February 22, 2013

Hoon Hoon Hoon: Basta, Mazda6 Wagon


If stylish, affordable, high-performance, high-efficiency 6-speed turbodiesel station wagons are the kind of thing you like, this is the kind of thing you'll hate:

Autoblog's Italian expat Matt boondoggled his way into taking the 2014 Mazda6 Wagon Skyactiv-D around a track somewhere. Surprise, surprise, he loved it.

Mazda's not saying, but it's pretty clear by now there's no chance in hell the new Mazda6 wagon is coming to the US. Anyway, I've come to realize that the manufacturers create cars like this solely to soften up hoonboi car reviewers, to keep them on the psycho-emotional hook. And now Mazda Italia's got one more blogger by the short hairs.

2014 Mazda6 Skyactiv-D Wagon you can't have [autoblog via dt readers jjdaddy-o, seth, mike, TJ, eric, and aaron. Seriously, I have never felt so understood.]


I have spent the past three days trying to make Mazda's business case to bring this to the US. Here goes:

1) Mazda6 sedan is already here and the diesel is coming later in the year.
2) You have this same powertrain in the CX-5 so you should be able to get in this car with AWD option.
3) There are few wagons in the US market right now and fewer that are diesel and fewer that add AWD to the mix.
4) So is this a recipe for small sales numbers? Yes. But you're not Toyota. You're not Ford. You're not GM. You're not VW. These companies view niche vehicles as failures because they are blips on their sales charts. But you're Mazda. You're a small company in the US with a small dealer network. You have several cars that are near the best in their class (Mazda3, Mazda6, CS-5, CX-9) that most buyers would never even think to consider. You need niche cars to get people into the showroom. You can sell a niche car and still have it move the needle. Give it a try. There are at least 6 Daddytypes readers who are waiting.

Preach it. Subaru persisted in selling small numbers of wagons annually for decades, built a cult around them (and industry-leading loyalty/retention rates) then bailed on the segment entirely and turned their cars into hideous puffed-up RAV4/CRV competitors. Mazda could fill that niche.

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