• Kyodo

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Mazda Motor Corp. plans to launch an electric vehicle in the United States in 2019 as part of its efforts to meet stricter emission standards there, President Masamichi Kogai said.

Kogai also revealed in a recent interview that his Hiroshima-based company is considering jointly developing electric motor control technology with Toyota Motor Corp., deepening their cooperation in developing advanced technologies.

Kogai said Mazda is developing the EV on its own but added, “Toyota’s motor-drive technology is way ahead (of us).”

Mazda is also planning to start selling plug-in hybrid cars in 2021 or later, he said.

Mazda separately said Thursday it will market a diesel engine car in North America in the latter half of 2017, with the introduction of a remodeled CX-5 sport utility vehicle.

In the United States, diesel cars account for roughly 2 percent of total vehicle sales. Still, Kogai expressed confidence about Mazda’s success in the market given a diesel engine’s advantages compared to a gasoline engine, such as better fuel efficiency and stronger pulling power.

Mazda reached a basic agreement with Toyota in May 2015 to cooperate over next-generation technologies. Kogai denied the possibility of forming a capital tie-up with Toyota, saying such a move is “not under consideration at present.”

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