars. This is something Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan, Ford, Chevy, and others cannot do.

What do you guys think?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Not a bad argument, but how is the Camry vs Avalon any different than the 3 vs the 6?
Yeah, I guess that was a bad example. The Avalon is a little bigger than the Camry, but the Avalon is a lot more luxurious than the Camry. Camry starts at $22k and Avalon starts at $31k.
The Corolla and the 3 are comparable, as is the Camry and the 6. Toyota made the Avalon to target customers who want the reliability of a Toyota, but more luxurious than the Camry.
 

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Not a bad argument, but how is the Camry vs Avalon any different than the 3 vs the 6?
He probably meant the Camry vs the IS or whatever the equivalent Lexus is.

This is a good argument. Unfortunately, though, for Mazda, they also don't make the huge margins like the other companies do on luxury cars. But it does mean that for a lot less $$$$$ than an A3, I got a car with better looks and mpg :D I was looking at getting an Audi for a while because my friends have them (an A4, an S4 and a Q5). I like smaller cars and the A4 was a bit too big for my taste. Then they announced the A3 sedan, and it looked pretty blah. When Mazda released pics of the new Mazda3, I knew I would end up buying one :)

My friend with the A4 says he likes the interior of my car better than his. Mazda did a great job.
 

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Disagree! Toyota and Lexus are 2 different divisions and Toyota engineers do not let Lexus get in their way or affect the way they design their cars. They are in business and will do whatever to make money. So profit is the key. Don't think having luxury or not having it is a disadvantage or advantage.
 

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He probably meant the Camry vs the IS or whatever the equivalent Lexus is.

This is a good argument. Unfortunately, though, for Mazda, they also don't make the huge margins like the other companies do on luxury cars. But it does mean that for a lot less $$$$$ than an A3, I got a car with better looks and mpg :D I was looking at getting an Audi for a while because my friends have them (an A4, an S4 and a Q5). I like smaller cars and the A4 was a bit too big for my taste. Then they announced the A3 sedan, and it looked pretty blah. When Mazda released pics of the new Mazda3, I knew I would end up buying one :)

My friend with the A4 says he likes the interior of my car better than his. Mazda did a great job.
IS is probably the Corolla, ES the Camry, GS the Avalon. My buddy has the 2014 IS350 F sport and I joke around telling him it's just a beefed up Corolla lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Disagree! Toyota and Lexus are 2 different divisions and Toyota engineers do not let Lexus get in their way or affect the way they design their cars. They are in business and will do whatever to make money. So profit is the key. Don't think having luxury or not having it is a disadvantage or advantage.
Lexus and Toyota, are however, under the Toyota Motor Corporation. So I would think that they're are a group of people that oversee all design and make decisions based on what direction they want the companies to go. I could be wrong though.
 

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Most major players in the auto industry do the same thing. They have their base line and then the upscale line of vehicles. Except maybe Chrysler now. Honda-Acura , Nissan-Altima , Toyota-Lexus-Scion just to name a few . About interchangeable parts ; there was an article/advertisement about a company out there was trying to sell a cd package with interchangeability of parts and the price differences on the same matching parts.

I know from personal experience many years ago I called into a Ford dealer asking for a labour cost to replace a water pump with under hood details as to what was bolted to the motor block and got a labour estimate. Took the car in and they said ; oh, that's a Thunderbird and the labour is more. I argued my point that there was no more work in unbolting accessories in the T-bird than a regular Ford. Had to go to a manager and asked why ? Response was that it is a pricier car so costs more !..... I said bull to that and he backed off and did the repair for original estimate.... Little off topic, but I bet if similar repair job to say a Camry vs a Lexus you will pay more for the Lexus. the old adage ; if you can afford a pricier car you can pay more for service may still hold true today. In any case some interesting points brought up.
 

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I believe that Mazda has an advantage over other car companies because they do not have a "luxurious" brand associated with them. For example Toyota has Lexus, and Honda has Accura. The disadvantage of having a luxurious brand associated with Toyota is that they cannot make their corollas and camrys resemble Lexus cars. If they did, then Lexus wouldn't sell because they want their customers to feel "upper class" and special for driving one. There needs to be obvious aesthetic and performance differences between Toyota and Lexus, so even if Toyota wanted to make a luxurious looking Corolla (even with cheap parts), they cannot because they need to sell Lexus' too.

