Mazdaspeed3 Is Too Much Of A Risk For Mazda

Mazda Corporation introduces the new 2020 Mazda 3 vehicle at the Los Angeles auto show in Los Angeles
Mazda Corporation introduces the new 2020 Mazda 3 vehicle at the Los Angeles auto show in Los Angeles, California, U.S. November 28, 2018. (Photo: REUTERS/Mike Blake)

Mazda's latest vision of the future may disappoint some of its fans as the Japanese automaker has decided that the Mazdaspeed3 does not have a place in its current product line. The performance enhanced version of the standard Mazda 3 looks to be not so popular as expected and one of the company's top executives confirms why they're dropping it from their catalog.

According to the Australian publication Drive, Mazda Director Akira Marumoto does not see the Mazdaspeed3 as a product that can compete against other similar competing models. Speaking to the publication at the Los Angeles Auto Show being held in Downtown Los Angeles, Marumoto confirms that Mazda has no plans of producing a Mazdaspeed3 version for its latest Mazda 3 model.

The reason for the discontinuation of the Mazdaspeed3 is due to Marumoto's understanding that Mazda is "a small player" compared to its more established European competitors. This makes the niche that a car model like the Mazdaspeed3 caters to a low priority market for Mazda. The Mazda executive mentions that the company wants to focus on making sure customers see them as a genuine premium brand compared to European premium automobiles.

CarBuzz points out that Mazda is not the only automaker who has abandoned the production of hot hatches like the Mazdaspeed3. The publication notes that American automaker Ford has also stopped production for hot hatches due to the dwindling demand for the product.

But the production of the hot hatch Mazdaspeed3 is not the only market that Mazda does not want to waste resources on any further. When asked by Drive about the company's future in relation to electric sports cars, Marumoto mentions that such a design does not interest him. The Mazda director is quoted as saying that he "prefer(s) the smell of gasoline."

While Mazda's conservative outlook may seem disappointing for fans of their vehicles such as the Mazdaspeed3, Marumoto emphasizes that the company wants to focus on their customer's driving comfort. According to the director, this means that Mazda is definitely looking into having products that include semi-autonomous driving technology.

Marumoto mentions that driving technology that can ensure the comfort and safety of its occupants - such as the ability to call emergency services or steer the vehicle to a safe area - will take precedence over performance focused designs such as the Mazdaspeed3. Mazda hopes to be able to deliver such products to their customers by 2025.

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