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We liked the new Mazda CX-50 when we drove it just a few weeks ago but it turns out that the off-road-focused SUV is only the tip of the iceberg. Mazda is planning to remake its lineup and image in hopes of setting a new record high in sales. The test will be to keep the positive facets of the current brand identity.

Most notably, Mazda knows that it has already built a great foundation on its sporting past so a shift to larger SUVs could pose a challenge. If you’ve driven just about any Mazda of late you’ve probably noted how sharp it handled no matter how big or small it was. Generally, they feel more luxurious too.

That’s what we experienced behind the wheel of the CX-50 and that’s entirely by design. Mazda’s plans don’t just stop there though. One of the biggest concerns about the CX-50 is that it’s not particularly fuel-efficient. That’s why a hybrid drivetrain is on the way, and why Mazda is working on a new all-electric platform it wants to launch by 2025.

Read Also: What You Want To Know About The 2023 Mazda CX-50 We Reviewed

All of these factors are a part of the brand’s goal to set a new sales record of 450,000 units per year by 2026. That’s one reason that they opened a production facility in Huntsville, Alabama, and why they’re aiming to build 150,000 CX-50s per year.

“We expect the U.S. to give us more constant, robust growth into the future,” Senior Managing Executive Officer Yasuhiro Aoyama, the brand’s global marketing and sales boss, told Automotive News.

This is a huge step forward for a brand that’s known for its ‘inchworm’ strategy. Some 330 Mazda dealers are being revamped to adapt to the new attitude of the brand. It’s changing the way it advertises too by focusing less on traditional marketing and more on influencers and “one-to-one communication with customers.”

We’re years away from knowing if all of these tactics will end up being successful. Nevertheless, it’s great to see some aggressive moves from a legacy automaker.

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