Tuesday, June 9, 1998

Familia suggested retail prices

S-wagon(In thousand yen)

Drive Engine Grade Transaxle Tokyo/Nagoya
Sapporo Sendai

S 5MT 1,394 1,444 1,414
4EC-AT 1,469 1,519 1,489
Type ZL-VE
R 5MT 1,585 1,635 1,605 #
4EC-AT 1,660 1,710 1,680
4WD Type ZL-DE
S-4 5MT 1,585 1,635 1,605
4EC-AT 1,660 1,710 1,680
Type FP-DE
R-4 5MT 1,789 1,839 1,809
4EC-AT 1,864 1,914 1,884

Familia retail prices
Familia suggested retail prices

Sedan(In thousand yen)

Drive Engine Grade Transaxle Tokyo/Nagoya
Sapporo Sendai
FWD Type B3-ME
ES 5MT 991 1,041 1,011 1,001
4EC-AT 1,066 1,116 1,086 1,076
JS 5MT 1,188 1,238 1,208 1,198
4EC-AT 1,263 1,313 1,283 1,273
Type ZL-DE
LS 5MT 1,309 1,359 1,329 1,319 #
4EC-AT 1,384 1,434 1,404 1,394
Type ZL-VE
GS 5MT 1,507 1,557 1,527 1,517
4EC-AT 1,582 1,632 1,602 1,592
RX 5MT 1,503 1,553 1,523 1,513
4EC-AT 1,578 1,628 1,598 1,588
Type RF
2.0-liter Diesel
LS 5MT 1,390 1,440 1,410 1,400
4EC-AT 1,465 1,515 1,485 1,475
4WD Type ZL-DE
LS 5MT 1,554 1,604 1,574 1,564
4EC-AT 1,629 1,679 1,649 1,639

* Air conditioning and airbag on the passenger's seat are optional on the ES sedan. They can be installed for 201,000 yen.
* Specifications for all models of both the S-wagon and the sedan are for cold-weather areas.
* The manufacturer's price for the optional SRS side airbag with head protection function is 30,000 yen (all models except the ES sedan).
* The price for the optional glass sunroof with tilt function is 80,000 yen (R and R-4 S-wagons and RX sedan).
* Models marked with # are shown in the photographs.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Familia main features

* Automatic air conditioning is standard on the R and R-4 S-wagon models and on the GS and RX sedans. Manual air conditioning is standard on the S and S-4 S-wagons and the JS and LS sedans (optional on the ES sedan).
* Anti-UV ray glass is used in the front doors of the S- wagons and in the front and rear doors and rear window of the sedans (all S-wagon models and all sedan models except the ES).
* Dark tinted glass is used on the rear doors, rear quarter windows, and rear window of the S-wagons (standard on the R and R-4 and optional on the S and S- 4).
* The power glass sunroof with tilt function is optional (R and R-4 models of the S-wagon and RX models of the sedan).
* TThe All-In-One AV Navigation System with VICS-compatible navigation system, AM/FM electronic tuner, cassette deck and CD deck is available as an option (all S-wagons and GS and RX sedans).
* The full-logic cassette deck with AM/FM electronic tuner is optional on the all S-wagon and JS and LS sedans. The AM/FM electronic tuner is standard on the LS and GS sedans and optional on the ES and JS sedans.
* The NARDI-manufactured leather-covered steering wheel with built-in airbag is available as an option (R and R-4 wagons and RX sedan).

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Familia world top level of safety

We have achieved a world top level of safety in both active safety, to prevent accidents, and passive safety, to minimize the impact received by passengers should an accident occur.

safety Mazda Familia
Mazda Familia - top level of safety

(1)Active safety
maru The elevated driver's position realizes a safer driving environment by affording a superb range of visibility and preventing fatigue during long travels.
maru Superior driving safety is achieved through the vehicle's handling stability and reliable braking system.
maru The four-wheel anti-lock braking system (4W-ABS) is standard equipment on all models. The choice of full-time or real-time four-wheel-drive systems enhances driving and braking stability even under poor conditions and provides exceptional capabilities for avoiding danger.
maru The A pillar gutter molding and door mirrors with rain control function prevent water from adhering to the side windows and mirror surfaces, increasing visibility during rainy weather.

