Report: Mazda May Soon Hike Prices to Fight Inflation and Shore Up Profits

(Images: Mazda)
  • Per an Automotive News report, Mazda is considering a price hike to stem operating losses.
  • Overall car demand remains strong, but supply chain constraints continue to vex the whole industry.
  • Mazda’s price increase will be fairly modest, if it happens — about $350 per vehicle is enough for now, says head of global sales Yasuhiro Aoyama.

Feel like cars just continue to get more expensive? You’re certainly not wrong.

It has been a turbulent two-and-a-bit years, to say the least, and new cars continue to rise higher with each passing month. Every manufacturer mentions “supply chain constraints” and “rising material costs”, pretty much on a daily basis, and Mazda is the latest to join that conversation. In fact, an Automotive News report Tuesday suggests the Japanese automaker may introduce some price hikes to address the recent, historic inflation.

Fortunately, we don’t seem to be talking about the same level of price hike as, say, the 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning. Order banks for the Blue Oval’s all-electric truck opened today, complete with a whopping $7,000 price hike across the entire lineup. Following Mazda’s latest financial results, global sales head Yasuhiro Aoyama mentioned a smaller increase around $350 per vehicle.

“To offset higher raw material and logistic costs, we have raised prices in markets where we can do so, including the US,” Aoyama said. “We will fetch higher prices as we continue to monitor market competition and reassess the competitiveness of our products.” The brand is also spending far less on incentives than in years’ past. In July 2022, the company said it dropped just $650 per vehicle to help move them off dealer lots, in light of strong new car demand.

To further complicate matters, Mazda’s year-to-date sales are down 25.1% through July 2022, when compared to the same timeframe last year.

We will soon see top-end Mazda models eclipse the $50,000 mark

Currently, the Mazda CX-9 is the automaker’s most expensive and high-end model. However, new models are in the pipeline, foreshadowed by the CX-50’s arrival this year. More premium crossovers will arrive in 2023, including the mid-range CX-70 and Mazda’s new flagship crossover, the CX-90 (replacing the current and aging CX-9).

The company’s whole portfolio has been moving upmarket over the years, with ambitions to take on more luxurious brands. Price increases will, inevitably, be a part of that strategy, to the point where we will definitely see at least the CX-90 rise above the $50,000 mark. Depending on exactly where Mazda aims to position the CX-70, we could see prices move well beyond that point.

Even without relying on numbers, new car inventory continues to be thin on the ground, especially for mid-size manufacturers like Mazda. Will the Japanese brand successfully thread the needle of increasing prices, offsetting material costs and regain some sales momentum? Only time, as ever, will tell.