Mazda develops products that embody the attributes of its Zoom-Zoom brand statement. In line with the principles of "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom," the Company is developing SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY, which provides all customers who purchase Mazda vehicles with driving pleasure as well as outstanding environmental and safety performance. SKYACTIV TECHNLOGY was introduced to the market starting in 2011.
Product development is carried out in cooperation with the sales and after-sales service areas indicated below.
- To reflect customer's input about products, obtained in the sales area, in subsequent product development
- To improve quality by swiftly dealing with the problems and giving feedback to product development with the help of after-sales service area
The Intelligent-Drive Master (i-DM), Mazda's unique driver support system that supports safe, fuel-efficient, and fun driving for both a driver and passengers, was introduced in Japan, equipped for seven models, with Demio (Mazda2 overseas), Axela (Mazda3 overseas), CX-5, Atenza (Mazda6 overseas), Premacy (Mazda5 overseas), Biante, and new Axela.
For the new Axela, the system was modified to enable drivers to view detailed driving information on the center display. a The i-DM is highly evaluated for its function of supporting drivers in learning smooth driving to prevent children from car sickness, and has won the 8th Kids Design Award "Prime Minister's Prize."
As smartphones and tablets spread rapidly, there is a growing need for the transmission and sharing of information using the always-operational Internet and social media. Facing such social trends, Mazda developed the "MAZDA CONNECT*1" a system to enable drivers to enjoy network connections based on a new Human-Machine Interface (HMI), placing the highest priority on driving safety. This system makes its debut with the new Axela/Mazda3.
This system offers hands-free phone talking, Internet radio, and real-time traffic information services, with text-to-speech reading functions for e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. To enhance safety performance, at the same time, basic elements such as the driving position and visiblity were also improved.
- *1The name MAZDA CONNECT is used in Japan, USA, Canada and Mexico. In other markets, the system is referred to as MZD Connect.
In 1995, Mazda became the first Japanese automaker to launch a vehicle for people with special needs. It was developed with top priority placed on "ease of use and comfort for both care givers and receivers." The company has expanded the lineup to the i-Series.
The wheelchair-ramp-equipped Flair Wagon is particularly appreciated by customers for its user-friendly features, such as its wide and comfortable cabin, single-board slope, and easily retractable second seat.
- Vehicles with a lift-up passenger seat: Vehicles with a powered lift-up passenger seat that elevates and rotates (Biante, Premacy)
- Vehicles with a lift-up second-row passenger seat: Vehicle with a second-row passenger seat on the left side that elevates and rotates (MPV, Biante)
- Auto-step vehicles: Vehicles enabling easy entry and exit from the rear (MPV, Biante)
- Wheelchair-ramp-equipped vehicle: Vehicle with a ramp that enables people in a wheelchair to get in and out while remaining in a wheelchair (Flair Wagon)
Manager, Program Promotion Group, Product Business Planning Department,
Mazda Engineering & Technology Co., Ltd.
Mazda E&T develops and manufactures specially equipped vehicles, including welfare vehicles. I am in charge of the development of the wheelchair-ramp-equipped Flair Wagon, considering easy operation procedure and achieving a floor slope angle of 4°, which facilitates a natural sitting posture. I always try to make welfare vehicles that are easy for both care givers and receivers to use. I will continue to work in cooperation with Mazda's marketing related departments to provide vehicles that satisfy the needs of customers at reasonable prices.
At its R&D centers in Japan, North America, Europe and China, Mazda gathers information about markets and customers around the globe. Through local testing, Mazda develops products and provides services to suit its customers' wide-ranging needs.
New Axela (Mazda3 overseas) with storage spaces developed through thorough research on actual usage
- Storage spaces with appropriate capacity for small items that would be used frequently in every zone of the driver side, front passenger side, rear seat, ceiling, door trim, etc., are set at positions that enable users to take items in and out easily with minimum visual distraction.
To respond to the increasingly diverse needs of female drivers, a team composed of female members from various departments both in Japan and overseas conducts research on the vehicles which are convenient for themselves to use from female viewpoint.
Mazda has introduced Visual IT Presentation (VIP) computer software, which is used at dealerships in Japan to provide customers with easily understandable explanations of products' features and functions. The VIP tool uses video and animated computer graphics to clarify driving performance, safety performance, and other characteristics that are often difficult to explain adequately solely through oral communication in the showroom, and has received good reputation from customers.
Since the introduction in Japan in October 2005, as of March 31, 2014 it has been introduced in 753 shops of 59 dealerships in Japan (including 14 Mazda Autozam shops). It is available for the entire lineup of passenger vehicles, and is updated for new models as needed.
Believing that the development of vehicles serving people with specific needs is essential to a more open and accessible automotive society, Mazda produces a wide range of vehicle types, as described below.
- Passenger vehicles:
Mazda has developed special accessory parts in response to the diverse, highly personalized needs and preferences of customers. These accessories are released at the same time as every new model is introduced.
- Commercial and specially equipped vehicles:
To respond to the diversifying needs of modern businesses, Mazda's vehicle mass-production technology is applied to produce the TESMA line of high-quality specially equipped vehicles. The Company also adapts the Bongo Van and Titan Truck for use as dry van trucks, refrigerator and freezer trucks, etc.
