In the United States, there are three utility vehicles to speak of: subcompact CX-3, compact CX-5, and mid-size CX-9. The spacing between the three models leaves room for the all-new CX-7, which would make a lot of sense if it would arrive in the form of a mid-size crossover.
Production will be handled by the Toyota-Mazda shared plant that’s scheduled to become operational in 2021. The automaker will spend $1.6 billion to build and equip the plant, thus creating 4,000 jobs. In comparison to Mazda, Toyota intends to manufacture the Corolla at the U.S. plant, which is expected to croup up in Alabama or North Carolina.
Considering there’s a long way to go until 2021 and Mazda is working on SkyActiv-X technology, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric powertrains, it’s too soon to predict what will hide under the hood of the tentatively named CX-7. The 2.5-liter SkyActiv-G turbo with cylinder deactivation? Could be. Whatever Mazda will decide on, there’s no denying the engine options will be tailored to the U.S. customer’s needs.
Strengthening its stateside presence is important for Mazda, which intends to increase market share from today's 1.7 percent. "We are in a transitional period," said Kogai. "We need to improve and strengthen our brand."