With Volkswagen and Audi, this practice is very evident. The interior for the Jetta is very, very basic, as opposed to the A4. Yes, Audi's cost more because they have better parts than VW, but Mazda managed to make a luxurious looking interior without breaking the bank (even if the parts are cheap).

Another thing, Mazda cars aren't really competing with themselves, like the Camry and Avalon are. So, that's also another plus.

My point is, Mazda doesn't have to scale down its design in order to complement its luxurious brand, so in essence, Mazda has no limit in terms what the car can look like. I'm not saying that Mazda can spend a lot of money to buy high quality, expensive parts. I'm saying that Mazda can use cheap costing parts that look and feel high quality and put them in their cars. This is something Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan, Ford, Chevy, and others cannot do.

What do you guys think?
You can say the same about Mitsubishi having an advantage but I don't think they're doing much better than Mazda.
 

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IS is probably the Corolla, ES the Camry, GS the Avalon. My buddy has the 2014 IS350 F sport and I joke around telling him it's just a beefed up Corolla lol
Poor bud.

The IS is RWD, and the platform is much more comparable to its competition-- BMW 3 series for example. It's gotten porky like the 3-series too ;)

The whole joke about Lexus and Toyota not cross-pollinating engineering is totally not true, nor is it generally true for any Japanese luxury brand.

The 1st gen IS is the Toyota Altezza in Japan and at the time the 4-cylinder engine used was HIGHLY prized for importers to do engine swaps with. (The Lexus revision only used an inline 6.)

The ES is the Camry, etc. None of the other cars share platforms familiar to N. American buyers since most Lexus models are RWD and outside of trucks and the Scion FR-S, Toyota is pretty much all FWD now.

Mazda pondered doing a luxury division 20+ years ago, and were all set to name it Amati (anagram of Miata). Lexus was a huge hit, Acura was profitable and Infiniti...well they're still around despite a rocky start. Mazda crunched the numbers back then, though, and backed out. We still got the relatively luxurious 929 and Millenia, but they never tried to break into a separate brand after that.
 

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If Mazda is already having enough trouble differentiating the brand right now, can't imagine how they would be able to differentiate their luxury division.

They need to solidify their current brand identity, then branch out.

Sent from AutoGuide.com Free App
 

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If it didn't make sense 20 years ago, it REALLY doesn't make sense now.

They have only one RWD platform, and you can't make the Miata into a 3-series killer. At some point you need RWD* or you're going to be at best an Acura/Volvo/Buick/Lincoln competitor with no hope of challenging BMW/Audi/Mercedes/Lexus/Infiniti.

Then there's the engines. I don't know if you've noticed, but it's pretty much Skyactiv 4-cylinders and a few carryover MZR 4-cylinders. I know the trend is to go away from 6-cylinders in midsize cars, but no 6-cylinders (at least) = no credibility for higher end products.

Mazda's going to have enough trouble figuring out how to replace the CX-9 platform...

*Maybe RWD-biased AWD, but if you've got a platform that can take AWD, it's certainly possible to offer it in RWD too.
 

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I believe that Mazda has an advantage over other car companies because they do not have a "luxurious" brand associated with them. For example Toyota has Lexus, and Honda has Accura. The disadvantage of having a luxurious brand associated with Toyota is that they cannot make their corollas and camrys resemble Lexus cars. If they did, then Lexus wouldn't sell because they want their customers to feel "upper class" and special for driving one. There needs to be obvious aesthetic and performance differences between Toyota and Lexus, so even if Toyota wanted to make a luxurious looking Corolla (even with cheap parts), they cannot because they need to sell Lexus' too.

With Volkswagen and Audi, this practice is very evident. The interior for the Jetta is very, very basic, as opposed to the A4. Yes, Audi's cost more because they have better parts than VW, but Mazda managed to make a luxurious looking interior without breaking the bank (even if the parts are cheap).

Another thing, Mazda cars aren't really competing with themselves, like the Camry and Avalon are. So, that's also another plus.

My point is, Mazda doesn't have to scale down its design in order to complement its luxurious brand, so in essence, Mazda has no limit in terms what the car can look like. I'm not saying that Mazda can spend a lot of money to buy high quality, expensive parts. I'm saying that Mazda can use cheap costing parts that look and feel high quality and put them in their cars. This is something Toyota, Honda, VW, Nissan, Ford, Chevy, and others cannot do.

