Mazda’s GE crop

2y ago


- Mazda believed it could beat the big names with multiple divisions. Casting off the old Capella name, and going wider than 1,700 mm were its first move. The Cronos was a good car—but Mazda didn’t make it available through all its sales’ channels.
- Efini, officially ɛ̃fini, and pronounced infini (got it?) fielded the MS-6 in Japan—626 liftback for export. Like the 1991 Cronos, it didn’t do that well in Japan, and was killed off by 1994 there, Mazda’s multi-brand strategy a failure.
- The third model we all knew, the MX-6, lasted only one more year in Japan, to 1995, as the company reeled in its ambitions, which had included a Lexus-challenging luxury division called Amati. The MX-6 ran till 1997 internationally.
- Yet another new division with no goodwill prior to 1992, Eunos sold its 500 (Xedos 6 in some countries). Built to a higher quality than the Cronos, it was on the same platform. Looked like an updated Jaguar at the time, and deserved to do better.
- Efini’s MS-8 was another Cronos-based niche model, this time a hardtop replacing the old Persona. Again it was only available through select dealers, and buyers just couldn’t be bothered figuring out which ones.
- Of course, Mazda wasn’t the only brand at play here. Back then, Ford sold badge-engineered Mazdas, and the Cronos and MS-6 made up the Telstar range. Reasonably successful outside Japan, namely in Australia and South Africa.
- The other Ford model looked a lot different: the Mk II Probe was a decent car that was built alongside the MX-6 at Flat Rock, Michigan. A new Capri it wasn’t, and Americans leaned toward the new 1994 Mustang during its run.
- The GE story doesn’t end there: in 1995, Kia launched the Credos, on the same platform. The last of the GE cars was built till 2000, and it was considered a decent handler. But Kia’s independence was waning, and by 1998 it was part of Hyundai.

The 1980s: Mazda starts getting ideas above its station on beating Toyota with multiple brands. It was best seen with what it did with its GE platform