California, Get Ready for Pay-As-You-Drive Tax

With cars that are more efficient than ever before and less driving on our roads overall, gasoline taxes used to build and maintain roads are dwindling. That’s exactly why some state governments are considering adding a tax that would be paid based on the number of miles you’ve driven. Oregon already has a voluntary pay-as-you-drive tax setup beginning next year which will offer 5,000 drivers the chance to pay 1.5 cents for every mile they travel in the state. Next up? California.

It won’t happen right away, but over the next few years, California drivers should expect to see a pay-as-you-drive tax go into effect to help offset some of the funds it takes to upkeep and build roads – funds that are currently less-than-sufficient, with Congress having to fill the gap with millions of dollars in temporary federal funding.

Pay-As-You-Drive Tax

Get ready for the potential Pay-As-You-Drive Tax, by investing in a fuel efficient vehicle that also allows you to carpool others – this 2015 Mazda3 perhaps.

Oregon’s system uses a pair of devices, one in the vehicles, and one found in certain fuel pumps, that uses GPS to track miles driven, then gives the appropriate credit or surcharge at the pump itself. The system could be much simpler with systems like Apple iPlay and in-car internet systems like OnStar. If configured correctly, these systems could easily track the distance a car has travelled.

If you’re concerned about your driving habits being tracked, you’re not alone. According to Autos.Yahoo.com, the American Civil Liberties Union has expressed concerns about unapproved tracking, and privacy was the top concern of those who took part in Oregon’s trial. There is little doubt that, despite these privacy concerns, there is enough money at stake and enough technology available that California will be able to create a system that would satisfy any privacy concerns.

Here at Bakersfield Mazda, we wouldn’t be the least bit surprised to see a pay-as-you-drive tax system make its way to California’s roads, and the rest of the country very soon. What do you think? Efficient (and fair) way to obtain the funds needed to keep our roadways drivable, or just another tax (and one with privacy concerns to add insult to injury)?

2016 Mazda2 Leads New Class of Stylish Small Cars

Many of the best things in life start out as mistakes, accidents, or happenstances. Take the Mazda2, for example. When Mazda created the now-popular subcompact, they didn’t even envision selling it in America. Those plans changed quickly, though, as Americans fell deeply in love with small cars for their practicality, economy, and efficient sense of style. The Mazda2 made its way to America, therefore, back in 2011.

Now, Mazda is releasing an updated version of the Mazda2, a redesigned subcompact ready to reign over a new generation of stylish small cars. The new Mazda2 will be a 2016 model, and while we don’t have many numbers and statistics about its power and efficiency yet, it’s quite a looker. If the car’s performance lives up to its stellar and sexy outward appearance, competitors beware.

This video of the 2016 Mazda Demio (Japanese version of the Mazda2) offers a great look at what to expect.

In fact, The Car Connection already proclaimed the Mazda2 a winner. “The Mazda2 should break through the clutter, offering a sexy new shape, an affordable price, and the zippy-and-zoomy personality that’s become a hallmark for the brand.” Mazda previewed the new subcompact at the Geneva Motor Show in the guise of its Mazumi Concept—we loved that concept here at Bakersfield Mazda, so we’re pretty confident we’ll love the real production deal as well. Check back on our blog often for updates on the Mazda2 and everything else Mazda!

MX-5 Miata’s SkyActiv Engine Arrives for US Market

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is known for its spunky ride. Now, the popular entry-level sports car is about to get a whole lot spunkier. Mazda recently announced that the next-generation 2016 MX-5 Miata will be receiving a SkyActiv 2.0-liter engine and a six-speed manual transmission in the United States, while the rest of the globe will have a 1.5-liter engine.

Miata’s SkyActiv Engine

Miata’s SkyActiv Engine will be a 2.0-liter one here in the US.

Though Mazda has yet to release any information regarding the horsepower and torque of the Miata’s SkyActiv engine, if we look at the current Mazda3, which has the same engine, we can have a good guess at the power. Currently, the 2.0-liter SkyActiv engine produces 155 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque for the Mazda3, which is a bit lower than the 2015 Miata’s 167 horsepower. Mazda has confirmed at the 2014 Paris Motor Show, though, that the SkyActiv drive train has been tweaked a bit, so the next-generation MX-5 is sure to be just as spunky as the current model.

