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Within three years, Mazda plans to replace the MPV minivan with a new vehicle specifically for North America. One possibility is a larger seven-seat car-based sport wagon, say company sources.

In another segment, the company has confirmed that a car-based SUV, the CX-7, will arrive in fall 2006. The MPV replacement would be in addition to the CX-7.

Other possible additions are two-door and convertible versions of the RX-8. But they have not received approval, a Mazda executive said.

The company says it has a combination of 16 new nameplates, redesigns and re-engineerings coming in the next three years for global markets. Mazda officials declined to identify all 16 products or to say which are coming to the United States.

If typical cycle plans hold, redesigns of the Tribute sport wagon and the Mazda6 sedan, hatchback and wagon also will arrive in the three-year period.

In November, Mazda President Hisakazu Imaki said that nine of the 16 new vehicles would come to North America. But a Mazda product planner said at the MX-5 Miata media launch here that North America would get "all but two" of the new vehicles.

Some vehicles that come to North America might only be for the Canadian and Mexican markets, Mazda sources said. The subcompact MX-MicroSport concept vehicle shown at the 2004 Detroit auto show is one such vehicle under study.

By Mazda's method of counting, different body styles of the nameplate - such as the Mazda6 sedan, five-door hatch and wagon - count as separate vehicles. However, different powertrain options, such as a MazdaSpeed edition or a hybrid vehicle, do not count as separate vehicles, said Joe Bakaj, Mazda Motor's senior managing executive officer for r&d.

Another contributing factor is Mazda's recent creation of the Annual Advancement Activity team, a splinter of the existing r&d department. The team has authority to fast-track regional vehicle variants.

One of the team's tasks is to find a solution to Mazda's minivan woes. Mazda does not expect the upcoming MPV redesign to be sold in America because of the vehicle's small size.

MPV sales dropped 38.5 percent to 6,583 in the first five months of this year.
 

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Be nice to see a new MX-3 and MX-6 come out with a V6 with LSD and 6speed trannies. Have them RWD or AWD instead of the old and tired FWD setup.
 

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Let's see... in 2007 we have a complete new Mazda6 (3 models). The Mazda2 will be facelifted this year for Europe. In 2007 there will be a complete new Mazda2. A normal hatchback and a MPV version (so 2 models). Two SUV's; CX-7 and CX-9. And a new fullsize MPV. Next year or the year after that there will be a MX-5 CoupeCabrio. Probably a facelited for the Mazda3 within a few years and offcourse the Mazda3 MPS/Mazdaspeed3. In the text they talk about a production model of the MX-MicroSport concept. But that car is already on the market in Japan as "Verisa".... so... what's left? Facelift for the RX-8? Finally a coupe and a cabrio RX-7?
 
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