Mazda goal: fuel-efficiency, with revs

Kyodo

Mazda Motor Corp. President Takashi Yamanouchi said Thursday the company will focus on developing vehicles powered by fuel-efficient engines, a strategy contrasting with those of other major automakers involved in fierce competition over electric vehicles and hybrids.

“We want to be a brand loved by customers who like the pulse of engines,” Yamanouchi said in a group interview, pledging Mazda will enhance its SKYACTIV technology to make fuel-efficient engines and transmissions.

“The demand for electric vehicles is limited. Their market share would likely be about 5 percent even after 10 years,” he said.

Mazda is displaying vehicles powered by newly developed diesel engines at the 42nd Tokyo Motor Show, which opens Saturday, while many other carmakers are stressing electric vehicles in their presentations at the venue.

Yamanouchi said diesel-powered vehicles will contribute to better balance the consumption of gasoline and light oil, both created through the process of crude refining, and has a “significant meaning from the standpoint of energy strategies” in Japan.

Mazda is scheduled to launch vehicles powered by diesel engines starting next spring.