(2)Passive safety
maru A highly rigid and safe MAGMA body
The highly rigid and safe MAGMA body consists of front and rear crumple zones that effectively absorb and disperse the energy from front or rear collisions along with a rigid cabin with a triple H structure that protects the passenger compartment during side impacts and rollovers. This body has met Japan's new Side Safety Collision Standards and satisfies the requirements of the latest European Collision Standards (offset front collision, side collision) slated to be introduced this fall.
maru Side impact bar and rear door catchpin
Side impact bars have been placed inside the front and rear doors and catchpins located on rear doors to minimize intrusion into the passenger compartment during a collision from the side.
maru SRS airbags for the driver's seat and the front passenger seat
The SRS airbag system for the driver's seat and front passenger seat is available for all models. (It is standard on all models except for the passenger seat on the ES sedan, where it is an option.)
maru SRS side airbags with head protection function
An SRS side airbag system with head protection function is available for the driver's seat and the front passenger seat. (It is an option for all models except the ES sedan.) The airbag inflates to protect the side of the upper body and head, preventing severe injury from contact with the side window or B pillar during a side collision. In addition, the side air bag is placed on the door side of the seat back surface, so it is always in the best position for passenger safety regardless of seat position.
maru Seatbelts with load limiters
Front seats feature a three-point ELR seatbelt with load limiter. (Equipped on the driver's seat for all models and on the passenger seat for models with the SRS airbag system.) Should an excessive load be applied to the seatbelt while in use, the load limiters come into effect to loosen the belt, reducing excessive strain on the occupant's chest.
maru Rear seatbelt with child seat attachment function
The three-point seatbelt on the outside rear seats has been fitted with a child seat attachment function. This enables seatbelt slack to be eliminated, securely holding the child seat.
maru Shock-absorbent interior
The shock-absorbent interior absorbs impact should any part of a passenger's body strike the vehicle's interior. Shock-absorbent material has been placed on the instrument panel and around the front door trim. Also, a ribbed structure has been used for the rear surface of the A pillar and B pillar trim.
maru Power window with automatic reversal function
The power window on the driver's seat features an automatic reversal function. When it detects that a hand or other object has been struck during autoclose, the window is automatically lowered 200 mm.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Familia driving agility, ride comfort

To enhance driving pleasure, the perennial attraction of cars in general, the new Familia is equipped with an engine that both increases output and boasts fuel efficiency along with a newly developed automatic transmission that greatly increases shifting smoothness. In addition, the suspension system was developed to balance driving stability and comfort. Vibration and noise have also been reduced.

Mazda Familia used
driving agility, ride comfort

(1) Engine
Four types of gasoline engine are available, along with one diesel model. The 1.5-liter engine is equipped with the newly developed S-VT mechanism. It continuously varies the open-close timing of the air intake valves to produce the optimum valve timing under all driving conditions, from stop-and-go city driving to high-speed expressway driving. As a result, output and torque are increased while fuel consumption, CO2, and NOx emissions are all reduced.

Engine type Type FP-DE
Type ZL-VE
1.5-liter DOHC
Type ZL-DE
Type B3-ME
Type RF
Max. power (ps/rpm JIS net) 135/6,200 130/7,000 110/6,000 85/6,000 70/4,650
Max. torque (kg-m/rpm JIS net) 16.5/4,500 14.4/4,000 14.0/4,000 11.2/4,000 13.2/2,500
Fuel required Unleaded premium Light oil

(2) Transaxle
Two types of four-speed electronically controlled automatic transaxle (4EC-AT) as well as two 5-speed manual transaxle are available. The smoothness of shifting gears on front-wheel-drive vehicles has been greatly enhanced by the newly developed 4EC-AT automatic transaxle. It is equipped with such functions as Feedback Control and Learning Control, which provide the class top level quality of shift.

(3) 4-wheel-drive system
The R-4 version of the S-wagon, which is equipped with a 1.8-liter engine, features a full-time, viscous LSD equipped 4-wheel-drive system. The S-4 version of the S-wagon, which is equipped with a 1.5-liter engine, and the LS sedan have a rotary blade coupling type real-time 4-wheel-drive system in which the front wheels are normally used for drive but drive transfers also to the rear wheels if the rotation rates of the front and rear wheels diverge.

(4) Body
The body of the new Familia boasts improved rigidity overall as well as better local rigidity at the suspension mounting points. This makes it possible to extract the full performance capability of the suspension while reducing vibration and noise for a more comfortable ride.

(5) Chassis
The height of the suspension's front and rear roll centers has been optimized for improved cornering precision, enhanced stability when driving in a straight line, and better steering responsiveness. Also, on the four-wheel- drive models, newly developed dampers with low-velocity control valves help maintain operating stability when negotiating winding roads and absorb input from the road surface for a more comfortable ride.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Familia dynamic design

The new Familia reflects Mazda's new design theme of "contrast in harmony." It achieves the optimum balance between functionality and styling, featuring Mazda's newly designed family face with an independent front grille and intricately-shaped headlights, as well as surfaces with a feel of energy and stability.

Mazda Familia exterior design
Mazda Familia exterior design

(1) Exterior
The S-wagon's design theme is "dynamic and sporty." The forward slanting D-pillars, the rugged fender archline, and the wide tread create a powerful yet stable body. The roofline slopes downward toward the back and the rear window has an inverted pentagonal shape. All of this combines to give the car a sporty look.

The Sedan's design theme is "dynamic and formal." Like on the S-wagon, the fenderline and wide treads creates a powerful yet stable look.The sedan's styling features wide C-pillars and wedge-shaped side views to produce a more classic effect.

