Mazda redefines brand with new Kai Concept styling


I focus on all things to do with cars. The Kai Concept employs Mazda’s new Single Motion design theme.

Mazda must be the most radical, most stubborn and most admired carmaker in Japan. More than any other manufacturer in this tiny nation of 125 million people and eight carmakers, Mazda believes that automotive design should be beautiful and has made this goal a companywide priority through its Kodo design language. The firm also believes that electrification is not everything and that the current combustion engine still has plenty of life and room for improvement.

Spurred on by those philosophies, the Hiroshima-based company has developed a huge following and sales success globally, and in the process, captured numerous design and car of the year awards. At the 2016 Festival Automobile International in Paris, a major automotive design award event, Mazda’s RX Coupe won “The Most Beautiful Concept Car of the Year” prize. Its Vision Coupe concept then picked up the same award the following year. The firm’s MX-5 made history in 2016 when it became Japan’s first ever model to snatch both the World Car of the Year and the World Car Design of the Year awards.

In terms of sales, Mazda hangs on to a 1.7% share of the U.S. market and is witnessing strong growth among its SUV models. In Australia, however, the firm is a sales powerhouse, ranked at No 2 with just under 10% market share. The reason? Mazda styles cars that appeal to both men and women buyers, offer unique technologies and handling, deliver competitive performance, pricing and class-topping fuel economy, and enjoy a sporty brand image thanks to its F1 support race in Australia and its various motorsport activities in the U.S. and Europe.

Mazda is also the only Japanese carmaker associated with a signature color—soul red. Sure, Subaru might have its WR (World Rallying) blue for its small STi sports car lineup, but Mazda’s soul red encompasses the entire range and is immediately recognizable on even small body panels. Combined with its unique Kodo styling, color and Skyactiv technologies, this combination defines the Mazda brand and separates it from all the others.

To be continued

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