Mazda: SKYACTIV contributes to CX-5 and Mazda6 profitability

Company strives for overseas production ratio of 50% by FY2015



The All-new Mazda6 (Atenza)
The All-new Mazda6 (Atenza) fully equipped
with SKYACTIV technology
(exhibited at Detroit Auto Show in January 2013)

 Mazda posted net losses for four consecutive terms from FY2008-2011 due to the decline of global demand after the Lehman Brothers crisis in 2008 and the yen's high appreciation. During the years, Mazda challenged a number of initiatives that would help it produce profits while exporting from Japan (e.g. SKYACTIV technology, Monotsukuri Innovation and other structural reform plans as described in this and the related reports). Typically, the CX-5 (launched in February 2012) and the all-new Atenza (launched in November) achieved outstanding environmental performances and low costs that produced profits despite the yen's appreciation in 2012. These models, in particular, contributed to the increase in the company's sales and profits in FY2012. Mazda's consolidated operating profit for FY2012 is expected to improve by 83.7 billion yen from the previous fiscal year including, according to the company, 37.6 billion yen attributable to the market launch of the two specific models. As a result, the company is projecting the first net profit in five years (net profit of 26.0 billion yen projected as of February 2013).

 Although the yen's high appreciation is being corrected, the company intends to strengthen its business in emerging countries where demand is increasing, and strengthen its overseas production to build a stronger business infrastructure that is not susceptible to foreign exchange rates. The overseas production ratio was approximately 30% in FY2012. Mazda plans to increase its global sales volume to 1.7 million units in FY2015 with equal production quantities in Japan and overseas (850,000 units each). Mazda's knock-down production in Vladivostok Russia started in October 2012. The final approval, granted by Chinese government in November 2012 for restructuring Mazda's operation in China from a three-company joint venture into two separate joint-ventures, namely Changan Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd., and Changan Ford Motor Automobile Co., Ltd., will help Mazda increase production in China. Mazda will start production in Mexico in 2014 with annual quantity of 140,000 units and increase that to 230,000 in 2015. Mazda will start production of transmissions in Thailand in 2015 in an annual quantity of 400,000 units.

 Mazda intends to increase overseas footprints backed by the enhanced competitiveness resulting from SKYACTIV and Monotsukuri Innovation initiatives.

Structural reform plan to reinforce the framework for medium- and long-term initiatives

(1) Drive business innovation by SKYACTIV technology
(2) Accelerate cost improvement through Monotsukuri Innovation
(3) Reinforce business in emerging countries and reconstruct global production footprints
(4) Promote global alliances

Sources: Mazda's financial results 2012.2.2
(Note) Mazda's medium- and long-term outlook (for FY2015) included operating profit of 150 billion yen, rate of sales (ROS) of 6% or higher and global sales volume of 1.7 million units with assumed exchange rates of 77 yen to the US dollar and 100 yen to the euro.

Related report: "Mazda's innovative SKYACTIV and new manufacturing technology" (posted in April 2012)

Trends in major markets

Mazda's global retail volume

(1,000 units)
FY2007 FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 Apr.-Dec.
Japan 256 219 221 206 206 137 150 217
North America 406 347 307 342 372 266 270 380
Europe 327 322 239 212 183 129 119 177
China 101 135 196 236 223 165 129 170
Other 273 238 230 277 263 194 225 306
Global 1,363 1,261 1,193 1,273 1,247 891 893 1,250

Source: Mazda's financial results 2013.2.2


Japan: The CX-5 sold 35,000 units in 2012 with diesel-fueled models accounting for 76%

 Mazda's domestic sales in 2012 rose 15% from the previous year to 218,000 units. The CX-5 that launched in February sold 350,000 units, the largest quantity next to the Demio, with the diesel-fueled models accounting for 76% (26,835 units). The CX-5 was chosen as the best-selling car in the SUV category (Japan Automobile Dealers Association).

 The company launched the All-new Atenza (Mazda6) in November.

