Improving Team performance

Performance Branding: the Mazda Way

Kraig Johanssen asked:

For recent years one of the most interesting trends so far in the auto industry has been the spread of performance branding wherein manufacturers offer sports oriented versions of some or all of their product lines.

This new marketing concept has become one of the most appealing aspects of modern automobile promotion which can take many forms and cover a wide array of price levels. At the top of the market are vehicles like the Mercedes-Benz AMG range, which includes everything from the small C-Class to variants on the SL sports model and even up to the full-size SUV ranges.

To match Mercedes AMG range, BMW has launched its M-cars which are performance upgrades of models like the 3-Series and 5-Series. Volkswagen not be lag behind has also launched its Audi with an “S” prefix to denote a model that offer something special under the hood and in the suspension department.

The North American manufacturers haven’t been sleeping around either as a matter of fact Cadillac has its “V” models while Chrysler-Dodge has created SRT versions of every products that it has starting from small sedans to its pickup trucks.

Ford’s claim to fame for the past years was its SVT or special vehicle team products unfortunately it has taken a low profile lately. But that doesn’t mean that Ford has nothing to offer—at the lower price points, the Saturn’s Red Line range offers some attractive opportunities for buyers who want something special.

Japanese nameplates not active on performance branding

It is quite noticeable that Japanese nameplate products have not been very active in joining the performance branding trend but that doesn’t mean that they are completely abandoning the concept. As a matter of fact, Mazda the producer of top-of-the-line Mazda header has its Mazdaspeed upgrades which is obviously have a lot to do with performance enhancement. In a way this is Mazda’s way of showing how performance branding can boost the appeal of a range of vehicles.

Mazda have done Mazdaspeed versions of four of its models namely the rotary-engined RX-8 sports coupe, the MX-5 sports roadster, the Mazda3 hatchback, and the Mazda6 four-door sports sedan. Mazda differs from most of its performance version rivals by offering added upgrades individually rather than as part of a full package like Mercedes AMG or BMW M-cars. This means that Mazda customers can upgrade their vehicles without necessarily having to spend a fortune by simple buying performance kits which cost less and yet significantly improves the performance of the car.

The Hiroshima-base automaker also seems to combine the Mazdaspeed program together with the idea of providing performance upgrades for all kinds of buyers. And who knows perhaps other automakers will be impressed enough and offer their own variations of the Mazdaspeed theme.

The Mazdaspeed program is comprised of various elements of which some are more or less for vehicle cosmetics like for instance the alloy wheels, carbon wheel center caps, and the carbon fiber appliqué panels for the C-pillars on some models. Mazdaspeed strated as a racing division and grown into a division aimed at offering something to exciting to grab the attention of street enthusiasts.

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