To be straightforward, if you've been keeping on top of headlines in recent months, it would appear that Mazda isn't in a good place.
Raising $2 billion is not always a refreshing sign, even if it's to build a new factory in Mexico to shorten lead times. And, things certainly don't sound good when you hear of employee buyouts due to mounting losses.
When Bloomberg classifies you as "Japan's most unprofitable major carmaker," that's not something to smile about.
But enough of the negative because I have two incredible rays of hope:
1) Guess WHICH vehicle received the MOST attention on AutoSpies at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show?
2) Guess WHICH vehicle is receiving rave reviews from an unexpected source?
1a) Mazda's Takerai
2a) Mazda's CX-5
The Takerai concept car is a truly outstanding piece of metal expected to be the next-gen Mazda6. That's great, but more importantly, the all-new CX-5 is liked by The Truth About Cars Jack Baruth. Check out this excerpt he recently wrote:
As it turns out, I did nearly sixty laps of Laguna Seca in the CX-5. The first three were for you, dear readers; the rest were for me. A few months ago, I asked where all the great Japanese cars had gone. Here’s one answer to that question. The CX-5 is meant to channel the spirit of the Miata in the way that Porsche claimed the Cayenne would for the 911 — but unlike the Germans, Mazda’s pulled it off. Finally, we have a modern small wagon that feels light on its feet, eager to change direction, frisky and friendly.
Considering Baruth has serious driving credentials, I'll go with his opinion over the lot of 'em.
The KEY of Jack's excerpt above is that the CX-5 is what the Porsche Cayenne wasn't:
The CX-5 is meant to channel the spirit of the Miata in the way that Porsche claimed the Cayenne would for the 911 — but unlike the Germans, Mazda’s pulled it off.
I am glad to hear it's a hoot to drive but I am FAR more concerned with how this puppy will sell. According to reports from Mazda, the CX-5 exceeded orders -- in Japan -- so far by eight(!) times. Word on the street suggests sales in Russia are also going well.
So my question to you, the Spies, is simple: Will the Mazda CX-5 be the vehicle that SAVES Mazda, like the Cayenne saved Porsche?