Retail volume in Japan by model

2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012
Atenza (Mazda6)
Axela (Mazda3)
Premacy (Mazda5)
Roadster (MX-S Miata)
Demio (Mazda2)
LCV, etc. 29,605 26,213 18,730 17,599 14,855 16,300
Non-mini vehicles 198,345 187,234 155,046 173,802 144,452 165,755
Mini vehicles 55,718 57,299 49,250 49,945 45,473 52,606
Total 254,063 244,533 204,296 223,747 189,925 218,361
Source: Japan Automobile Dealers Association
(Notes) 1. The totals by the model names do not agree with those under "non-mini vehicles" because of the different methods of classification.
2. Production of the rotary engine-powered RX-8 was discontinued in June 2012.


US: Models fitted with SKYACTIV accounted for 50% of sales in 2012

 Mazda's sales in the US in 2012 rose 10.6% from the previous year to 277,000 units. The CX-5, launched in March, sold 43,000 units (next largest quantity by the model after the Mazda3 that sold 123,000 units). The models fitted with SKYACTIV technology (CX-5 and Mazda3) accounted for approximately 50% of Mazda's sales in 2012 calendar year to contribute to sales increase from 250,000 units in 2011 to 277,000 units in 2012.

 Mazda launched the All-new Mazda6 in January 2013. The model fitted with the 2.2-liter diesel engine will be made available in the latter half of 2013.

 The company expects the total sales in the US to be 300,000 units in the US in 2013. Mazda's medium-term plan projects sales of 400,000 units in the US in FY2015.


China: Sales of 400,000 units planned for FY2015

 A final approval was granted in November 2012 by all relevant authorities in China regarding the restructuring of the three-company joint venture, Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. (CFMA).

 As a result, CFMW was restructured into two separate joint ventures, namely Changan Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. that inherited Nanjing Plant, and Changan Ford Motor Automobile Co., Ltd. that inherited Chongqing Plant from the former CFMA, respectively. According to Mazda, the new structure will increase the level of freedom in decision making such as increased production. Changan Mazda will start production of the CX-5 in 2013. The JV will also open a technical development center in 2013.

 Mazda is also engaged in a joint venture business with FAW Car Co., Ltd. of First Automobile Works (FAW) Group. The JV company started import sales of the CX-9 in January 2013 and will start local production of the CX-7 in the spring and the new Mazda6 (Atenza) in the latter half of 2013.

 Mazda sold a total of 187,000 units in 2012 including imports. The total quantity includes 114,000 units sold on the FAW sales channel and 73,000 units sold on the Changan sales channel. The company plans to sell 200,000 units in 2013 and increase the number of dealerships from 403 at the end of 2012 to 450 by the end of 2013.

 Mazda aspires to sell 400,000 units in China in FY2015. Reportedly the company is planning to sell 200,000 units on Changan channel and 200,000 units on the FAW channel.


Business structure in China

Company name Mazda's investment ratio
in China
Mazda Motor (China) Co., Ltd. has control over two sales channels, Changan Mazda and FAW Mazda under a unified brand strategy. 100%
Joint venture with Changan Automobile Co., Ltd.
Company name Mazda's investment ratio
Production base Changan Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. is operating Nanjing Plant (since November 30, 2012) with annual capacity of 220,000 units. 50%
Changan Ford Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. (CFMA) was operating Nanjing Plant and Chongqing Plant (until November 29, 2012). 15%
Changan Ford Mazda Engine Co., Ltd. 25%
Sales base Sales division of Changan Mazda Automobile Co., Ltd. 50%
Development base Establishing a technical development center in 2013 at the earliest jointly with Changan Automobile Co., Ltd. Also has plans to develop vehicles carrying an original brand and based on Mazda's high fuel efficiency technologies. 50%

(Note) The engine production under the former three-company JV structure will continue.

Joint venture with FAW Group
Company name Mazda's investment ratio
Production base The Mazda6 and other models are being produced by FAW Car Co., Ltd. None
Sales base FAW Mazda Motor Sales Co., Ltd. 40%


ASEAN markets: Planning to sell 150,000 units in FY2015

 Mazda plans to increase its unit sales in ASEAN markets in FY2015 by 1.5-folds to 150,000 units from the current figure (78,000 units were sold in April-December 2012, up 68% from the same period a year earlier). People prefer different cars in different countries. Pickup trucks are popular in Thailand while minivans are preferred in Indonesia and passenger cars in Malaysia. Mazda will adapt the model lineup and sales channel to suit respective market attributes.

