The Japanese automaker announced it has started to build the new generation CX-9 SUV, a model which Mazda hopes to help boost its US sales.

Mazda Motor has started the production of the all-new CX-9 three-row mid-size crossover SUV at Ujina Plant No. 1 in Hiroshima, Japan, with the first units produced to be bound for the US and Canada market. And this is quite an obvious move, as the new model has been specifically tailored for the North American market, which is expected to account for 80 percent of the global sales forecast of 50,000 units annually. The sales are set to begin in the region in spring, the automaker announced. The company reported last year the best sales results in 20 years in the US, with a total of 319,184 units for combined fleets and retails, with the latter accounting for 290,918 vehicles. 2015 was the first time the compact CX-5 SUV reached more than 100,000 models delivered, becoming the best-selling Mazda in the United States, while the demand for the current CX-9 was for 18,048 models.

But the new generation of the three-rower SUV, which was officially introduced at the Los Angeles Auto Show, is expected to spike interest through its new design language and new technologies offered. Being 199.4 inches (5.065mm) long, the new CX-9 is 1.2 inch (30 mm) shorter than its predecessor, but its wheelbase has been stretched 2.2 inches (55 mm), promising more leg room for the passengers, as well as an easier access to the back seats. To coincide with the start of production of the new model, Mazda has also begun manufacturing a new 2.5-litre direct injection turbocharged gasoline engine called SKYACTIV-G 2.5T at its Hiroshima Plant. The unit that will power the new SUV is delivering 310 lb-ft (420 N-m) of torque at 2,000 rpm and 250 horsepower at 5,000 rpm.



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