|Also called||Mazda 626|
|Body style(s)||4-door Sedan|
Eunos 500/Xedos 6
Mazda used the Cronos name in Japan from 1991 until 1995 on a redesign of the Mazda Capella. This vehicle platform (GE) was sold in the United States as the Mazda 626 in the same years. In Japan, the station wagon variant of the older-generation GD Capella remained in production. All three models were replaced with the GF in 1997, and the Cronos name was retired.
The Cronos' GE platform was central to Mazda's ambitious expansion plan of doubling sales in a 5-year span. Including the badge-engineered Ford Telstar, a total of six cars were spawned off the same platform, launched under five different brands in Japan over a two-year period. All of these models ended their production run as flops, most likely due to the difficulties involved in promoting so many new nameplates at the same time.
Until 1989, Japanese car taxation used a car's width as a key determinant. The Cronos and its siblings (bar the Eunos 500) all exceed the critical 1700 mm (66.9 in) level in width. Moving in accord with early-1990s zeitgeist, Mazda considered width a key factor in the Cronos' sales failure, and proceeded to create a 1700 mm (66.9 in)-wide stopgap solution. This car was introduced in 1994 as the new Capella sedan.
The Cronos was allowed to soldier on outside Japan until 1997/98, when the Capella was redesigned.