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Mazda CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9 survive incoming SUV onslaught as Mazda weighs up business case for future models

The CX-8 will be joined by a number of new SUVs in Mazda’s stable in the coming years.

Mazda says the CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9 SUVs will remain in its Australian line-up for the foreseeable future, despite the arrival of a number of new SUV model lines in the coming years.

Earlier this month, Mazda announced plans to launch five new SUV nameplates, in addition to the existing seven it already offers across different markets.

Of the new models announced, the medium-sized CX-60 has been confirmed for Australia, while three more larger models – the CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90 – are being considered for a local launch.

The CX-50 will be a US-only model produced at the Mazda-Toyota joint manufacturing facility in Alabama. None of the new models have been revealed.

Mazda Australia marketing director Alastair Doak told CarsGuide that the company would “not necessarily” phase out the ageing CX-5 medium SUV, and the CX-8 and CX-9 large seven-seat SUVs once the newer, more premium SUV models arrive.

“Those core models will continue for some time. We still have the luxury of time to make those decisions and depends how well accepted these new ones are and then we can make a call on that down the track. We are very happy that they are continuing on and so we can have that existing customer base with us and build on top of that with these new ones,” he said.

As reported, all of the new model lines, except the CX-50, will be underpinned by Mazda’s upcoming large vehicle rear- and all-wheel drive platform that will also form the basis of the long-awaited next-gen Mazda6 sedan and wagon. This architecture forms part of Mazda’s push into semi-premium territory, placing it somewhere between rivals like Hyundai, Toyota and Honda, and Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz.

When questioned about why Mazda hadn’t yet formally announced next-generation versions of the CX-5, CX-8 and CX-9, Mr Doak said that did not mean those models don’t have a future.

“No but then we hadn’t confirmed that we were going to introduce CX-50, CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90 to the world. So, there is always planning, all that work is happening behind the scenes.”

He added that Mazda had been talking about and planning for the new SUV model lines for more than four years internally prior to the recent announcement.

The CX-5 has just been updated and will remain a part of the Mazda line-up for a while yet. The CX-5 has just been updated and will remain a part of the Mazda line-up for a while yet.

Mr Doak said Mazda Australia is actively working on business cases for the CX-70, 80 and 90, but each one has to make sense.

“We just have to make sure the numbers add up and we can make a clear business case. Obviously, we are keen to take them. The going proposition is we want them. But we won’t bring them out to fail, so we want to make sure there is a solid business case there. It’s not a cheap exercise to bring a car out in every aspect.”

Mazda describes the CX-70 and CX-90 as wide body SUVs, while the CX-80 and 90 both have three seating rows. Mr Doak said the latter two would have a similar relationship to the current CX-8 and CX-9 which both have three rows, but the CX-9 has a wider body.

CarsGuide understands that the CX-80 and CX-90 will be larger than the current CX-8 and CX-9, but they won’t be full-size SUVs that are more common in the US, like the Chevrolet Suburban or Ford Expedition.