Mazda will bolster its U.S. lineup with a new crossover in 2021, reports Automotive News. The vehicle will enter production at a future plant shared with Toyota.
Mazda CEO Masamichi Kogai said the new vehicle has the potential to become the brand’s best-seller. Not much else is known about the crossover, but it will be designed specifically for the U.S. market.
“We are actually going to introduce a totally new and different type of SUV,” he said, reports AN. “R&D is coordinating with our North American operations on that right now.”
Kogai said the new crossover is “our declaration that we are going to grow our business in the U.S.” Mazda’s sales in this market have declined for the second year in a row, sitting at below 300,000. Four years ago, the automaker predicted it would be moving 400,000 vehicles by now. Adding new crossovers to the lineup should help bolster sales and possibly increase Mazda’s market share beyond the current 1.7 percent.
Mazda’s lineup runs the gamut from a subcompact CX-3 to the seven-passenger CX-9, but the automaker doesn’t have an entry for every type of crossover. As Dave Sargent from J.D. Power points out, Mazda may be looking to fill the gap left by the CX-7, a crossover that was discontinued after the 2012 model year and was slightly bigger than the new CX-5 that had just arrived.
While the brand new crossover won’t come out until 2021, Mazda will begin introducing new technology that could help increase its standing in the U.S. Starting in 2019, the automaker will bring out an electric vehicle, a mild hybrid, a redesigned lightweight platform, and the Skyactiv-X gas engine with compression ignition. That year, it will also roll out a new design language.
Recently, Mazda and Toyota announced they would share a plant together in the U.S. Mazda will use the facility to build crossovers, while Toyota will build the Corolla. Though the automakers haven’t announced a location for the new plant, recent reports say they have been deciding between Alabama and North Carolina.