Orange and green are out. Black and white are in.
That's the fashion decree from Mazda, which last week celebrated the grand opening of the first dealership sporting its new store design, Retail Evolution, part of the brand's effort to project a more premium image.
The previous design, Retail Revolution, introduced in 2003, featured industrial-chic metal siding and orange and green accents. It was intended to show Mazda's youthful attitude and draw attention in the sea of whites and blues in an auto mall.
At the time, it "really fit the brand," Jim O'Sullivan, CEO of Mazda's North American arm, said in an interview. But that began to change after Mazda parted ways with Ford Motor Co. in 2009 and launched a series of cars that attracted a different audience.
"We're looking at this through a customer lens," O'Sullivan said. "We're attaining a much more sophisticated customer than we were in the past, and we want to make sure that our retail experience fits with what these customers are looking for."