 In Indonesia, Mazda launched the all-new BT-50 (pickup truck) and the Biante (minivan) in 2012. Mazda reportedly has plans to receive an OEM supply of 10,000 units of the Ertiga (minivan) a year produced locally by Suzuki starting in May 2013, and increase its sales in Indonesia to 30,000 units in 2015.



Model plan: Launching the CX-5 and the All-new Mazda6, an outcome of SKYACTIV and Monotsukuri Innovation initiatives

 In February 2012, Mazda launched the CX-5, the first model fully built upon the SKYACTIV technology. It also represents the first outcome of the company's Monotsukuri Innovation that Mazda has been pursuing aside from the SKYACTIV technology. Mazda claims that the CX-5 is so cost efficient that it generates profit when exported even at an exchange rate of 77 yen to the US dollar. Mazda is receiving more orders than expected and hence, the company has increased domestic production capacity for the CX-5 from the original 160,000 units to 240,000 units in March 2013. The company is starting production in China, Russia, Malaysia and Vietnam in FY2013.

 The All-new Atenza (Mazda6), launched in November, is another outcome of the SKYACTIV technology and Monotsukuri Innovation initiatives. It is also cost efficient that it generates profit even when it is exported at exchange rates that prevailed in 2012. The All-new Atenza (Mazda6) is scheduled for market launch in 2013 in two major markets for Mazda, the US and China.

 As was the case with the CX-5, the diesel-fueled models accounted for 76% of the orders for the All-new Atenza during the first month of launch in Japan. In light of these results, Mazda claims that it has created a whole new market for diesel-fueled vehicles.


Adopting SKYACTIV technology in 80% of all models in 2015 and promoting "Japan Premium" policy

 The Mazda cars built upon SKYACTIV technology have higher driving performance and other commodity values and a larger profit because of cost reduction efforts. SKYACTIV is contributing significantly to the improvement of profits for the automaker and dealerships alike as they are sold at the full price.

 The SKYACTIV is adopted in around 30% of Mazda cars in FY2012 and Mazda plans to increase the ratio to 80% in FY2015. Mazda also plans to promote "Japan Premium" policy starting with the All-new Atenza.

Ratios of SKYACTIV-based models

FY2011 FY2012 FY2013 FY2014 FY2015
Ratio About 7% About 30% 50% - 80%
Models Demio (some)
Axela (some)
CX-5 (all)
Atenza (all)
Premacy (some)
Increasing up to 8 models including the
cars already with SKYACTIV by FY2015

Sources: Mazda's financial statements published on February 2, 2012
(Note) In October 2012, Mazda increased production capacity for SKYACTIV engines (gasoline, diesel) at its main engine plant from 400,000 to 800,000 units. The company also plans to produce SKYACTIV engines in China and Mexico as well and build a global supply capacity for 1.5 million units in FY2015.


Promoting "Japan Premium" merchandise policy

Background  Mazda, an automaker with a global share of 2%, is considering "Japan Premium" as one way to increase its presence and build a brilliant brand in order to survive as an automaker. It will be reflected on product planning but the word "Premium" will not be used in PR addressing customers.
Focus  The design based on the new design theme "KODO" - soul of motion, since the CX-5, SKYACTIV technology with perfect match between driving and environmental performances, safety equipment, refined interior equipment, etc., finished by the sensitivity and craftsmanship of Mazda engineers.
Pricing  Reduce sales incentives to maintain residual value and reduce the customer's lease payment while increasing profits for the automaker and the dealership. It must be noted that "Premium" does not necessarily mean launching "luxurious" cars or raising the price.

Source: Nikkan Jidosha Shimbun 2012.11.21, Automotive News 2012.11.26
(Note) The medium-sized sedans fitted with 2.5-liter engine and sold in the US vary in starting price from USD 22,235 (Toyota Camry) to USD 21,495 (Nissan Altima) and to USD 20,880 (Mazda6).


