Mazda’s sleek Koeru Concept sparked speculation that Mazda was planning to add another SUV to its stable when it was revealed at Frankfurt earlier this year, potentially as a sportier alternative to the segment-leading CX-5.
But speaking to TMR at the LA Auto Show, Mazda President and CEO Masamichi Kogai said a production car based on the Koeru is still some way from being showroom-ready.
“Sporty SUVs are another area that is growing,” Kogai said through an interpreter, “but to be very honest we are still thinking [about Koeru]” “We’d like to take time to make a decision on [Koeru] because the plant that we produce CX-series is already running at full capacity.”
Sized slightly larger than the Mazda CX-5 but boasting a lower roof and sloping rear turret for a sportier stance, a productionised Koeru could help Mazda tap into the growing appetite for more dynamic-looking SUVs.
But badge speculation is meaningless unless Mazda can find some space on its production lines to build it – a challenge considering it has no plans to expand its production capacity for at least three years.
This fiscal year the sales volume target is 1.5 million units, and we are looking at 1.65 million units in three years time,” Kogai said
“To achieve that 1.65 milliion units we are not going to construct or build any new plants.” “When we achieve that 1.65 million units then we are going to consider if we need to increase [production] capacity.”
Unless Mazda starts building its CX range of SUVs at multiple plants – or it can find some spare capacity on the existing line – it may be a while before we see Mazda’s fastbacked midsize SUV make its debut.