While the 2016 Miata MX-5 won’t be arriving on dealer lots for quite some time, you can still come in to Bakersfield Mazda to test drive the current model! Stop in today and see what this feisty sports car has to offer.

Mazda6 Has Best September in 9 Years; CX-5 Has Best September Ever

The Mazda brand is on the rise, and the CX-5 and Mazda6 both enjoyed record months in September. Thanks to the success of these two models, Mazda sales in North America climbed 6.7% over sales from September 2013; year-to-date sales are up 9.3% with 240,953 models sold through September.

“The past two years have seen a September sales month without the Labor Day holiday, which can present a challenge for our dealers, yet we still reported a year-over-year increase,” said Ron Stettner, vice president of sales, MNAO. “Sales growth continues to be the product of strong dealer support and SKYACTIV Technology, specifically the quality, fuel efficiency, technology and value found in Mazda3, Mazda6 and CX-5.”

Mazda6 Has Best September in 9 YearsWhen we say the “Mazda6 Has Best September in 9 Years” we mean it, and sales of the CX-5 were the best that they have ever been in September. The Mazda6 delivered 4,263 vehicles for a 34.6% year-over-year increase, and the CX-5 moved 8,097 vehicles for a 28.9% year-over-year increase.

As has been the trend, a huge percentage of Mazda’s overall sales belonged to vehicles powered by SKYACTIV® Technology. September was no different, with more than 84% of all Mazdas sold using the brand’s efficient technology.

Additionally, Mazda Certified Pre-Owned vehicles were up 17% with 3,513 vehicles moved in the month of September.

Want to see why Mazda vehicles, both new and CPO, are increasingly popular with car shoppers? Stop into Bakersfield Mazda to test drive the right vehicle for you!

Mazda’s R.A.C.E. STEM Program Reaches 10,000 Students

Back to school is well into its first month and Mazda’s very own R.A.C.E. STEM program is back to the grind, ready to reach students with the interest and excitement often lost in today’s classrooms. R.A.C.E (Racing Accelerates Creative Education) is an outreach program that has impacted over 10,000 students during its 22 interactive presentations.  All programs thus far have been at schools located near the TUDOR United Sports Car Championship events, allowing organizers to incorporate racing themes into the presentations.

Mazda’s R.A.C.E. STEM program

Mazda is helping students not see school as a bunch of boring teachers.

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) programs are project-based, collaborative learning programs that focus on hands-on, student-centered education. STEM programs seek to combine all four principles it addresses into one cohesive subject, taught through real-world applications, to help students relate skills to future career possibilities.

Mazda’s R.A.C.E. STEM program makes an effort to bring students to the race track and show them STEM in action. By showcasing just how much STEM goes into the world of racing, students are able to see how much of an impact STEM education will make on their futures.

It is through advocates of R.A.C.E. and the leadership team at the Circuit of the Americas that Mazda’s R.A.C.E. program is able to continue with its presentations and make preparations for the coming year. Here at Bakersfield Mazda we are proud to be a part of a family that supports education and can’t wait to see it grows in the coming years.

2016 Mazda MX-5 May Not Get Retractable Hardtop

Since the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata officially debuted early this month, the rumors have been flying. One idea floating around the automotive world is that the new MX-5 may not get a retractable hardtop—at least not at first.

That video demonstrates how the retractable hardtop worked in older generation Miatas.

Mazda is proud of the MX-5’s weight reduction and boasts that it has shed 220 pounds when compared to the outgoing model. This may be one of the main reasons why there is no power-retractable hardtop (PHRT) for the first model year.

Autoblog reports that since 2007, the take rate for PHRT models has been 52 percent. With more than half of MX-5 buyers wanting the hardtop, Mazda surely has to bring it to market soon. Or maybe, Mazda has something else in store? Perhaps we will see a coupe version with a permanent roof in the near future.

Which version of the MX-5 do you prefer, soft top or hardtop? Would you like to see a coupe version as well?

The Next Generation Mazda MX-5 Is Finally Here

After being teased for months about the next generation Mazda MX-5, we finally get to see it. On September 3, Mazda simultaneously unveiled the new roadster in California, Tokyo, and Barcelona, Spain.