Mazda's model plan (2012-2014)

Model Launch Description
CX-5 February 2012  The All-new CX-5 reflects SKYACTIV technology in its gasoline engine, diesel engine, transmission, body and chassis. The 2.2-liter diesel engine meets Japan's P-NLT and Euro 6 regulations without the help of the expensive NOx after-treatment device and yet delivers the highest JC08 mode fuel efficiency among all SUVs at 18.6km/liter (see Note). The 2.0-liter direct-injection gasoline engine has fuel efficiency of 16.0km/liter. All grades are entitled to eco-car tax credit.
(Note) All SUVs sold in Japan as of January 2012 including hybrids and mini vehicles.
 The CX-5 is an outcome of cost improvement efforts under Monotsukuri Innovation initiative. Its variable profit (sales less variable cost) is 150,000 yen higher than the CX-7 and generates profit even when it is exported at an exchange rate of 77 yen to the US dollar.
 The diesel version costs 380,000 yen more over the gasoline version. The difference is reduced to only about 200,000 yen after the subsidies for purchasing clean energy automobiles.
 Launched in February and sold 35,438 units in Japan by the end of December to become the best-selling car in the SUV category (Japan Automobile Dealers Association). The diesel version sold 26,835 units and accounted for 75.7%.
Demio EV October 2012  In October 2012, Mazda began lease sales of the Demio-based EV, powered by a 20kWh lithium-ion battery (18650-size battery co-developed with Panasonic), with a cruising range of 200km. The EV has a lease price of 3,577,000 yen including tax and is available for lease sales to about 100 bodies of local government and fleet users in the Chugoku area.
New Atenza
November 2012  In November 2012, Mazda launched the All-new Atenza (sedan, wagon), the company's flagship models produced at the second plant in Hofu in Yamaguchi Prefecture, Japan (120,000 units a year planned for production). The All-new Atenza will be introduced in the US and China in 2013. Mazda plans to increase annual sales to 240,000 units when more global production structure becomes operational.
 The engine lineup includes the SKYACTIV-G2.0/2.5 gasoline engines and the SKYACTIV-D2.2 diesel engines. The diesel-fueled MT type sedan has the fuel efficiency of 22.4km/liter, the best among the standard-sized sedan/wagon category other than hybrids. The 2.0-liter gasoline-fueled model delivers a 30% higher fuel efficiency over the previous Atenza powered by the 2.0-liter engine.
 All grades are fitted with Mazda-original start/stop system ("i-stop") and a new brake energy regeneration system ("i-ELOOP"). The All-new Atenza also comes with available advanced safety technologies collectively dubbed "i-ACTIVESENSE."
 The All-new Atenza accepted orders of 7,300 units within the first month of launch, seven times more than the planned monthly sales quantity of 1,000 units. The diesel version accounted for 76% and those incorporating the "i-ACTIVESENSE" advanced safety system accounted for 69%.
Facelifted Premacy January 2013  In January 2013, the Premacy minivan received a minor change and SKYACTIV gasoline engine and 6-speed AT were fitted in the leading 2WD models. The new Premacy has achieved the highest fuel efficiency of 16.2km/liter among the 2000cc-class minivans.
New Flair wagon April 2013  The tall wagon type mini vehicle delivers fuel efficiency of 29.0km/liter (2WD type). The Flair Wagon is an OEM version of the Suzuki Spacia (formerly called Palette).
2013  In 2013, Mazda will start lease sales of the EV in which a hydrogen rotary engine (RE) is used as a range extender (the EV is not to be confused with the Demio launched in October 2012). The rotary engine is used exclusively for generating electric energy and the EV is expected to deliver a cruising range of over 400km.
Hybrid vehicle 2013  Launching Mazda's first hybrid vehicle that combines Toyota's hybrid technology with the SKYACTIV engine.
New Axela Late 2013  Launching the All-new Axela in the latter half of 2013 fully incorporating SKYACTIV technology. It is reported that new Axela will be fitted with the 2.2-liter diesel engine used on the CX-5 and Atenza.
New Demio 2014  The All-new Demio fully incorporating SKYACTIV technology will be launched in 2014. The new Demio will be produced in Mexico as well.
 The Verisa, a premium compact car being sold now, is based on the second-generation Demio. The current (third) generation Demio does not have derivative models. The new Demio is likely to be introduced with several derivatives that include the tall wagon type, SUV and the next Verisa.



