A few dealers have sued Mazda over its facility program, saying it will drive up operating costs. One, Kuhn Mazda of Tampa, in Florida, settled with the automaker, according to a court filing in April. Terms were not made public. Kuhn Automotive Group no longer sells Mazdas, a representative said in an email.
Brandon, who sits on the Mazda National Dealer Advisory Council’s product committee and thinks Mazda is already more premium than some luxury brands, said the transition does come with challenges.
“I’m very impressed how there seems to be a really clear focus, so the long-term is really clear,” Brandon told Automotive News. But, he added, “You can’t drink the Kool-Aid too much because we still have to pay the bills today even if we’re excited about where we’re going.”
Going upscale is not an easy proposition for an Asian automaker known for value. Mazda argues that as a small brand, it’s better off finding a niche that commands better margins. It’s new Signature trims, for…