The tiny Mazda has been planning to introduce a diesel car in its key market for years but the strategy could be further set back by the VW AG cheating of diesel emissions tests that brought intense scrutiny on the technology.
The grim outlook for Mazda’s US diesel move is a prime example of the collateral damage from VW’s decision to cheat on US diesel emissions tests, with the outrage spreading across the world and with global regulatory scrutiny of the technology swiftly unleashed. “It’s been delayed and delayed, and Mazda keeps saying it’s coming,” comments Dave Sullivan, an analyst for industry researcher AutoPacific. “At this point, I don’t understand why they would need a diesel for this market. I don’t see it happening.” Mazda’s engineers have been hustling with the development of the Skyactiv-D engine that needs to meet US emissions standards without impairing performance, comments a company spokesperson. The official added the timeframe for the introduction of the powerplant has not been established yet, but the strategy has not been modified as a result of the Volkswagen crisis.
Mazda is the Japanese automaker that has bet the most on diesel engines, with around 45 percent of internal deliveries in the quarter through June using the technology. Toyota and Nissan have instead focused on hybrids and electric vehicles, respectively. Mazda never relies on illegal procedures to handle regulatory compliance said the company and added it supported regulators around the world that are probing diesel engines and developing new ways to test them based on real-world driving conditions.