Production structure: Half of production to take place overseas in FY2015 (50%, 850,000 units)

 Over 70% of Mazda's global production is taking place in Japan and 75 to 80% of Mazda vehicles produced in Japan are exported.

 The super-high appreciation of the yen is being corrected but Mazda plans to increase production in overseas markets in its medium- to long-term business plan. The company has announced plans to increase the ratio of overseas production from today's approximately 30% to 40% in FY2013 and produce 850,000 units overseas, which accounts for 50% of the global sales goal of 1.7 million units set for FY2015 (announced in February 2012).

 Mazda plans to keep production in Japan at the current level of 850,000 units a year to protect the local industry and employment. This means it will increase overseas production in pace with the sales expansion.

Mazda's global production

FY2007 FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 Apr.-Dec.
Japan 1,046,948 899,448 827,910 866,992 846,574 634,146 633,122
Ratio 79.0% 79.3% 72.4% 67.9% 71.4% 72.4% 71.9%
Overseas 279,042 234,707 315,594 410,502 338,372 241,792 247,153
Global 1,325,990 1,134,155 1,143,504 1,277,494 1,184,946 875,938 880,275
Export from Japan
Export volume 825,153 742,571 649,260 719,445 653,847 487,377 505,420
Ratio 78.8% 82.6% 78.4% 83.0% 77.2% 76.9% 79.8%
(Notes) 1. Global production indicates the line-off quantity of the Mazda-branded vehicles including 100% locally produced units (other than CKD units).
2. Production of the previous version of Mazda6 at AutoAlliance International (AAI), a joint venture with Ford, ended in August 2012 after 37,566 units were produced in January-August 2012.


Strengthening overseas production footprints

Plant, local corporation Start of production Description
Vietnam October 2011  Vina Mazda Automobile Manufacturing Co., Ltd., has been assembling the Mazda2 and importing and selling the Mazda3 (Axela) and other vehicles since October 2011. The plant has a single-shift capacity of 10,000 units a year. Vina Mazda is a 100% locally-owned company but Mazda is considering investing to strengthen the relations.
Auto Alliance Thailand May 2012
 In May 2012, AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), a joint venture with Ford, increased production capacity for pickup trucks (Mazda BT-50 and Ford Ranger) by 20,000 units to 140,000 units a year (195,000 units including CKD). This has increased AAT's total capacity including passenger cars to 240,000 units (290,000 units including CKD).
 In addition to the models mentioned above, AAT is producing Mazda2 (Demio), Mazda3 (Axela), Ford Everest and Ford Fiesta (sister model of Mazda2).
September 2012  In September 2012, Mazda and Bermaz Motor, a Malaysian company, established a joint-venture company, Mazda Malaysia Sdn. Bhd., an assembling plant of Mazda vehicles. Mazda has 70% ownership in the new company. Local assembly of the Mazda3 actually started in January 2011, and assembly of the CX-5 is scheduled to start in the spring of 2013 (with an annual production goal set at 3,000 units each).
in Russia
October 2012  Mazda established a joint-venture company in Vladivostok, Russia, with Sollers, a Russian company. The new company, Mazda Sollers Manufacturing Rus, started KD production in October 2012 of the CX-5, All-new Atenza, and Sollers-branded vehicles. The plant has an initial capacity of 50,000 units a year which is to be increased to 100,000 units a year after the addition of the auto body and painting shops.
New plant
in Mexico
Early 2014  Mazda has been building a new plant in Mexico with an annual capacity of 140,000 units. The plant will produce the Mazda2 (Demio) and the Mazda3 (Axela) starting in early 2014. The plant cost USD 500 million and Mazda is investing 70% with Sumitomo Corporation investing the other 30% (announced in June 2011). An engine assembling plant will be added to the new plant.
 An original plan called for exporting vehicles to Brazil but this became unlikely when a decision was made to place limits on passenger car exports from Mexico to Brazil. As a result, Mazda decided to export to the US from start which originally was to follow export to Brazil.
 Starting in the summer of 2015, Mazda will supply 50,000 units of the Demio-based small-sized cars annually to Toyota on OEM arrangement (announced in November 2012). Toyota will contribute necessary funds to cover equipment and development costs. Mazda will play the leading role in developing the engines, transmissions and other key components based on SKYACTIV technology adopted in the Demio. Toyota will be responsible for designs. Mazda will increase production capacity of the Mexican plant in FY2015 to 230,000 units to start production of Toyota vehicles and increase production of Mazda vehicles.
Plant in Thailand
First half
of 2015
 Mazda is investing 26 billion yen in establishing Mazda Powertrain Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd., and building a new transmission plant in Thailand with an annual capacity of 400,000 units. The new plant will be located 5km north of Mazda's joint-venture production facility, AutoAlliance (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (AAT) and will produce SKYACTIV-DRIVE transmission starting in the first half of FY2015 (announced in January 2013).
 Mazda is producing 1 to 1.1 million transmissions in Hofu and other plants in Japan. The company plans to build a transmission plant in Thailand to produce transmissions to meet an increasing demand while maintaining production unchanged in Japan.