Mazda Familia interior design
Mazda Familia interior design

(2) Interior
S-wagon and sedan
The center portion of the instrument panel appears to curve outward slightly, and the area of the cloth portions of the door trim has been increased to give the interior a comfortable and refined feel. Also, often-used controls such as those for the audio system are located at the upper part of the instrument panel to increase ease of use and, in the interest of enhanced driving safety, reduce the amount the driver needs to move his or her line of vision in order to see them.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Familia Excellent utility

Flexible seat arrangement allows users to take full advantage of the interior space provided by the Familia's efficient interior layout. Also, storage space for small items used frequently has been concentrated near the driver's seat.

Excellent Mazda Familia
Excellent Mazda Familia

(1) Flexible seat arrangement
The rear seats of the S-wagon are equipped with seat slides (160 mm on the front-wheel-drive models and 120 mm on the 4-wheel-drive models) and right-left independent reclining seats; 50/50 split folding function, double fold-over, and 50/50 split detachable seat cushions. These enable a variety of space arrangement depending on luggage volume and number of passengers. "Space-up seats" that allow the seat back to be folded forward to a horizontal position are used for the driver and front passenger seats of the S-wagon (R, R-4). Combined with the fold-over capability of the rear seats, this allows loading of objects about 2.4 m long. The seatbacks of the space-up seats are equipped with plastic panels that fold down for use as tables.

The rear seats of the sedan (LS, GS, RX) feature 60/40 split folding. Moreover, the passenge seats of the RX are also equipped with Space-up seats. Combined with the fold-over capability of the rear seats, these allow loading of objects about 2.5 m long.

(2) Plenty of luggage space
S-wagon and Sedan
The new Familia features plenty of interior luggage space for small items. The instrument panel area boasts a large glove compartment that can hold items of up to A4 size and underneath can accommodate up to seven CDs. There is also a pocket at the side of the instrument panel that can be used to store a portable phone, sunglasses, or the like, and a folding cup holder (for two cups). Also, the GS version of the sedan is equipped with a center console compartment that holds up to eight CDs. The other versions have center console trays large enough to accommodate a 1.5-liter soft drink bottle. In addition, all models feature front door pockets large enough for large-format maps or atlases. The S-wagon also has rear door pockets.The luggage area of the S-wagon is equipped with an auxiliary storage area under the floor and tie-down hooks are mounted at 4 corners on the floor.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Familia High-efficiency package

1. High-efficiency package
To improve maneuverability, the overall body length has been shortened. The long wheelbase and reduced engine room length give the Familia the top level of interior and lugguge space among vehicles in its class. A relatively high hip point for the driver's seat assures optimal visibility while reducing the amount the hips need to move when getting in and out. The height difference between the hip points of the front and rear seats is 25 mm in the case of the sedan and 35 mm higher in the case of the S-wagon, assuring plenty of space for rear passengers and making getting in and out more convenient.

Mazda Familia S-wagon
Mazda Familia S-wagon

The S-wagon measures 4,200 mm in length, 1,695 mm in width, and 1,420 mm in height (1,435 in the case of the 4-wheel-drive model). With great utility, the S-wagon's station-wagon type body features an extended back roof edge for wider interior space. To realize comfortable driving and a sporty exterior, the overall length is 115 mm shorter than the sedan. For the luggage space, the rear seats are equipped to slide up to 160 mm (120 mm in the case of the 4-wheel-drive model), for a maximum luggage capacity of 366 liters.

Mazda Familia Sedan
Mazda Familia Sedan

The sedan measures 4,315 mm in length (4,330 mm in the case of the diesel model), 1,695 mm in width, and 1,410 mm in height (1,430 in the case of the 4-wheel-drive model). To improve maneuverability, the overall body has been shortened 20 mm. The driver's seat, with its high hip point, ensures excellent rear visibility for the driver, and the rear deck has been made higher to provide a maximum luggage capacity of 416 liters (both figures VDA).

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

New Familia S-wagon

While featuring the above functions and equipment, Mazda has kept the previous price range, making the new Familia excellent value for money. Monthly combined sales target of the S-wagon and sedan are 5,000 units.

Mazda Familia S-wagon

The Familia series will be available in 4 body types: the newly introduced S-wagon and sedan models and the current "3-door hatchback" and "Wagon" models. The new Familia series fully meet further diversified customer needs.

(*1) Mazda Familia is called Mazda Protege in North America and Mazda 323/323F in other countries.
(*2) The S-wagon was so named to emphasize the three key concepts of sporty, stylish, and short.
(*3) MAGMA: Mazda Geometric Motion Absorption
(*4) SRS: Supplemental Restraint System.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

New Familia from Mazda

Mazda Motor Corporation today announced its introduction of a completely redesigned new Familia(*1) in Japan.

Mazda Familia red
Mazda Familia red

First introduced in October 1963, the Familia series has played an important role in increasing the popularity of car ownership in Japan. With sales now expanded to 120 countries, production of the Familia in Japan topped 10 million vehicles in December 1995, making the Familia Mazda's primary model in both name and reality.

