, and although it likes to act like the competition doesn’t exist the reality is that the premium or “near-premium” players it’s positioning itself next to all offer performance variants of normal cars. “If you look at the luxury makes they all have the Mazdaspeed equivalent...AMG, M, S, etc... We still think that’s important,” Mazda North America’s SVP acknowledged. The Japanese automaker is doing its best to focus on the quality of its cars, not the quantity in which its cars sell. That means convincing buyers to opt for higher trim levels that cost more. As we’ve learned from the Germans the best way to get people to spend more on cars is to tune the engine a tad and offer a sporty body kit.