(Note) Mazda reportedly is considering KD production in Brazil.



Promoting global alliances

 Mazda is pursuing cooperative businesses with various partners. For instance, Mazda has partnered with Toyota (as a recipient of hybrid technology, producing Toyota vehicles in Mexico), Nissan (mutual OEM supply, OEM supplier of SKYACTIV-based Premacy since March 2013), Isuzu (receiving OEM supply of the Elf as Mazda Titan), and Suzuki (receiving OEM supply of mini vehicles). Mazda is also partnered with Sollers in Russia and with Changan Automobile and FAW Car Co., Ltd., in China.

 An official agreement was concluded in January 2013 regarding a new collaboration with Fiat.

Producing Alfa Romeo sports cars at Mazda's main plant starting in 2015

 In May 2012, Mazda and Fiat reached an agreement to start talks toward "development and production of an open-top two-seater sports car for Mazda and Fiat's Alfa Romeo brand based on the rear-wheel drive architecture of Mazda's next-generation roadster." An official contract was concluded in January 2013.
 It is assumed that Mazda will produce Alfa Romeo sports cars at its main plant in Japan starting in 2015. The agreement foresees that Mazda and Fiat each will develop distinctly styled roadsters that are powered by original engines that are unique to each brand.



Financial statements for FY2012: The CX-5 and the All-new Atenza alone increasing the consolidated operating profit by 37.6 billion yen

 According to Mazda, its financial results for the first to third quarters (April to December) of FY2012 indicated an operating profit in black, at the time of yen's appreciation, with the CX-5 and other SKYACTIV group of models playing the profit-generating role. Results for the fourth quarter (January to March, 2013) will be even better with the addition of the All-new Atenza to the SKYACTIV group and an extra profit resulting from the new foreign currency exchange rate assumptions.

 Mazda's full-year consolidated operating profit for FY2012 will show an increase by 83.7 billion yen, including 37.6 billion yen contributed by the CX-5 and the All-new Atenza.

 As a result, Mazda projects an operating profit of 45.0 billion yen and a final net profit of 26.0 billion yen in FY2012. These results assume foreign exchange rates of 85 yen to the US dollar and 110 yen to the Euro for the January-March period in 2013. The final financial results are likely to be amended upward.

Mazda's consolidated results

(million yen)
FY2007 FY2008 FY2009 FY2010 FY2011 Apr.-Dec.
Net sales Japan
Total 3,475,789 2,535,902 2,163,949 2,325,689 2,033,058 1,418,302 1,535,190 2,190,000
Operating income
Ordinary income
Net income
Capital investment
R&D cost
JPY/USD 114 101 93 86 79 79 80 81
JPY/EUR 162 144 131 113 109 111 102 104

Source: Mazda's consolidated results
(Note) Foreign exchange rates of 85 yen to the US dollar and 110 yen to the Euro are assumed for the fourth quarter of FY2012 (January to March 2013).


Operating profit changes in FY2012

(billion yen)
& Mix
Other Total FY2012
(387) 376 85 367 (80) 89 837 450

Source: Mazda's consolidated financial results Q3 FY 2012
(Note) The model mix of 37.6 billion yen owes to the market launch of the CX-5 and the All-new Atenza. According to Mazda, they only represent 20% of the company's global unit sales but are great profit contributors because of the cost reduction under Monotsukuri Innovation initiative.

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