Mazda & Design

Mazda—as we’ve said in this space many times—is the mainstream manufacturer that has consistently had the best design for its products across the board.

Mazda—as we’ve said in this space many times—is the mainstream manufacturer that has consistently had the best design for its products across the board.

It is one thing to be able to create low-volume vehicles that have extraordinary designs. It is entirely another matter to shape sheet metal for compacts like this:

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Midsize cars like this:

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And crossovers like this:

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And while some manufacturers have just come to the realization that design matters, Mazda has been doing this for a decade or more.

All good, right?

No.

Ask people where there’s a Mazda dealership and you’re likely to get answers that include:

· An endless “Umm. . . .”

· “Didn’t there used to be one over by. . .?”

· “I don’t know.”

Seriously.

In all, there are about 630 Mazda dealers in the U.S.

Which isn’t a whole lot.

Through July, these dealers shifted 186,153 vehicles.

By way of comparison, Honda dealers moved 189,440 Civics.

Still, Mazda keeps emphasizing design.

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Yesterday it announced what it is calling “Retail Evolution,” the redesign of dealerships so that they’ll have the upscale look and feel that is characteristic of Mazda vehicles.

Said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, “Thanks to our KODO design philosophy and suite of SKYACTIV technologies, our vehicle lineup has never been stronger. We are now able to take that groundbreaking design language and translate it into our dealership experience.”

They keep on emphasizing design.

Good for Mazda.