The full model change for the new Familia further reinforces the direction of Mazda's product development by providing 2 new entries with distinctive character that are easy and fun to drive and feature significant package innovation.

This new, ninth-generation Familia is available in two body types: the S-wagon(*2) and sedan. The S-wagon combines the agility of a compact car with the versatility of a station wagon. The sedan incorporates functionality into an intelligent package.

The main features of the new Familia are:

1. A high-efficiency package with a compact body for easy maneuverability, the class top level interior roominess and plenty of luggage space.
2. Superb utility resulting from flexible seat arrangement that allows seats to be positioned to match the number of passengers and the cargo volume as well as from plenty of storage space.

3. Functional yet dynamic design featuring an energetic and stable exterior and a comfortable, roomy interior.
4. Excellent driving agility and ride comfort thanks to an engine equipped with a Sequential Valve Timing (S-VT) mechanism for high output and excellent fuel economy, an automatic transaxle system with substantially smoother shifting, and an enhanced, high-performance chassis.
5. A world top level of safety through the combination of its highly rigid and superbly safe MAGMA(*3) body and an SRS (*4) side airbag system with head protection function.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

New 1.5-Liter Engine

Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a new 1.5-liter DOHC engine with a sequential valve timing (S-VT) mechanism that better achieves the requirements of improving output and torque while also lowering fuel consumption and CO2 and NOx emissions. This engine will be featured in the new Familia.

Mazda 1.5-Liter Engine
new 1.5-liter engine from Mazda

This S-VT engine continuously varies the open-close timing of the air intake valves and thereby optimizes valve timing under all driving conditions, whether in the city or on the freeway.

In order to transfer the rotation of the crankshaft to the camshaft, a pulley is attached to the front end of each shaft. These are linked by a timing belt. In most engines, the pulley is attached directly to the camshaft, which determines the valve timing.

In the S-VT engine, however, a vane actuator attached to the pulley part of the intake camshaft is used to facilitate continuous adjustment of the valve timing. The vane actuator comprises a housing fixed to the pulley and a vane fixed to the camshaft, with the hydraulic chambers of the advancing chamber and delaying chamber systems between the housing and the vane. The hydraulic pressure applied to these hydraulic chambers is controlled by an oil control valve (OCV), whereby the relative phases of the pulley and the camshaft can be varied and the intake valve timing controlled. The OCV also detects engine rpm, the amount of air taken in, and water temperature by means of a computer so that it can perform optimal control of valve timing under all driving conditions.

These functions enable S-VT to achieve the following:

1. When driving with a heavy load at moderate rpm, reverse flow of air intake is suppressed by closing the air intake valve early, thereby improving the volumetric efficiency (charging efficiency) of the air in the combustion chamber and in turn improving torque.
2. When driving with a heavy load at high rpm, closing the air intake valve late makes it possible to take full advantage of the inertia effect of the intake air, thereby improving charging efficiency and in turn improving maximum out put.
3. When driving with a moderate load, overlapping (a condition wherein the air intake valve and exhaust valve are open at the same time) can be expanded by speeding up the timing of the opening of the air intake valve. This increases the amount of exhaust gas circulation (internal EGR), thus reducing pumping loss, which in turn reduces fuel consumption and the amount of CO2 emitted ( diluted-burn effect ).
4. Internal EGR pulls inert gases back into the cylinder, lowering the combustion temperature and in turn lowering NOx emissions.

S-VT employs a simple system that does not require complicated mechanisms, so it is both reliable and low cost.

S-VT Engine Performance

Engine Type Type ZL-DE
1.5-liter DOHC
Max. power (ps/rpm JIS net) 130/7,000
Max. torque (kg-m/rpm JIS net) 14.4/4,000
Increase of max.
Decrease of fuel
consumption &. CO2
Decrease of NOx14%

(Comparison with the previous Familia
sedan model equipped with a B5-Z5
engine &. 4-speed automatic transaxle)

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Wednesday, May 20, 1998

Mazda Demio, Ford Festiva Mini-Wagon

The cumulative production total for the Mazda Demio and Ford Festiva Mini Wagon reached over 200,000 units on March 18. This achievement follows just 22 months after production start-up in July 1996. One hundred thousand units were produced the first year, and it took just ten months to accomplish this new mark.

Mazda introduced the Demio in August 1996 in Japan as a multi-purpose compact car, setting the trend for a new segment of compact cars. Demio offers ample roominess despite its compact body and a wide variety of seat arrangements for optimum convenience and functionality on daily use. These virtues, good styling, as well as its compactness particularly when parking in tight places, makes the Demio loved by its owners.

The Demio had sales of 156,000 units as of April 1998 and 23,000 units for the Ford Festiva Mini-Wagon respectively. Following is a breakdown of those totals:

Model Demographics

1300cc 75% Gender: Women 47%
1500cc 25% Men 53%

Age Groups: Twenties 29%
Thirties 31%
Forties 40%

Overall domestic demand in fiscal year 1998 that ended March 1998 declined 13.9% over the previous fiscal year. However, the compact car market in Japan has continued to expand with successive new model introductions by other Japanese manufacturers. The 1500cc compact car market where the Demio belongs increased 10.7%.

