COVID-19

Mazda providing free oil changes, enhanced cleaning services for U.S. healthcare workers

Mazda is offering a unique program for health care workers.

Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

With nurses, doctors, and other healthcare workers putting in long hours due to the coronavirus outbreak, it's easy to understand how vehicle maintenance may fall by the wayside. Mazda has announced that it will provide free standard oil changes and enhanced cleaning services for healthcare workers at participating dealers nationwide.

"Supporting the communities where we live and work is rooted deeply in Mazda's 100-year history. We are honored to give back to those dedicated to saving lives during this pandemic," MNAO President Jeff Guyton said. "We understand the important role vehicles play in people's lives, and by partnering with our dealer network, we hope to make a meaningful impact in communities around the country."

2020 Mazda dealershipMazda's offer is open to owners of most makes and models.Photo courtesy of Mazda North American Operations

The program begins April 16 and is not limited to Mazda owners. It is available for most makes and models from other manufacturers.

Called the "Essential Car Care" program, the initiative was developed in partnership with the Mazda dealer network, which will invest a minimum of $5 million.

The Essential Car Care program is the only automaker-driven initiative of its kind. Ford, GM, and FCA have all worked to produce a variety of supplies to support the healthcare industry. Honda is donating millions to hunger relief organizations. Hyundai is funding drive-thru testing centers.

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Pricing for the new SUV starts at under $30,000.

Mazda

Mazda is known for building high quality, engaging vehicles, and its SUVs are no exception. All of the automaker's utility vehicles are stylish, and offer a solid driving experience that not many can at their price points. A brand-new Mazda SUV is on its way soon that will feature a more rugged personality and styling aimed at active outdoors enthusiasts. The 2023 CX-50 entered production earlier this year, and Mazda recently announced pricing for the new vehicle.

The CX-50 will hit dealers' lots in March as the first Mazda built in the automaker's joint production facility, which it shares with Toyota in Huntsville, AL. It's similar to the CX-5 crossover, but is larger and features a more rugged outdoor-oriented personality. Mazda wills sell both for the time being, as the CX-5 is a best seller for the automaker, with almost 170,000 units sold last year. The popular crossover also got a refresh for 2022.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is intended for people that want to take it off the beaten path.Mazda

The CX-50 comes standard with a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine making 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque. Mazda offers a turbo version with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque when running premium fuel. Both engines come paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, and all-wheel drive is standard.

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 will go on sale this year. Its starting price lands at $28,025, including a $1,225 destination fee. The top 2.5 Turbo Premium Plus starts at $42,775 after destination.

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The majority of new car buyers paid a markup in January 2022.

VW

It's no secret that new car prices are climbing every year, as new technology and features make their way into even the most basic models. The issue is compounded by massive supply chain issues that have caused vehicle shortages for nearly every major automaker. Some dealers are taking advantage of record low inventory levels by marking up prices, and unfortunately, the problem isn't limited to a handful of bad apples. In analyzing recent sale price data, automotive publication Edmunds found that buyers paid a markup in a whopping 82.2 percent of all new vehicle purchases in January 2022, compared to just 2.8 percent a year before. Overall, the average transaction price rose to $728 above MSRP for new car purchases.


Tesla factoryTesla is looking to expand production in the U.S. beyond the confines of its Fremont factory. Photo courtesy of Tesla Motors

Cadillac buyers saw the largest markups, to the tune of $4,048 on average in January. Land Rover and Kia weren't much better, with average markups of $2,565 and $2,289, respectively. On the other end of the spectrum, Alfa Romeo buyers got discounts that averaged $3,421, while people who bought Volvo or Lincoln vehicles got smaller discounts of $869 and $510, respectively.

Some automakers have taken a stand against dealer markups and the general lack of transparency seen in pricing across the board. Ford and General Motors have been vocal in recent months, threatening to withhold inventory from dealers found to be slapping markups on new vehicles. As Edmunds notes, both automakers have important vehicle launches on the horizon that neither can afford to flub, and inconsistent pricing or markups is a good way to alienate new customers out of the gate.


Cadillac EscaladeCadillac buyers paid the largest markups of any brand. Photo courtesy of Cadillac

If you're thinking of shopping for a new car, the best way to avoid paying a markup is to wait. The pandemic and ongoing supply chain issues have thrown kinks into every automaker's operations that will take time to iron out. That said, it's clear that some brands are committed to having no funny business when it comes to dealerships' pricing and communication. It's possible to get a vehicle at MSRP, or even below in some cases, so if you're in a position that requires you to buy a new car, shop around to get the best deal.

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