Those of you who have bought locally-assembled (CKD) Mazda models such as the Mazda 3 and CX-5 may have noticed that the signature Soul Red Metallic is absent from the list of available colours. At the launch of its Automotive Trend Colours 2016/2017 yesterday, Nippon Paint – supplier of paints for Mazda’s CKD operations and creator of Soul Red – has finally revealed the reason for the striking hue’s omission.

When asked by, assistant general manager for industrial use (IU) marketing Ong Eng Keong said that the four-coat metallic finish sapped too much productivity to be used at Inokom’s Kulim plant, where local distributor Bermaz is building the CKD models.

“As far as CKD [assembly] of Mazda is concerned, Soul Red was never a choice for them because of [the colour’s] four-coat system,” he said. “Having to coat four times would mean that you lose half of your productivity, because the car has to go to the oven three times.”

However, Ong also hinted that buyers may be able to get the colour as an option in the future, although they shouldn’t get their hopes too high up. “[Bermaz] is studying as an option to use Soul Red for CKD models, but they have not actually confirmed it yet,” he said.