Despite this severely competitive market, the Demio made its presence felt among competitors. The Demio has enjoyed popularity as a long seller and in March, renewed its sales record at 14,520 units, 20 months after its introduction in Japan.

Since August 1996, the Demio has been exported to overseas markets in Asia and Oceania. Exports totaled 12,000 units as of the end of April. Currently, it is sold in 8 destinations, including Hong Kong and Australia. The Mazda Demio will be available for Europe this summer.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Tuesday, April 28, 1998

Female Employee Counseling Office

Mazda Motor Corporation announced that they will establish a "Female Employee Counseling Office" on May 1, 1998. This effort is intended to advance human rights initiatives as well as to enhance the Company's work environment.

A professionally trained female employee of Mazda will serve a counselor at the Employee Counseling Office formed within the Equality Promotion Group of the Human Resources Development Department. In addition, internal and external phone "Counseling Hotlines" and an e-mail address will be available. All matters will be handled in the strictest of confidence, considering the privacy and dignity of every female employee.

President Miller of Mazda explained, "Sexual harassment in the workplace unjustly injures the dignity of female employees, degrades their work environment, and discourages them from demonstrating capabilities to the fullest degree. Such conduct undermines the dedication of the entire organization to its work, as well as subverts the ability of employees to work together in concerted effort. Sexual harassment, in any form, will absolutely not be tolerated." Therefore, The Female Employee Counseling Office is created to prevent sexual harassment and to address any other worries or concerns expressed by female employees.

"People are a company's most valuable asset. I firmly believe that mutual trust and respect among our employees will contribute greatly to the future development of Mazda," added president Miller.

Since 1980, Mazda has been taking positive steps to provide greater awareness of human rights matters to their employees. To address the issue of sexual harassment as one infringement of human rights, programs were instituted in 1990 to better educate management personnel.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Wednesday, April 8, 1998

Fuel-cell technology

Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that, through its close relationship with Ford Motor Company, Mazda will participate in the new alliance which was formalized yesterday by Ford, Daimler-Benz AG and Ballard Power Systems. The alliance's goal is to be the world's leading commercial producer of fuel-cell-powered drivetrains and components for cars, trucks and buses.

Mazda has relevant technological expertise in fuel cells, fuel-cell systems and electric drivetrain systems. The company has demonstrated its fuel-cell technology by developing a fuel-cell electric vehicle, the Demio FCEV, which was exhibited at "Eco-Japan '97."

Mazda's partnership in the alliance is a further strengthening of the Company's environmental program dedicated to improving the environment in which we live.

The FCEV (fuel-cell electric vehicle) is considered to be an alternative next-generation electric vehicle, with an on-board electric generator consuming hydrogen as a fuel, unlike conventional electric vehicles which utilize an on-board battery as an energy source.

Mazda also has been studying the application of hydrogen as a fuel source since 1990, as seen in the hydrogen rotary engine and fuel cell. Other actions include development of environment-friendly technologies for reducing CO2 emissions , for alternative-fuel and clean-energy vehicles, and for recycling materials and resources.

Supplemental Information:

Under the agreement, which consists of three parts, Ballard will be responsible for fuel cell with Daimler-Benz and Ford holding 20 percent and 15 percent of Ballard Power Systems Inc., respectively.

Daimler-Benz will have majority ownership of DBB Fuel Cell Engines GmbH, which is responsible for fuel-cell systems, with Ballard holding about 27 percent and Ford 22 percent.

Ford will be the majority owner of a new company responsible for electric drivetrain systems, with Ballard and Daimler-Benz owning 21 percent and 17 percent, respectively.

The total investment in the alliance by the three companies is about Can.$1 billion (U.S.$700 million), consisting of cash, technology and assets.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Tuesday, March 31, 1998

B-Series Pickup Truck

Mazda Motor Corporation announced today that their all-new Mazda B-series pickup truck, intended for and assembled in Thailand, made its world-premiere at the 19th International Bangkok Motor Show. The new B-series will reach Mazda dealerships throughout Thailand this fall.

Mazda B-Series Pickup
New Mazda B-Series

Mazda's long-standing commitment to producing quality vehicles for customers in Thailand dates back to 1950. Since then, the Mazda brand, supported by a wide range of products, has been acclaimed among drivers in Thailand for its unprecedented quality, durability, reliability and economy. The new B-series pickup trucks continue in that tradition, and will take their place among Mazda's already stellar line-up of vehicles in Thailand to further enrich motoring life there.

With a next generation pickup in mind, Mazda designed and built "a powerful yet sedan-like truck" to satisfy the diverse needs of motorists both on and off road in Thailand.

The B-series pickup truck on display is a four-wheel-drive (4WD) diesel turbo model with high quality trim and new "Dusk Green" exterior paint. A 2WD model will also be available.

