The Mazda 6 sedan and wagon range is reportedly exiting production in Japan.

    Japanese newspaper Chugoku Shimbun reports production of Mazda’s mid-sizer will end at the company’s Hofu, Japan plant in the northern spring (March-May) of this year. The vehicle will then be discontinued in that market.

    Production has reportedly already ended in China, with sales set to wrap up this year.

    It continues to be assembled in Vietnam, and will reportedly still be offered in Southeast Asian markets like Thailand following the end of Japanese production.

    Mazda Australia currently sources the 6 from Japan. It had no comment on this report.

    Chugoku Shimbun reports global sales of the Mazda 6 for the fiscal year ending March 2023 will be approximately 34,000 units, or around a tenth what the CX-5 will have managed in the same period.

    The Mazda 6 has already been withdrawn from the the US and Canadian markets (in 2021) and from the UK market (in 2023).

    “From our point of view, so long as we make them, and so long as there’s a customer base that says it’s my choice, then it’s our job to make it available,” said Mazda Australia managing director Vinesh Bhindi last year.

    Rumours had abounded of a rear-wheel drive replacement for the 6 on the Large Architecture underpinning the CX-60 and CX-90 but dissipated, before stirring back up again late in 2023.

    Nevertheless, a replacement is far from certain, particularly as sales of sedans decline in major markets such as the US and Japan.

    “All Mazda said was to provide a CX-60, CX-70, CX-80 and CX-90. Just to provide four SUVs,” said Mitsuru Wakiie, program manager for the CX-90 last year through an interpreter when asked whether the new Large Architecture could spawn a sedan.

    Mazda’s Chinese joint venture with Changan teased what appeared to be two sedans in May 2023, set to feature both electric and plug-in hybrid power, but no further details have been forthcoming.

    The Mazda 6 received a series of tweaks for 2023, headlined by a special 20th Anniversary edition model.

    Touring and up get wireless Apple CarPlay, albeit still with the old 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system running MZD-Connect, while GT SP and Atenza models get the brand’s Cruising and Traffic Support semi-autonomous assistance system.

    Mazda also says it updated the six-speed automatic to “provide a more direct upshift response and exciting driving feel”, and gave the car an updated powering steering system.

    The turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine also received a 3kW bump in power, bringing the total output to 173kW.

    We’re one of the vanishing few markets to still get the turbocharged engine, along with New Zealand. It has already been discontinued in Japan, though that market still receives the 2.2-litre twin-turbo diesel, along with an all-wheel drive option never offered here in the third-generation 6.

    It’s unclear for how much longer the Mazda 6 will be around. It’s the oldest model in the mainstream mid-sized passenger car segment in Australia and one of the oldest vehicles on the Australian market overall.

    The 6 was the recipient of a fairly substantial facelift in 2018, but the basic car dates back to 2012.

    It was nevertheless still the second best-selling mainstream mid-sized vehicle in Australia last year.

    Mazda sold 1528 examples, putting it ahead of the Skoda Octavia (1395 sales) but far behind the Toyota Camry (10,581 sales). Its silver medal is in threat this year with the BYD Seal now on the market, as 471 examples of the new electric mid-sizer were sold in December 2023 alone.

    Though the number of mid-sized offerings has dwindled in recent years, the segment was up 12.9 per cent over 2022 with gains posted by the Octavia, Camry, and even the low-volume Honda Accord.

    MORE: Everything Mazda 6
    MORE: 2023 Mazda 6 review

    William Stopford

    William Stopford is an automotive journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. William is a Business/Journalism graduate from the Queensland University of Technology who loves to travel, briefly lived in the US, and has a particular interest in the American car industry.

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