Mazda facing identity crisis

Mazda 3 2011 Pictures, Images and Photos
Mazda Motor Corp. is in the middle of an identity crisis. Unlike most other auto makers, including Ford (which they have been closely aligned with), Mazda does not seem to have a clear strategy in terms of the direction they are headed with their products. They do have one very successful car, especially outside of North America, the Mazda 3, but they lack a full lineup that would get anyone excited about the brand. They also seem to be looking at the future differently than other auto makers. According to a recent Toronto Star article (click here to read it), Mazda believes that gasoline engines will still power 80%-90% of the world’s cars in 20 years. Now, I can’t say that they are way off with that assessment because there are some factors in their favour, but they certainly shouldn’t shun new technologies due to that assumption.

While other auto makers are investing in electric cars, hydrogen cars and even a replaceable battery with a full infrastructure behind it (see Better Place and Renault for that one), Mazda is not even sure how to make a full lineup of vehicles that mean anything. Other than the Mazda 3 and maybe the Mazda 2, this seems to be a company with a serious identity crisis. I don’t even know how to suggest a strategy because they need to do some soul searching and decide who they want to be. There are a lot of options for them, but they need to choose one and make it work.

The emerging markets of the world like the two Mazda models I mentioned, but in order to be truly successful they need a full lineup and they need to do well in North America. They can’t afford to stand still because people are starting to realize that their models are outdated and simply not as good as their competitors. The clock is ticking Mazda, time to look in the mirror and show the world what you see.