The new pickup truck comes equipped with an already proven 2.5-liter naturally aspirated diesel engine or a newly developed powerful yet smooth-revving 2.5-liter turbo-charged diesel engine with an intercooler, an option on the high-end 4WD trim models. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but a four-speed automatic transmission is also available.

Mazda's B-series pickup truck enters the market in Thailand after experiencing a long-history of recognized success. The virtues of the B-series pickup truck, such as its high quality, durability and driving stability have been acknowledged by automotive experts and honored through a series of awards.

In the fiercely competitive U.S. truck market, the Mazda B-series was ranked best in JD Power's Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) for three consecutive years from 1986 to 1988. Most recently, the B-series pickup truck won a Silver Award for the "Best 4WD Utility" presented by "4X4 Magazine" in Australia.

James E. Miller, president of Mazda Motor Corporation said of this cooperative endeavor, "It is not too much for us to say that Thailand is Mazda's second homeland, where we can see a heartfelt understanding and enthusiasm from all people and associates. By introducing the all new B-series pickup truck, a symbol of international cooperation, into the Thailand market, we hope we can contribute to the enrichment of the lives of Thai people."

Mass-production of the new B-series will start in the middle of this year at AutoAlliance (Thailand) Company Limited, located in the Eastern Seabord Industrial Estate in Thailand's Rayong Province. This unique joint company is 45% owned by Mazda Motor Corporation, 45% by Ford Motor Company, and the remaining 10% split equally between two Thai partners, Sukosol and Mazda Co. Ltd. and the KPN Group Corp. Ltd.

The 19th International Bangkok Motor Show, being held for the first time at the new Bangkok International Trade and Exhibition Center (BITEC), will open to the public from April 1 to April 9.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Friday, March 27, 1998

Mazda Digital Innovation

Mazda Motor Corporation announced today its plan to commence Phase 2 of the Mazda Digital Innovation (MDI),* an important management initiative that renovates all processes from vehicle planning to manufacturing using cutting-edge information technology.

Mazda plans to invest an additional \5.5 billion for Phase 2. When combined with Phase 1, Mazda's cumulative spending will reach \23.5 billion. With the Phase 2 investment, Mazda will begin operations, starting next spring, with the single use of SDRC's** I-DEAS MS software for the 3D CAD system, the nucleus of the MDI support system. The current use of the dual software application, I-DEAS MS and Mazda-developed New-GNC, will be halted. With this change, the number of engineering workstations will be increased, and I-DEAS MS system engineer training will be expanded.

These initiatives will enable Mazda to utilize advanced I-DEAS MS software integrated with CAE/CAM as superior design tool, ahead of other automotive manufacturers in Japan. With the implementation of these systems, design iteration and analysis functions will be strengthened and overall efficiency in quality design and R&D processes will be further accelerated.

At the start of Phase 2 this April, Mazda will activate operations of new machines and equipment which were introduced during Phase 1 of the project at a prototype shop, assembly shops, and testing laboratories.

At the prototype shop in the Hiroshima plant, Mazda introduced six super-speed, high precision machining centers from Makino Fraise Inc. (Japan), the world leader in this area. These state-of-the-art machines contribute to reducing the time and cost of making dies and prototype parts.

Additionally, to improve the quality of prototypes, pilot cars and mass-produced cars, five large highly accurate, 3D computer measuring devices were procured from Carl-Zeiss, a leading German manufacturer of measuring devices. These tools will be used at the prototype shop and at Hiroshima and Hofu production plants.

At testing laboratories, three new simulators, including a multi-axial road simulator and a multi-axial simulation table, for vehicle and component durability and rigidity testing were introduced to achieve high precision analysis data in a shorter period of time. These simulators were purchased from MTS Systems (Minnesota, USA). Digital data obtained by these simulators will be feedback through Mazda's LAN network to be used for quality design and engineering to further improve Mazda products.

As a part of the MDI Project, Mazda will continue to promote laboratory testing through the use of such advanced testing technology to achieve overall efficiency in product development.

* *MDI: Mazda introduced the MDI project at the end of 1996 to renovate all processes from the new car planning stage through to its manufacturing stage. To do so, Mazda utilizes the latest information technology and advanced tools.
This project will enable Mazda to strengthen its position in the increasingly competitive automotive industry into the 21th century.

* **SDRC: Structural Dynamics Research Corporation

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Thursday, March 19, 1998

European operations

Mazda Motor Corporation today announced plans to further strengthen its European operations in 1998 as it prepares to build upon its past successes and position itself to achieve its business objectives by the year 2000.

Mazda Motor Europe (MME) is to be reorganized and will be enhanced by the recruitment of several key European executives to drive the company forward into the next millennium.

The changes have been designed to enable Mazda to achieve its key objectives of 2% market share and top customer satisfaction ranking by the year 2000 as well as to improve parts and accessories sales, profitability, and brand image.

