While certain parts of Europe are slowly veering away from combustion engines, Mazda is firmly planting itself still inside the diesel territory. This is based on the Mazda Motor Europe CEO interview published by the Netherland-based website, AutoRAI.
In the interview, Jeff Guyton, chief executive of Mazda Motor Europe, told the Dutch website that the company is indeed keeping the diesel longer in their arms. For Guyton, the electrification bandwagon observed by most car manufacturers isn't ideal. He believes that electric driving isn't that well thought through.
Come to think of this, an electric car takes hours to be fully-recharged. Compare this to the duration when you're filling up a car, which takes dramatically less time per full tank. Say, you're given a choice of discounted cars, both electric and one with a traditional combustion engine, wouldn't you consider the long term, rather than acquiring that bragging rights of owning an electric car?
With all these taken into account, Mazda decided not to rely on providing buyers with low-emission cars, or EVs. Also, the company believes that a car buyer's primary concern is a car with good fuel economy, which is why the diesel is still being pumped to this day. And, what cars often use diesels and are family friendly? You got it right – SUVs.
In the UK, demands for compact, mid-size, and full-size cars are depleting rapidly as people are diverting their buying perspective to larger vehicles like SUVs. You can't blame them, as there is actually a good number of advantages owning an SUV. Higher seat position, good wading depth, off-roading capabilities, and huge cargo space are just few to mention.
However, Mazda's suspiciously-peering look toward electrification doesn’t mean no electric car from the Japanese marque. In fact, the company plans to have an electric car in 2019 – though when asked about this, he maneuvered to another intriguing topic. While more and more automakers go crazy about innovating technologies under the umbrella of electrification, Mazda aims to steer its ship away. Solution? Biofuel.
While Mazda's clingy relationship with diesel engines may or may not be an agreeable move to some, Guyton revealed that the company is shooting interests to algae-based fuel. He told AutoRAI that by finding a way to formulate a CO2-neutral algae-based fuel, they may be able to turn the tides to their favor. It comes with a consequence, though, as developing biofuel isn't that cheap to do.
"I think that if a fraction of the money goes to developing a biofuel instead of electric propulsion, we can take a big step and actually have a positive impact on the environment."
First is diesel, then comes a statement about a possible EV, and then biofuel. So, what about autonomous driving technology? Well, Mazda's staying away from that, as well, because the company believes it "does not fit with the brand and the customers." Guyton followed up by saying that their cars will have steering wheels in the future. Makes sense, as driving—even if you look it up in the dictionary—means control and operation of a motor vehicle.
Meanwhile, when asked about a smaller car than Mazda2 to compete in the market of mini cars, Guyton released a big 'no.' Yup, Mazda will not make a vehicle smaller than the Mazda2 (although the MX-5 is smaller but, come on, it's a roadster). So, we won't see a Mazda rival for the Toyota Wigo, Honda Brio, Hyundai Eon, among others.
Of course, rotary engine became a topic. Will the world ever see it again in its original glorious form under the hood of a sports car, rather than just being a range extender for an electric car? Sad to say, from the words of Guyton himself, no – at least, no plans for now.
Mazda isn't your typical car brand. They have an image to take care of; an image that has been forged through history and sweat. Well, if you apply it in a millennial point of view, Mazda is a hipster in the automotive scene and they like it that way. Although we still wish to get a reborn of the RX-7 – oh, that'd be awesome.