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 TECHNLOGY, which provids 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 customer service areas as 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 customer service area
The Intelligent-Drive Master (i-DM), Mazda's unique driver support system that supports safe and fuel-efficient driving comfortable for passengers, was introduced in Japan, equipped for six models, Demio, Axela, CX-5, new Atenza, Premacy, Biante.
For the new Atenza, the system was modified strengthring safety and comfortability for passengers.
As smartphones and tablets are spreading rapidly, there is a growing need for free and flexible transmission and sharing of information using the always-operational internet and social media. Facing such social trends, Mazda developed the car connectivity system to enable drivers to safely 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 Mazda3 (the Axela in Japan).
This system offers hands-free phone talking and e-mail reception, internet radio and real-time traffic information services, with text-to-speech reading functions for e-mail, Facebook and Twitter. To enhance safety performance, on the other hand, basic elements such as the driving position and field vision were improved, and simple, user-friendly displays/operation devices equipped with Mazda's unique commander control system, etc., as well as Graphical User Interface (GUI), were also developed.
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.
Mazda also launched an initiative to deliver any models specified by the customer to any dealership in Japan, so as to allow customers to actually see the vehicles before purchase. Product introduction on the Mazda Official Website will also be enhanced.
- 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)
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.
- Sedan trunk:
- While keeping its elegant style designed based on ergonomics, the broadened opening and the adoption of the swan-neck hinge have substantially eased the loading and unloading of luggage.
- Wagon luggage room:
- User-friendliness has been improved by the adoption of an appropriate rear-gate opening shape achieved in pursuit of perfect ease of loading and unloading luggage.
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.
Powertrain Development Division.
(Right)Keiko ItoDriveability & Environmental Performance Development Department, Powertrain Development Division.
We are working to develop vehicles from a female perspective, pursuing female values and characteristics. Hoping to help women who are not good at and feel uncomfortable driving gain interest in Mazda vehicles and enjoy driving, 15 members from the research & development and planning related divisions hold a meeting every week to have cross-functional discussions. In FY March 2013, we shared the report about women that we had accumulated over five years with the research & development and sales & marketing divisions within the Company. We also promoted activities to suggest driving safety support functions that appeal to women. Serving as a source of women-related information, we will provide useful information further and continue to contribute to the development of vehicles that can offer driving pleasure to women in collaboration with various divisions and departments.
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, 2013 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.
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 new models.
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.
Mazda offers instructional vehicles that are user-friendly and comfortable for both driving students and instructors.
In FY March 2013, Mazda participated in Tokyo Auto Salon 2013 (January 2013) to gain understanding of customer's requirements regarding customized vehicles.
Examples of commercial application of the needs found at past Tokyo Auto Salons.
- Aero-parts with higher integration with the body design
- Accessories with LED decorative lights partially employed
The Mazda Official Website has the functions below to provide information and purchasing support for customers in Japan.
- 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 in Japanese to facilitate communication with customers; as of March 31, 2013, the page received about 70,000 "Likes" from fans. The page is intended to provide further Mazda-unique information to customers.
To allow access to information from smartphones, Mazda offers the following services:
- To allow access to the website from smartphones, the Company prepared contents providing information on all Mazda vehicles including models with SKYACTIV TECHNOLOGY installed, and enhanced tools for estimation, searches for test-drive vehicles and dealerships, etc., which are necessary for prospective purchasers.
This app adopts various functions pleasing to car lovers, including the Angle Guide function supervised by Mazda's chief designer, which helps shoot cars beautifully, and the After Effect function, which enables image editing. This app was developed with the aim of making car owners' ownership experience still more enjoyable. As of March 31, 2013, the app, for both i-OS and Android, has achieved a total of 110,000 downloads. CARPTURE FOR DRIVERS won the ATTT award in the contents app segment at the 4th Automotive Telecommunication Technology Tokyo (ATTT) exhibition.
The Mazda Official 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 2013, 26 models were available in the Japanese market, including special editions and micro-minis.
Mazda vehicles are a favorite among motorsports enthusiasts 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 South Africa, 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.*1 The GRAND-AM Series' GX class, which started in January 2013 in the US, is a new category in which only vehicles adopting environmental-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. By participating in this racing class, Mazda aims to demonstrate the clean diesel engine's excellent driving and environmental performance to customers in the US, as the Company plans to launch Mazda6 with SKYACTIV-D in the US.
SKYACTIVE TECHNOLOGY made a debut in motorsport activities. Mazda, mainly North American Distributor, has developed and started supplying SKYACTIV-D Racing for teams participating in races.
- Taking on the US GRAND-AM Series GX class (Mazda6 Diesel)
The new Mazda6 Diesel made a debut at the Rolex24 at Daytona in January 2013, winning five races (4th - 8th races) in the class (as of July 30, 2013).
Supplying engines to the LMP2 class in the Le Mans Series
Mazda announced during the Le Mans 24-hour race period in June 2012 at the Sarthe Circuit that it would supply SKYACTIV-D Racing for private teams running the Le Mans Series in the Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) class. With the decision to hold the Asia Series starting in 2013, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will become a global race series.
- *1In F-1, Rally Championship, etc., the requirement for 1,600 cc turbo engines and other regulations to promote small engine displacement are increasingly being set.
In October 2007 Mazda launched the customer magazine Zoom-Zoom, and is regularly distributing it to customers in about 50 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 ties 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 ties 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." 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. The "KODO" design was adopted for the CX-5 and Atenza/Mazda6. It will be adopted for the new Axela/Mazda3, to be launched globally starting in the autumn of 2013.
The new Mazda6 was chosen as a top-three most beautiful car in the world for the 2013 World Car Design of the Year, as the only Japanese car to be selected.
This award was given to cars with excellent design, chosen from among new model vehicles launched in 2012 through examination by journalists and design experts from all over the world. Mazda will continue to pursue soulful design with stronger and faster motion, and communicate driving pleasure through its "Soul of Motion" design theme.