Mazda Europe plans to offer fuel-efficient full-electric and hybrid models to avoid being fined by the EU, which will make reaching CO2 emissions reduction targets tough starting in 2020. Mazda's answers to the challenge will include a mild hybrid solutions coupled with its Skyactiv-X engine technology. Mazda Europe CEO Jeff Guyton discussed the company’s strategy with Automotive News Europe Correspondent Andrea Malan.
When will customers in Europe start to see Mazda’s new technologies?
Skyactiv-X will debut in 2019 in a vehicle you will see at the Geneva auto show in March. All of our Skyactiv-X models, plus some of the existing ones, will have at least a mild-hybrid powertrain starting in 2019. A battery-electric vehicle will come in 2020 and a plug-in hybrid will arrive in 2021.
Will your EVs make money?
We have to make a plan that does not rely on a huge number of electric vehicles, not necessarily for profit reasons but also for customer acceptance and availability of charging stations. Right now, full-electric cars and plug-in hybrids only sell well in markets that offer very high incentives.
How is Mazda’s cooperation with Toyota on electrification proceeding?
We have two tracks on electrification. The EV we will launch in 2020 will be with Mazda technology. The technology we are working on with Toyota and Denso will arrive maybe a couple of years later.
What share of Mazda’s European sales are diesels?
Between 25 and 30 percent, obviously a bit higher for our larger vehicles. For customers who drive 20,000 km or more, the mix of diesel is still above 50 percent.
How has Europe’s decline in diesel sales affected Mazda?
Our diesel mix has only been strong on our larger products, while it’s relatively low on the Mazda2 or CX-3. Customer orders are coming back for our larger products that comply with new EU emissions standards. We see a fairly dramatic change from the old regulation to the new.
Is demand recovering in France and Germany, where there has been a heavy backlash against diesels?
Our German team sees a very big change from the prior regulation to the new one, in terms of customer orders for Euro 6d-temp diesels versus older models under NEDC (New European Driving Cycle) rules.