Mazda has been having an existential crisis, according to the company's CEO, Takashi Yamanouchi. "The question is: In the global market, what is the significance of a player with a mere 2 percent? It's something we frequently discuss internally. We came to the conclusion that if we make ordinary cars for the mass market, there is no reason for us to exist," says Yamanouchi.

In order to become relevant, the Yamanouchi and his company have decided to create a premium brand image for the company. To this end, the following plan has been put into action:

  • Put innovative new technology (active safety and green engines) in the cars to set them apart from the competition.
  • Leverage the unique look of the Kodo design language.
  • Give more attention to customer service at dealerships.
  • The addition of clean and powerful diesel engines.
  • Reducing the number of incentives offered to improve residual value.

While these are important steps on the road to being seen as a premium automaker, Yamanouchi said that premium is "about being a brand with a strong bond with the customer."

The new Mazda6, which features a ton of new environmentally friendly tech, a sleek new look, and potential to offer a diesel in the USA, is leading the charge.

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[via Auto News]