What do you guys think?
This has nothing to do with positioning the lines, and everything to do with size. Mazda is a relatively small company which has only been profitable once in the past 5 years. It doesn't have the financial resources to market and develop any other lines. In addition, luxury brands are all about marketing and Mazda has a very weak marketing function.

Companies like Toyota are not really concerned about Corollas stealing from Lexus. They will put in the features their marketing people tell them are necessary to be competitive at a specific price point. Their financial people run analyses to determine how much can be gained in sales with any specific feature. Mazda cannot afford to do that.

Mazda does not have any advantages. They must build a better car with less money and that means they must take risks. They've taken that risk with the 2014 Mazda 3 by changing the design philosophy from kiddy performance car to adult, more sophisticated transportation. That risk captured people like me who have never owned a Mazda before. Now they must inform people that they are no longer "zoom-zoom" and are BMW/Audi killers. They must win the war of perceived value since they will sell at a premium. I hope they develop the marketing resources to do that because they have an excellent product.

The largest target segment they must capture are the boomers who are now in their mid to late 60's. This segment is moving to smaller cars as they retire and they have the money to pay a premium. They are positioned to do that. That means they will not emphasize Mazdaspeed type performance and will emphasize automatic transmissions and comfort features and mpg. If you step back and look, you'll see that is exactly what they have done.
 

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They need to be a good alternative to people who don't just want a civic or corolla as well. Hyundai was able to make a name for themselves...they have the nations "best" warranty and didn't they used to offer refunds? I don't think Mazda should abandon the zoom zoom mantra. They just need to convince the general public that zoom zoom is better than a corolla/civic.
 

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For me the advantage for Mazda is that they're the Japanese BMW. By that I mean BMW is the most sporting of the German or even Euro manufacturers. So it is with Mazda. Zoom-zoom? :)
 

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They need to be a good alternative to people who don't just want a civic or corolla as well. Hyundai was able to make a name for themselves...they have the nations "best" warranty and didn't they used to offer refunds? I don't think Mazda should abandon the zoom zoom mantra. They just need to convince the general public that zoom zoom is better than a corolla/civic.
1. Hyundai needed to offer the 10 year warranty because when they started their quality was terrible. Their quality is now surprisingly good and their reputation is improving. However, their major selling point today is price. The Genesis is a fantastic buy as is the Accent, Elantra, and Sonata. They are not drivers cars, but they have some of the best commuting cars you can get. Their target is the middle class and seniors -- where the money is.

2. Zoom-Zoom has been a failure and Mazda knows it. Look at how they're playing it down in the latest advertising. They were going after the "kiddy" segment but that segment doesn't have the money to spend and has higher unemployment rates today. If they kept that moniker, they would zoom-zoom right out of existence.

3. The way you convince people that something is better is by comparing it. When you are a smaller company like Mazda, comparison is a good advertising strategy. Mazda is now better than Corolla and Civic and why Mazda has not played that up shows that they have weak marketing. However, that was not true prior to 2014 when from a design and positioning standpoint they did not have mainstream cars that appealed to all segments.
 

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Zoom zoom did not fail mazda and they won't be moving away from it any time soon. Mazda still has its zoom zoom DNA in the new 3 (thank god), it just got more mature overall. If no more zoom zoom it'll be like driving any other boring compact car out there. The whole reason I, and many others, like the mz3 is its zoom zoom driving experience no matter how "kiddy" this or the previous gen may be. I think zoom zoom is Mazda's advantage :D
 

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Zoom zoom did not fail mazda and they won't be moving away from it any time soon. Mazda still has its zoom zoom DNA in the new 3 (thank god), it just got more mature overall. If no more zoom zoom it'll be like driving any other boring compact car out there. The whole reason I, and many others, like the mz3 is its zoom zoom driving experience no matter how "kiddy" this or the previous gen may be. I think zoom zoom is Mazda's advantage :D
They have already moved away from it. Go to the Mazda USA site and try to find Zoom-Zoom on it. You'll have to look pretty deep to find it. It's a great design philosophy but a poor marketing/advertising concept. As a design philosophy, it does differentiate this car but its image in the marketplace does not move sales very well. Remember, Zoom-Zoom is simply the phrase the ad agency created to talk about a performance oriented, fun vehicle. I agree with you that it is a great design template, but just don't position the car that way.
 
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