“The MX-5 Miata stands as the flag-bearer for everything that a Mazda vehicle is,” Jim O’Sullivan, president and chief executive of Mazda North America, said ahead of the debut in California. “Tonight’s reveal is a big deal for us.”

Mazda unveiled the new design, but did not give any details on the powertrain or other specifications; however, industry experts say the combination should stay the same—four cylinder engine, rear-wheel drive, and a six-speed manual transmission (available automatic).

The new design is more angular and aggressive than the outgoing third-generation with narrow headlights and a sloping front grille. Mazda says the new model shaves 220 pounds from the curb weight of the outgoing model. It also loses 3 inches in length and a half inch in width, making it closer to the dimensions of the original Miata.

We should learn more details about the new Mazda MX-5 when it appears at the 2014 Los Angeles Auto Show in November. It is set to go on sale sometime next year as a 2016 model.

Mazda Celebrates Drive for Good at Pebble Beach

While the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance held each year in California showcases the best and most luxurious offerings in the automotive industry, there is a charitable side, too. Mazda recently celebrated its charitable campaign, Drive for Good at Pebble Beach with a dinner.

The campaign ran from November 2013 to January 2014 and Mazda donated $2,751,700 to various charitable organizations during that time. One of those organizations was the SPCA of Monterey Country. Mazda presented a $25,000 check to the animal welfare organization at the Pebble Beach dinner.

Drive for Good at Pebble Beach

“The SPCA’s relationship with Mazda Racing and the Mazda Foundation has benefited the thousands of companion animals, horses, and wildlife rescued and cared for by the SPCA. Mazda always goes above and beyond in supporting our work for the animals,” said Gary Tiscornia, SPCA Executive Director, in a statement. “Mazda staff take animal protection personally. They bring drivers to the SPCA Adoption Pavilion to meet the pets named after them and always provide us opportunities to share in exciting Mazda programs at the historic Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. We are very grateful for their support.”

In addition to the monetary donations ($100 per Mazda sale during the campaign went to charity), Mazda employees volunteered an hour of service for every Mazda test drive, which totaled 56,435 hours of service.

Here at Bakersfield Mazda, we are proud to be a part of the Mazda family and look forward to serving you during your next visit.

Big Changes for Mazda Coming Soon

We are all very excited about the next generation Mazda MX-5 coming soon, but did you know big changes for Mazda are coming to many of its models? Automotive News has outlined all the Mazda changes over the next five years.

Starting this year, Mazda rolled out a redesigned Mazda2. Next year, we’ll see a lot of changes just within the first half of the year with a reengineered Mazda6, the all-new MX-5 soft-top, a freshened CX-5, and the debut of a new model, the CX-3. Mazda will also be phasing out the Mazda5 small van in 2015.

big changes for Mazda

Mazda will replace the 2014 Mazda5 with the Mazda CX-3.

The CX-3 will be a brand new model to fill the gap in the subcompact crossover segment. It is set to go on sale here in the U.S. in the summer of 2016.

As 2016 rolls in, we’ll see some more changes for Mazda, including the return of the performance-oriented Mazdaspeed3, a reengineered Mazda3, the debut of a MX-5 hardtop, a reengineered CX-5, and a redesigned CX-9.

What Mazda update or new model are you most excited about?

Mazda Partners with Fashion Rocks

When you spend your professional life up on stage singing in front of thousands of people, what you wear will constantly be criticized, which is why fashion and music have a long, intertwined history. A new CBS television special called Fashion Rocks will explore this connection, airing at 9 p.m. EST on Tuesday, September 9.

Mazda partners with Fashion Rocks as the sole automotive sponsor.

Mazda partners with Fashion Rocks

“Like music and fashion, Mazda was born from passion, a deep passion for and commitment to innovation that guides everything that we do today and into the future,” said Russell Wager, MNAO vice president of marketing, in a statement. “Our partnership with Fashion Rocks gives us the opportunity to share our brand with consumers and let them experience our vehicles in an unexpected, yet authentic, way.”

Even before the special airs, you can explore some great content online on the Fashion Rocks website, including music videos and information about Mazda vehicles.

Be sure to watch this TV special and check out your favorite rock bands/fashion icons. And, keep your eyes open for the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, which will be unveiled on September 3.