The first step is for Mazda Motor Europe to establish in June a new wholly-owned subsidiary, Mazda Motor Europe GmbH, in Leverkusen, Germany. Corporate planning, sales and marketing strategy, and customer service functions of Mazda Motor Europe S.A./N.V. and Mazda Motor Parts Center (Europe) S.A./N.V. in Belgium will be consolidated and transferred to Mazda Motor Europe GmbH, alongside Mazda Motor (Deutschland) GmbH.

Some support functions, such as training and human resources will be rationalized between Mazda Motor Europe GmbH and Mazda Motors (Deutschland) GmbH. to enhance efficiency. However, these two companies will remain separate and operate independently.

Mr. Hiraiwa, President of Mazda Motor Europe, explained, "Germany was the logical choice for MME to relocate since it is Europe's biggest market, the home of Europe's strongest manufacturers, and Mazda's largest European market. We must get closer to the European markets by improving our knowledge and understanding-so Germany is the obvious place to do this." He added, "From this strong base we can develop the rest of our European aspirations."

The next step in reorganizing will be to consolidate Mazda Motor Europe S.A./N.V and Mazda Motor Parts Center (Europe) S.A./N.V in Belgium in June to handle parts and vehicle logistics at the parts distribution center in Brussels and the port of Antwerp.

All of these reorganization efforts are designed not only to strengthen Mazda's key operations from the Pan-European perspective, but to increase efficiency by centralizing key functions and rationalizing duplicated roles across the three companies, resulting in fewer redundancies.

Mr. Hiraiwa said: "Our sales in Europe during 1997 reached 210,000 which was an increase of almost 10 per cent over 1996. We now intend to build upon our success by further improving our position in Europe. With many important and exciting new products on the way-starting soon with the new MX-5, the direct injection turbo diesel 626, and a European version of the popular Demio-Mazda clearly has a wonderful opportunity to achieve its objectives."

Mazda Motor Corporation's Research and Development Representative Office in Oberurusel, near Frankfurt, is not directly affected by the reorganization, although it will benefit from closer communications with MME.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Tuesday, March 17, 1998

New Three-way Catalyst

Mazda Motor Corporation has developed a new three-way catalyst for gasoline engines to improve its performance of purifying pollutants in exhaust emissions.

Mazda's New Three-way Catalyst
Mazda's New Three-way Catalyst

A catalyst, in general, starts to react to purify pollutants such as hydrocarbon (HC), carbon monoxide (CO) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) in emissions when its temperature reaches between 250°C-300°C. For greater environmental protection, it is necessary to reduce these pollutants before the temperature reaches this level during the engine's cold driving cycle.

Current three-way catalysts are located as near as possible to the engine in order to make the temperature of catalysts rise sooner. But, under engine conditions such as high-speed driving, deterioration of the catalyst accelerates due to the high temperature of exhaust emissions from the engine. Usually, the temperature of emissions are lowered by injecting additional amounts of fuel into the engine's combustion chamber.

Mazda's new three-way catalyst can start to react at a lower temperature and suppress thermal deterioration. This new catalyst is made from unique ratios of precious metals such as palladium, platinum, and rhodium. An increased ratio of palladium has resulted in hastening purification of the pollutants. The new catalyst has high thermal resistance due to the use of a newly developed, thermal stabilized material.

Highlighted features of the new three-way catalyst :

Reduces HC, CO and NOx by half.
The new three-way catalyst starts to purify pollutants from a 70°C lower temperature than current catalysts. It reduces HC, CO and NOx gases by 50 percent during the engine's cold driving cycle.

Increases fuel economy and lowers CO2 by 15 percent
The new three-way catalyst achieves greater heat resistant performance, 100°C higher than current catalysts, and the engine does not need additional amounts of fuel injected into its combustion chamber to eventually lower the catalyst's temperature. As a result, fuel economy is improved and CO2 emissions are lowered by 15 percent, under such a condition as 160 km/h high speed cruising on the Autobahn in Germany.

Increases engine performance
The new three-way catalyst starts to react at a lower temperature, thereby increasing overall conversion capability. Accordingly, the size of the catalyst has been reduced by 40 percent : thus permitting a smoother flow of emissions when going through the catalyst and increasing overall engine performance.

Mazda's new three-way catalyst will enable their vehicles to meet future stringent emission regulations in various countries while enhancing engine performance. Mazda plans to start to apply this new three-way catalyst to their vehicles soon.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Tuesday, March 3, 1998

New 626 Station Wagon

The new 626 Station Wagon, ready for sale in Europe, will further strengthen the entire 626 lineup. Conceived with a philosophy of putting people first, this station wagon uniquely combines sedan like comfort with class-leading station wagon utility and versatility. Flexible seating can accommodate a variety of interior arrangements depending on cargo size and the number of occupants. Passenger safety has been advanced with an array of features such as a highly rigid body design, SRS airbags with a passenger side de-activation system, and the world's first side-airbag in the C-D segment to protect the head and body.

Mazda 626 Station Wagon
new Mazda 626 Station Wagon

For both city and country driving, Mazda presents the MV-X. As a multi-purpose vehicle, the MV-X is fit for people with diversified energetic lifestyles. And for those who appreciate cabin room, Mazda offers the SW-X. A spacious wagon with excellent packaging, the SW-X accommodates up to seven passengers in a C-segment, compact body.

