In OWN's new series, "The Customer Is Always Right?" Darla and Tommy are two customers who participated in a Mazda focus group at the automotive giant's corporate offices. At the end of the focus group, Mazda’s SVP Robert Davis had a surprise: Darla and Tommy were selected to take over Mazda for one week. If their work impresses a second focus group at the end of the week, they'll each win $10,000.
On Thursday night's episode, Tommy and Darla redesigned the Mazda CX9. The pair made many changes, including adding a wet zone in the trunk for active and outdoorsy customers, installing captain’s chairs in the driver and passenger seats, and redesigning the shape of the vehicle so that it looked less "bubbly."
In the above clip from the episode, Davis, Mazda's SVP, asks a focus group to vote for which model they prefer -- Tommy and Darla's newly designed CX9 in silver, or the original CX9 in black.
"I'm really nervous to see what the focus group is going to say," Darla says.
While Darla and Tommy watch from afar, the focus group examines each car and makes a mix of positive and negative comments.
"A lot of people are liking the black CX9, and I don’t know if we're going to win," Tommy says.
After the focus group has cast their ballots, Davis announces which vehicle they preferred. With a vote of 37 to 5, it's Darla and Tommy's new silver CX9!
"It's been a great opportunity for our team to learn something different, learn a new way," Davis says. "And it's allowed our team to become more nimble, and listen to input a different way. So I think it's been a giant exercise, but well worth it."
Previously skeptical about the brand, Darla says she now sees Mazda differently. "I would actually use my own money to purchase a Mazda," Darla says in the video. "That's coming a long way."