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2019 Sales-Mazda's car lineup, the 3, 6, and MX-5, was down by double digits—24 percent

2785 Views 25 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  LIMazda6

"Despite the fact that its hot-selling CX-5 crossover was up 2.6 percent, Mazda declined 7 percent to 278,552 units in 2019. That's because Mazda's car lineup, the 3, 6, and MX-5, was down by double digits—24 percent, to be exact. In fact, the CX-5 alone outsold the rest of Mazda's entire lineup, as it did in 2018."
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The financialization of basically everything has made it very tough to actually sell things.

What you can buy is very different than what you can finance. The latter is stupid to engage in most of the time; even Real Estate is dumb other than by the necessity of the fact that you need somewhere to live. Those who argue otherwise -- give me your personal example, and unless you managed to buy something out of foreclosure during the latest crash, you're almost certainly wrong in terms of your "believed" appreciation. In point of fact you lost money in almost every case in purchasing power, and in many cases you lost it outright in nominal terms.

When it comes to vehicles this is especially stupid because they have a life-cycle that is much shorter. Yes, many people need transportation but feasting on other's stupidity down-stream is a MUCH better option fiscally. But that stupidity is why you see all those $50,000 trucks running around. They have a much higher margin for the manufacturer and this makes their stock price go up, so as long as they can find some hinky way to get people into them and to take the financing, part of which is stoked by our interest rate environment on a global basis, it continues.

The other thing this has done is destroyed the "basic" model. Does anyone actually believe there's more than $15,000 worth of hardware between a 6 Sport and a 6 GT (prior to the turbo, of course)? Same sheet metal, same drivetrain end-to-end. The differences are cosmetic. People say "oh but there's more capability with radar cruise, blind-spot monitors, etc" and my riposte is that for under a grand I can buy more computer power than there is in 10 cars and a monitor big enough to fill my living room wall. Anyone who thinks that "higher trim" model differential isn't 80%+ profit is out of their mind and once again, if you can manage to find a way for people to be able to "finance" that then you can kill the models without it -- and they have.

The CX-5 is in the "niche" where people are being shoved. The Miata is an enthusiast product but so long as it sells enough to be worth the cost of running the line Mazda will probably keep it. I sure hope they do. But the rest are another matter, and what's worse is that getting rid of the stick in other than the "enthusiast" trim level for the "3" and completely on the "6" has rendered the cars vehicles I will never buy in the future. Explodo-transmissions are one of the ways manufacturers force you back into either the service department at a ridiculous price or, even better for them, back into the showroom. Nope.
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@idrive -- Yes, it's what people want to buy. Now where's the 2.5L MTX Sport model with trim similar to the "6" sport? Oh, never made one, did they; the only MTX CX-5 produced was with the 2L engine (grossly underpowered) and stripped to the point that it had a rubber steering wheel. I know because I drove one before I bought my "6"; if they had a 2.5L/MTX CX-5 I would have bought it instead.

The problem with the "model/option push" game is that it indeed does lead to what people want, but they're not buying it. Almost everyone is actually leasing, even if they claim they're not and have a note. It's one of the many (very bad) distortions that below-GDP interest rates anywhere on the curve cause. The product mix shift that comes with it is financially destructive for ordinary people in a major way, but the manufacturers love it -- right up until the layering of leverage blows up in everyone's face. Exactly when that happens is not possible to know in advance but basic mathematics tell us that exponential expansion on an indefinite forward basis is impossible.

But for today you, I and everyone else are stuck with what it does to the model mix offered for sale.
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The newer "3" is uninspiring. The previous one wasn't bad, AND you could go lower-dollar for less-feature and not get stupid-decontented. The MTX was available in same, and it made a decent amount of sense if you wanted something smaller than the "6".

But -- when I bought my '15 6 the same basic config in a "3" was MORE MONEY! In fact the de-contented CX-5 with the 2.0L -- seriously de-contented -- was more money by a fair bit.

Huh? Bigger engine, nicer interior (leather wheel for starters .vs. rubber), still MTX, and cheaper? Uh, yeah, the "6" sedan it is; you guys trying to force me into the ATX and higher-trim CX-5 can bite me, and pricing the "3" above the "6" was just IMHO flat-out stupid.

I've driven a couple of the 3g 3s as loaners, so have put a couple of days on them. They're not bad. I don't like ATXs generally but if I have to have one, ok, this one I could live with, provided it doesn't explode and hit me with a $5k+ bill. However, I hate the "burnt toast" infotainment thing. Always have hated that sort of design and always will, but no matter what you buy that's pretty much where they've all gone these days -- from everyone. Meh.

I thought the '19 "redesign" version of the "3" was just... odd. Now if they put the Sky-X engine in it..... that might be truly interesting, provided they don't try to screw you out of another $3,000 for it -- which they might.

But so far there's no indication of when the X engine will hit the US -- or at what price.
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Dang..... none of that was in the '15 Sport -- except the wheel. Well, and the mouse-fur seats, but those got Wet Okole covers immediately, which I absolutely love (and being an outdoors type of dude, thus often getting into the car after a run or some other activity where I'm sweaty and NASTY, they're about the only thing that won't be trashed inside of six months.)

The Wet Okole's in my car look nearly as good as new, even now. Not bad given ~200k miles....
I don't think you'll be disappointed with them. They're not the cheapest option by far, but in terms of both visual appeal (the seats look like they came from the factory this way) and durability it's hard to argue with them.

I drove a WRX (and a just-plain Imprezza) before I bought the "6". Would I love it more in the twisties? Yes. Would I love it more using it as ordinary transportation? Uh uh. That wasn't even a close comparison; the Subie lost bigly in that regard. Never mind that while those vehicles do have a claimed durability record the basic engine design has maintenance cost issues as it ages and always has. Oh, and the insurance costs are higher too; all those ricers buying 'em doesn't help that. Incidentally the not-WRX had a transmission that I just flat-out HATED.

Everyone seems to think winning is all about volume. Nearly none of said people have ever run a business. It's about sunk cost + (per-unit cost * units sold) must be LESS THAN per-unit-profit * units sold. And the financial side of it, which people poo-poo and say "well, but that doesn't matter" -- well, yes it does, bigly, in that it shifts the demand curve between models such that the higher-margin one can be sold in higher volume. Given that fact that's what's going to be produced and, eventually, the lower-margin one won't be offered anymore as the associated costs of stocking back parts and such, which is never zero, will drown the operating margin contribution that offering would otherwise make.
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