Mazda has a somewhat enviable problem: its CX-5 crossover and SkyActiv engines are in such high demand that the automaker must increase production in Japan to keep up. Mazda will boost production levels of the CX-5 next year, and will double capacity for building the SkyActiv-G and SkyActiv-D engines later this year.
Sales of the Mazda CX-5 crossover have been much swifter than expected, forcing Mazda to upgrade its annual sales projections for the model from 160,000 to 190,000. The CX-5 has sold 24,000 copies in Japan since it went on sale in February, doubling projections. Through the end of June, Mazda sold 16,031 CX-5s here. That makes it the third best-selling Mazda in the U.S. so far this year, after the 3 compact sedan/hatchback and 6 midsize sedan.
To cope with increased demand, Mazda will expand production to a second Japanese factory by March 2013. The company’s flexible manufacturing system means it can easily bring CX-5 production online at the Ujina Plant 1. The CX-5 is currently assembled at Ujina Plant 2. With the additional plant in operation, Mazda could build as many as 240,000 CX-5s annually.
Mazda’s SkyActiv powertrains are also in strong demand. The SkyActiv-G gasoline engine is offered in the Mazda 3 and CX-5 in the U.S., as well as some other models in foreign markets. The SkyActiv-G diesel is not yet available in our market. Because demand for the new, more-efficient engines has been so strong, Mazda will double production capacity at its plant in Hiroshima, Japan, from 400,000 units annually to 800,000 units.
Mazda said that 55 percent of cars sold in America in June had SkyActiv engines. That consists of all models of the CX-5 crossover, as well as 73.6 percent of Mazda 3 models sold last month. By March 2016, Mazda hopes to sell 1.7 million SkyActiv engines globally each year, with the new powertrains accounting for about 80 of Mazda’s volume.