Today is a big day for Mazda as the 2023 CX-50 has gone into production at the new Mazda Toyota Manufacturing facility in Huntsville, Alabama.
The first model was driven off the assembly line by Mazda North American Operations President and CEO Jeff Guyton, who remarked it was an “exciting day” and noted “production of the CX-50 here signifies the importance of the North American market to Mazda and our commitment to investing in the U.S.”
It’s also a return to form for Mazda as the company built an assortment of models in the United States at what is now known as Ford’s Flat Rock Assembly Plant. However, the plant ceased production of the Mazda 6 in 2012 and the company turned to imports for the U.S. market.
Getting back to the CX-50, Mazda bills it as a “rugged and capable crossover” that was designed specifically for the North American market. The Mazda Toyota Manufacturing facility has the capacity to produce up to 300,000 vehicles annually, but that will be split 50/50 between the CX-50 and the unrelated Toyota Corolla Cross.
Mazda hasn’t revealed many details about the crossover, but has already confirmed the CX-50 will be offered with naturally aspirated and turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engines that are paired to six-speed automatic transmissions. They’ll be followed by electrified powertrains including a “traditional hybrid model.”
The 2023 Mazda CX-50 is slated to arrive at dealerships this spring and will come standard with an i-Activ all-wheel drive system as well as selectable drive modes that “enhance off-road and sport driving.”