By Alberto Frammartino, November 24, 2022
Mazda along with the Japanese car industry was simply never interested in electric vehicles. In Mazda’s case, the evidence is the continued regurgitation of its SkyActive technology and product marketing nomenclature for staid and inefficient engineering. Mazda has no effective EV (Electric Vehicle) strategy. Of course, Mazda dipped its EV toes into the water but it seemed half-hearted. However, market trends and investors are heading toward an EV future. Mazda finally realizes that it has no other option than to follow the money, to fully embrace EVs, or risk sowing the seeds of its own SkyActive-induced demise.
Large corporations are like cargo ships, it takes a long time to stop, you could end up sinking in a sudden unexplained gale-force storm. So everything has to be planned carefully which takes a long time. For Mazda to announce a complete coin-flick revision of its product strategy is a clear sign that panic has set in at the very top.
So here’s the deal, the new Mazda deal. The panic has a sticking plaster called ‘Vision Study Model’. The sticking plaster will cost over $10BN to turn the cargo ship into a powerboat. Mazda will go on an electrification spending spree and invest in electric motor/components and battery technology in addition to electrification, i.e. hybrids/plugin hybrids.
Mazda calculates EVs will comprise up to 40 percent of its global sales in 2030. In a further sign of panic, Mazda was unable to give a specific timeframe that its EV strategy will be ready by 2030. Mazda will face delays as it transitions from combustion engine technology to battery electric. Does it have the manpower and labour force? Only time will tell.