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At the 2015 Los Angeles Auto Show a few weeks ago, Mazda Motor Corporation President and CEO Masamichi Kogai revealed the brand’s newest-generation CX-9 model, a seven passenger crossover. It was a celebration of sorts as the three-row crossover is the final model in the product lineup to transition to Mazda’s Kodo design language. Resultantly, the unveiling was the completion of a shift to a new era for the company with a new look and array of SkyActiv technologies. Thus far, the transformation has had a positive effect on the brand’s portfolio, but to get a sense of how one-year value retention may improve for the 2016 CX-9, we will analyze the company’s three highest-volume models, the CX-5, Mazda3 and Mazda6 during the periods each model was updated.

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Starting with the Mazda CX-5, the brand’s second largest utility vehicle and best-selling model, we see that one-year retention (rolling three months, September – November) was 4.5-percentage points below the compact utility segment average for the 2012 model year, which was the final year of the last generation CX-7 before it was replaced by the CX-5. That figure jumped significantly for model year 2013, as the current model generation’s one-year retention rose by 7-percentage points, putting it 4.7-percentage points above the segment average. The improvement versus the segment average was due in part by one-year retention for compact utilities falling by 2.2-percentage points. With a grain of salt, the CX-5 has clearly made positive strides in the area of value retention when compared to itself and its segment.

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Interestingly, the same pattern identified with the CX-5 and the compact utility segment can also be seen with the Mazda3’s compact car segment, as well as the Mazda6’s mid-size car segment. Before its model refresh, the 2013 Mazda3’s one-year retention was 62.7% while the compact car segment average was 63.8%. The newest-generation Mazda3 saw its retention improve to 63.4% for model year 2014 while the segment average fell to 61.7%. The value of Mazda’s compact car got better, albeit by a small margin, while the competition’s one-year retention slipped by 2.1-percentage points on average.

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Similar to the CX-5, the Mazda6 made a drastic improvement in one-year retention as it went from a 5.2-percentage point deficit versus the mid-size car segment in model year 2013, to a 2.2-percentage point advantage the following year after it was updated. Comparing the two model years, the Mazda6 went from having one-year retention of 53.4% in 2013, to 60.4% in 2014 — an increase of 6.9-percentage points. With the mid-size car segment’s average one-year retention decreasing slightly, the Mazda6’s newfound retention advantage over its segment is due more in part to its own boost in market value as opposed to the diminishing value of mid-size cars in general.

Based on the comparison of one-year retention figures before and after Mazda applied its new Kodo design to each vehicle, the company’s product transformation worked wonders on the values of its top three models. The success of the CX-5, Mazda’s best-selling and highest value-retaining vehicle, bodes well for the upcoming 2016 CX-9. The data suggests we should not be surprised if the brand’s 7-passenger crossover also realizes a sizeable jump in retention, just as other Mazda models have in recent years. Although it remains relatively small, the automaker from Hiroshima, Japan has made huge strides within its industry. The automobile market is recognizing these advancements through the increased value placed on the brand’s vehicles. With the arrival of the next-generation CX-9, Mazda has completed its model revolution and — at least in terms of retention — has leapfrogged much of the competition.