Not that the industry isn't feeling happier these days. But Mazda thinks it's time to tone down the grin of its grilles.
The front-end look, likened by industry wags to a rolling jack-o'-lantern, is most prominent on the current Mazda3. The yawning maw will morph into something more conventional, Derek Jenkins, Mazda's design boss for North America, said last week at the New York auto show.
The Minagi concept shown in New York is a hint of things to come. Designers raised the grille, put the Mazda logo inside rather than above it and narrowed its edges. The effect, Jenkins said, is a wider stance that fits Mazda's design plan -- although it still looks a bit smiley.
That new face will feature prominently in subsequent Mazda redesigns.