- Instructional vehicles:
Axela instructional vehicles are appreciated for their high maneuverability for their size and suitability for driving training by driving school instructors.
In FY March 2014, Mazda participated in Tokyo Auto Salon 2014 (January 2014) and presented its various customized models, to communicate the spirit of Mazda brand with wide variety of Mazda vehicles.
- Aero-parts with higher integration with the body design
Through the Mazda's website, Mazda provides information and purchasing support for customers.
- Enabling customers to make appointments for visits and consultations at Mazda dealerships
- Dealer search service that helps customers to find the nearest Mazda dealership
- The "simple estimate" service, which enables customers to create estimates easily at the time of purchase
- Enabling customers to request detailed estimates
In FY March 2012, Mazda opened an official Facebook page to facilitate communication with customers. As of March 31, 2014, Mazda has received about 140,000 "Likes" (number of fans) on its Japanese page and about 10,000 on its English page.
To allow access to information from smartphones, Mazda offers contents and applications for smartphones.
- Mazda official smartphone website set up (in Japan)
The website offers contents providing information on all Mazda vehicles, including models with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY installed with enhanced tools for estimation, searches for test-drive vehicles and dealerships, etc., which are necessary for prospective purchasers.
- Smartphone apps
The smartphone apps below are available at the download site.
This app adopts various functions pleasing to car lovers, including the Angle Guide function*2 supervised by Mazda's chief designer, which helps shoot cars beautifully, and the After Effect function, which enables image editing.
The app is planned to have more enhanced functions, including a tutorial function.
- *2Adopted for 3 models: new Atenza, CX-5 and new Axela (as of March 2014).
A racing game in which users can experience the joy of driving by just shaking their smartphone. Data obtained in actual vehicle development, such as engine characteristics and sound, are employed.
Based on the Mazda-unique methodology of pursuing higher motion quality, this app monitors the user's motion in the three modes of "Walk," "Run," and "Drive." It evaluates balance, stability of body axis, dynamism, and other motion quality features during driving, as well as walking and running, and provides advice with its coaching function.
The Mazda's website features a Web Tuning Factory site, which enables customers to specify whatever combination of options they may desire for a vehicle and purchase it online. As of March 2014, 28 models were available in the Japanese market, including special editions and micro-minis.
Mazda vehicles are frequently used among motorsports enthusiasts around the world over, and Mazda is delighted to support motor sports events according to the needs and tastes of each region. Through partnerships with overseas operations in the United States, Europe, Australia, and Thailand, Mazda supports an assortment of programs aimed at enabling customers to participate in the exciting world of motorsports.
Recently, regulations to ensure environmental-consciousness have been strengthened for motor sport activities.*3
The GRAND-AM Series' GX class, which started in January 2013 in the US, is a new category in which only vehicles adopting environmentally conscious technologies are allowed to participate. Mazda takes on this class with its SKYACTIV-D clean diesel engine, which offers both improved fuel efficiency and high power; it won eight races during the year, successfully becoming the Manufacturers' Champion. By participating in this race, Mazda aims to demonstrate its clean diesel engine's excellent driving and environmental performance to customers in the US, as the company plans to launch the Mazda6 (Japanese name: Atenza) with SKYACTIV-D in the US.
- *3In F1, Rally Championship, etc., the requirement for 1600 cc turbo engines and other regulations to promote small engine displacement are increasingly being set.
Mazda Sales (Thailand) has participated in motor sport events with Mazda2 produced in Thailand since May 2013. With its light body and high basic performance such as handling, Mazda2 has constantly won high ranks, including first place. Mazda is promoting its brand spirit, including the driving feel and design of Mazda2 through motor sports. After the race season, the company held test-ride events for Mazda fans, with the aim of promoting the Mazda brand and building bond with fans.
In October 2007 Mazda launched the customer magazine Zoom-Zoom, and is regularly distributing it to customers in about 60 countries. The magazine shares driving pleasure that Mazda vehicles bring and explores the exciting lifestyles of Mazda vehicle users. The magazine is packed with information based on a variety of themes in order to build stronger emotional bonds between Mazda and its customers. In 2011 and 2012, the magazine won the Best Automotive Title award at the APA International Content Marketing Awards in the UK.
Aiming to become a "brand" maintaining special bonds with its customers, Mazda promotes advertising activities. For product information and display, Mazda not only complies strictly with each law and regulation of each country/region, but also places strong emphasis on safety, human rights, environmental issues, and ethical standards, giving careful attention to information display and expression appropriate for a company that manufactures and sells automobiles. Moreover, Mazda conducts studies on advertising on a periodic basis so as to check whether information provided to customers is correct and understandable.
In September 2010, Mazda announced its new design theme, "KODO - Soul of Motion."*4 Mazda has explored various forms that depict "motion," constantly offering designs that make people excited about driving. In its work to further evolve these designs, Mazda has focused on the strength, beauty and tension found in the instantaneous movement seen in animals. And this motion, which stirs the emotions of those who see it, was named "KODO - Soul of Motion" as the new design theme for Mazda vehicles. Following the CX-5 and the Atenza/Mazda6, the "KODO" design was adopted for the new Axela/Mazda3, which was launched globally starting in the autumn of 2013, and has gained a high reputation worldwide.