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volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/24/19 8:29 a.m.

Ever since buying my '18 Mazda3, i've found that I can't help but evangelize for the brand. The new car is great and having test driven much of the competition before buying it, I feel confident in saying it's the best in its class. 

But I've encountered several people for whom Mazda was not even on their radar, despite there being a Mazda vehicle squarely in their desired target vehicle class. I've also run into several people who think Mazda is still "basically a Ford"and often write it off, because of a low general opinion of Fords. 

Does Mazda need better PR to combat those who either a) forget it exists, or b) think it's still owned by Ford? Although I guess if someone bought a Mazda because they thought Ford still owned it, that could work out in their favor. 

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
4/24/19 8:41 a.m.

I totally agree.  Mazda has had a terrific lineup for years and their current cars are, imho, top of class.  But advertising is super expensive, and the market is already saturated with ads from competing manufacturers. Mazda is in a tough spot as a small manufacturer and has to make hard choices--should they sacrifice product development dollars for ad dollars?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/24/19 8:43 a.m.

Granted, I watch very, very little television, but I can't remember the last Mazda commercial I've seen post the Zoom-Zoom ads of many years ago.  I would assume their advertising budget falls behind the bigger brands.

Most of the cars I've owned through the years have been Mazdas, starting with a $500  1973 RX-2 that, despite 10 years and some rust, was an exceptional car.  The latest purchase was the 2019 CX-9 currently residing in my garage.  I can't say I'll never buy a non-Mazda, but whatever Mazda makes in my category will be thoroughly considered.

The "It just feels right" slogan from years ago sums up my feelings on the brand.  Reliability has always been near the top also, and that doesn't hurt.

Robbie
Robbie GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/24/19 8:43 a.m.

if everyone knew how good mazda was, mazda would be swamped with orders and out of business in a month for not being able to fulfill them. 

but more seriously, PR for these large multi-national companies is not an easy game. 

bobzilla
bobzilla MegaDork
4/24/19 8:50 a.m.

And this is how I feel about the Korean Twins. For the vast majority, if it's not Honda/Toyota or Chevy/Ford it doesn't exist.

John Welsh
John Welsh Mod Squad
4/24/19 8:54 a.m.

This mentality of "just another Ford" is not completely without warrant.  There was a time that you could buy a Ford Ranger (B4000) via Mazda and a Ford Escape (Tribute) via Mazda.

Mazda also had some huge blunders over the years.  The CX-7 is a huge red eye.  The 2.3t engine and awd were too complex for the masses.  They had such poor reliability that they are considered one of the least reliable cars in the used market.  The last 626 sedan before rebranded the Mazda6 was an inferior and disappointing example compared to its competitors.  

Protoges and early Mazda3's, though nice enough cars, rust out at an alarming rate.  

(not) WilD (Matt)
(not) WilD (Matt) Dork
4/24/19 9:27 a.m.

I bought my wife a new Mazda3 in '17.  Time will tell on longetivity but it certainly looked/felt/drove better than most other small sedans in it's price range.  Honestly, I don't recall seeing many Mazda ads in mainstram media.  I see a some ads or positive mentions in some corners of the web, but I frequent "enthusiast" sites.  Maybe that's where their marketing is focused.  Cheaper media niche markets...  I see a TON of GM, Ford, Honda and Toyota ads elsewhere.  I was watching Hulu the other night and actually commneted to my wife about how many times we were going to have to watch the same Lincoln ad over again in one evening. 

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
4/24/19 9:32 a.m.

A lot of it is based on the fact they have no resale value. Or is it that they have no resale value because nobody is aware of Mazda?

 

Either way. Same thing.

 

Pete

white_fly
white_fly HalfDork
4/24/19 9:53 a.m.

Maybe we should keep it a secret and just continue to have all the Mazda's for ourselves?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/24/19 10:43 a.m.
bobzilla said:

And this is how I feel about the Korean Twins. For the vast majority, if it's not Honda/Toyota or Chevy/Ford it doesn't exist.

Gawrd, I see tons of those things on the road. I figure they sell on price alone.

After my wife's disastrous experience with a new Sonata, I know we will never consider them in the future.  No new car should take that many trips back to the dealership on a rollback. 

Okay, I'm done. laugh

The0retical
The0retical UberDork
4/24/19 10:49 a.m.
(not) WilD (Matt) said:

I bought my wife a new Mazda3 in '17.  Time will tell on longetivity but it certainly looked/felt/drove better than most other small sedans in it's price range.  Honestly, I don't recall seeing many Mazda ads in mainstram media.  I see a some ads or positive mentions in some corners of the web, but I frequent "enthusiast" sites.  Maybe that's where their marketing is focused.  Cheaper media niche markets...  I see a TON of GM, Ford, Honda and Toyota ads elsewhere.  I was watching Hulu the other night and actually commneted to my wife about how many times we were going to have to watch the same Lincoln ad over again in one evening. 

That's the strategy they should be using. I know it sounds like treading water but Mazda by and large sells to enthusiasts or friends of enthusiasts.

What needs to happen is for Mazda to remain on top of the Consumer Reports and US News reliability reports for the next 6-8 ish years. That'll cover a good majority of the ever lengthening buying cycle of the general public who doesn't care what they drive as long as it is reliable.

