HIROSHIMA, Japan -- Mazda Motor Corp.'s new line of Skyactiv engines delivers more than just double-digit improvements in fuel economy. The technology also provides big cost savings for the export-dependent carmaker as it struggles to offset the profit-eating rise of the yen.
The key, executives say, is standardization among the new engines and platform architecture. The new designs dramatically lower production time, manufacturing costs and the amount of investment needed to add a new model. It gives Mazda more flexibility with more commonality.
"We are developing a business structure that enables us to provide advanced and high quality technology and products in a more affordable, more speedy and more stable way," says Kiyotaka Shobuda, executive officer in charge of global production.
Mazda says the Skyactiv line has achieved:
-- A 25 percent cost decrease through reduced vehicle weight.
-- A 60 percent increase in manufacturing efficiency for gasoline engines through mixed production.
-- A 20 percent efficiency improvement in vehicle production efficiency through common architectures.