The Japanese automaker does not shift from the initial plan to introduce its diesel drivetrain to the United States, despite having delays because of some technical issues.
Even if the Volkswagen emissions scandal has brought some dark clouds over the diesel technology and despite some technical delays, Mazda Motors still sticks to its plan to bring diesel Skyactiv engines to the US. The reason for such a commitment is the prospect of pushing the brand’s image away from its Japanese and drawing it much close to the European premium concept, believes Robert Davis, senior vice president for US operations. “If we look at competitors in diesel in the US, it is primarily luxury, and it is primarily European luxury,” Davis said this week at the Detroit Auto Show. “That is a nice differentiator.”
An overlook on diesel sales by brand – apart from Volkswagen – reveals that the demand was hardly affected by the emissions disclosure, he said. And following that path would help distance Mazda from Japanese competitors, who have largely neglected the diesel alternative, “You can separate yourselves from the mainstream Japanese,” Davis said.
Even if customers in Japan still prefer gasoline engines or hybrids, Mazda has reported a solid demand for its Skyactiv diesels, a success that Davis believes can be replicated in the US. “We are still committed to it.” But the move will have to wait for now, he added. The main reason for the delay is the need to find the right balance between meeting the US’ strict emissions standards without limiting the performances.
Via Automotive News