Reaffirming our commitment to develop environmental technology, Mazda shows the Compact Direct Injection Diesel Turbo Engine with a total displacement of 1,998cc. The engine, which drastically reduces combustion noise and NOx emissions, incorporates a compact sized fuel-efficient direct injection and generates high-level engine output.

Mazda's Compact Direct Injection Diesel Turbo Engine will be used for the first time in Europe in the Mazda 626 series after the middle of this year.

(*) The Geneva Motor Show was held in 1905 for the first time. This motor show is held every year. The press day is scheduled on March 3 and 4. The public opening is from March 5 to 15.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

New Mazda MX-5

Mazda Motor Corporation today announced that the all-new Mazda MX-5, along with "Demio Concept", a practical yet sporty compact wagon, made its European debut at the 1998 Geneva Motor Show* in Switzerland. The new Mazda 626 Station Wagon, Mazda MV-X and Mazda SW-X, roomy and versatile concept wagons; and a Compact Direct Injection Diesel Turbo Engine, part of Mazda's environmental technology were also displayed.

Mazda MX-5
New Mazda MX-5

Equipped with European specifications, the new MX-5 offers a more powerful and responsive 1.8-litre or 1.6-litre engine with five-speed manual transmission. The new MX-5 will be marketed in 24 different countries in Europe beginning in April. The sales target for 1998 has been set for 13,000 to 14,000 units.

The first MX-5 was introduced in the spring of 1990 in Europe. As of January 1998, more than 67,000 units had been sold in Europe. Many compact sports cars have been introduced over the years in markets around the world; yet, the MX-5 continues to outshine its competitors. Over 430,000 MX-5s are on public roads world-wide today. The MX-5 has been acclaimed time and time again as a fun-to-drive, lightweight, open two-seater that creates a feeling of oneness between the car and driver and provides optimum styling enjoyment.

With the idea of a "sporty compact wagon" in mind, Mazda developed the "Demio Concept" exclusively for the Geneva Motor Show. Uniquely designed modifications make the "Demio Concept" a practical yet sporty compact wagon that will entice customers with "on the go" lifestyles. The exterior features a new front grill and spoiler, and an eye-catching Blue-Meets-Violet Mica (blue purple) paint. The interior color is light beige, and the seats and the door trim purposefully coordinate with the exterior color. A refined suspension system and 16 inches tires and wheels ensure both stable handling and a comfortable ride. Based on the response at the motor show, Mazda will decide whether to launch a new Demio line for the European market.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

Friday, February 27, 1998

Vehicle-recycling protection

Mazda Motor Corporation has established a "Voluntary Action Plan for Recycling Promotion," to further advance its efforts in environmental protection through vehicle-recycling.

In response to the "Recycling Initiative" announced by the Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) which defined targets toward the beginning of 21st century regarding the recyclable ratio of vehicles, Mazda has developed its voluntary action plan.

Mazda's "Voluntary Action Plan for Recycling Promotion" focuses on four main goals:

1. Collection of scrap bumpers throughout Japan
Mazda has been collecting scrap bumpers from Mazda dealers in some areas in Japan. The activity will gradually expand and it will cover all over Japan in the spring of 2000. Mazda is also collecting scrap bumpers from Mazda dealers in Germany.

For further enhancement of plastic recycling, Mazda will increase the use of recycled plastic parts.

2. Improvement in the recyclable rate of vehicles
Mazda will increase the recyclable ratio to more than 90%, beginning with new models introduced after 2002. This will be achieved in part by using dismantling - friendly components, and by separating recyclable materials in plastic parts and integrating them.

3. Reduction in the amount of lead used in vehicles
To reduce the risk of harmful influence at the scrap stage of vehicles, Mazda will halve the total amount of lead used in its vehicles (excluding batteries) compared to 1996, beginning with new models introduced after the end of 2000. This will be achieved by terminating the use of lead in such other areas as battery cable terminals, heater core and radiator. Furthermore, starting with the new vehicles introduced after the end of 2005, the amount of lead will be reduced by a third over 1996 by abandoning the use of lead in electric adhesive paint and fuel tanks.

4. Simplification of the airbag activation process
All new models with airbags introduced after 1999 will feature an onboard system. It will intentionally activate unused airbags before their recycling begins. This can improve both efficiency and safety of vehicle recycling.

In April 1992, Mazda adopted the "Mazda Global Environmental Charter," which outlined Mazda's principles regarding global environmental issues. To reflect these principles in our corporate activities in a more practical way, Mazda introduced the "Action Plan for Environment Protection" in March 1993. Since then, Mazda has been pursuing various environmental initiatives.

Mazda is determined to contribute to promoting recycling activities throughout the automotive industry. As a part of its efforts to increase the recyclable ratio of vehicles, Mazda will cooperate in providing related technical information with parties concerned, including the dismantling industry.

Find more news and information at www.mazda.com

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