I'd also argue that Mazda should start offering a trim which softens the vehicle up and quiets it down a bit at the expense some driving dynamics. One of the major complaints from CR and USN&WR is that the cars are fantastic drivers cars but they are a much stiffer and louder than competitors in the same market segment. Again, much easier said than done and you risk diluting the brand image.

RX Reven'
RX Reven' SuperDork
4/24/19 11:29 a.m.

Big Mazda fanboi here (new B2000 > used GLC > new FC RX-7 > new RX-8 > used FB RX-7) and I recently decided to buy a new cute-ute crossover of some flavor. I literally didn’t even know about Mazda’s CX-3 until I was checking out the Subaru Crosstrek on some car review website and noticed a super good looking alternative in the competitor section…when I clicked on it, I was both shocked and delighted to see a Mazda seagull emblem on its grill.

Roll the clock forward a few weeks and I’m now the happy owner of a white 2019 CX-3 Touring with the preferred equipment package.

GRM reviewed the CX-3 and basically concluded that there wasn’t much point in not just getting a CX-5 but I only need 60% of a CX-5 so the CX-3 sticks the landing perfectly in terms of my needs.

Anyway, I’ve received huge satisfaction from my Mazda’s over the years so I really hope they maintain enough market share to remain viable.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
4/24/19 11:36 a.m.

Some of it is regional. In Houston I see most all of the modern Mazdas on a daily basis. I see a TON of Nissans. I head to Michagan for the summer and I see very very very few of either but I always notice a couple things from the Buick linup that I've never seen before. Very few small American cars when I was in California recently but a bunch of them in west Michigan. Does Mazda think they need to sell more Mazdas, or are they comforable at their current levels? 

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/24/19 11:40 a.m.
The0retical said:
(not) WilD (Matt) said:

I'd also argue that Mazda should start offering a trim which softens the vehicle up and quiets it down a bit at the expense some driving dynamics. One of the major complaints from CR and USN&WR is that the cars are fantastic drivers cars but they are a much stiffer and louder than competitors in the same market segment. Again, much easier said than done and you risk diluting the brand image.

This could certainly apply to some models.  My wife's Mazda 3 Sport of some years ago was crazy noisy.  And she was coming out of an Audi, so the deck was stacked against it.

On the other hand, our new 2019 CX-9 is blissfully quiet. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc GRM+ Memberand Dork
4/24/19 11:42 a.m.

I bought 3 Mazdas between February 2018 and February 2019.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/24/19 12:11 p.m.
Floating Doc said:

I bought 3 Mazdas between February 2018 and February 2019.

New or used? cheeky

wlkelley3
wlkelley3 UltraDork
4/24/19 12:28 p.m.

I agree advertising or lack there of is Mazda's biggest fault. Some think it's a nitch car.

Ransom
Ransom GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/24/19 12:39 p.m.

I hope they don't suffer too badly from finally bringing the diesel out now that VW has pretty much tarnished the idea, or at least I get the sense that for diesels the "buzz" is gone. It was something to look forward to for so long, and now it's about here, the numbers aren't that great (28/31 FWD, no hwy gain over gas, 3mpg gain city (!?)), and it's not in the 6...

Feels like the kind of big investment gone agley that could eat a lot of what could have been ad budget.

I am curious about what the "real world" Mazda MPG numbers are; IIRC the VWs tended to actually get much better real world mileage (especially hwy) than EPA. Ironic considering that their real world vs test behavior on emissions was... well... you know.

volvoclearinghouse
volvoclearinghouse PowerDork
4/24/19 12:51 p.m.

In reply to Ransom :

I'd even forgotten Mazda was doing a diesel. And yes, the VW scandal (along with other experiences with modern diesels) probably makes it DOA. 

As for fuel economy with the gasser, I'm averaging 38 mpg in my Mazda3 Sport 2.0 6MT, which is well above the rating. This is over 11,500 tracked miles on fuelly.com since buying it new. One tank where I drove conservatively I nudged over 40. This, in a fairly spacious hatch that'll rip a sub-8 second 0-60.  Couldn't be more pleased. 

Duke
Duke MegaDork
4/24/19 12:51 p.m.

They need to stop taking pictures with trees in front of their cars.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
4/24/19 1:11 p.m.

Honestly, I doubt that the VW diesel "scandal" is even in the back of an intelligent car-buyer's mind, and I don't see that impacting diesel sales in a Mazda.

But you could make a serious argument about whether there exists a significant demand for a diesel-engined passenger car in the U.S.  Frankly, I don't believe such demand exists.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/24/19 2:19 p.m.

A lot of new car buyers are older, and they still remember when Toyota and Honda were top of the heap in terms of reliability and resale. If they've been buying those cars without much issue since that time, I doubt they will switch.

The younger buyers are where Mazda needs to hit. Advertising on Hulu, Youtube, and the like may be their best bet, and I'm guessing it would be less expensive than going after network TV spots.

Ransom
Ransom GRM+ Memberand PowerDork
4/24/19 2:27 p.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

That's the thing. I think there was, just on buzz (and great mpg), but I don't think there is any longer.

I don't think people are scared off of them, just disinterested now.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy GRM+ Memberand UltimaDork
4/24/19 2:46 p.m.

The diesel doesn't seem to offer much real world benefit to MPG.

daeman
daeman Dork
4/24/19 5:12 p.m.

I think, as mentioned, it's somewhat reigonal. Mazda seem to advertise fairly regularly in Australia. The Cx9, bt-50 and cx5 have all had pretty solid advertising campaigns over here in the last 12 months. 

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