When it comes to EVs, Mazda is behind the curve. Sure, the zoom-zoom brand offers the MX-30, but this crossover’s cramped interior, lackluster performance and extremely limited range means it fits few drivers’ needs. Still, Mazda is working to introduce more electric vehicles in the coming years, and the company plans to build them in America… North America, that is.
As reported by our friends at Automotive News on Friday, Masahiro Moro, Mazda’s recently appointed CEO, said that localized production of future EVs could commence around 2028. The assembly of these vehicle may not be done in the US, however, as the automaker is eyeing Mexico as potential option.
As for the two battery-powered vehicles Mazda is presently cooking up, Moro explained that one will be built on an existing vehicle platform. This means the architecture has to also support internal-combustion and hybrid powertrains. A dedicated electric vehicle platform will underpin the second product being developed. Reportedly, both of these vehicles will launch somewhere between 2025 and 2027 with production kicking off in Japan.
Currently, Mazda has two factories in North America, one in Salamanca, Mexico and joint venture facility in Huntsville, Alabama that it shares with Toyota. With two automakers in play, it’s unlikely the US facility has the capacity to handle electric vehicles. In fact, Moro said, “At this point, we’re not thinking about it.” Additionally, he noted that Mazda doesn’t “have the money” to build a new, dedicated-EV factory in North America, which is why it sounds like Mexico will get the vehicles.
Mazda is far from an EV leader today, and even by 2030, battery-powered cars and trucks will still account for a relatively small percentage of its deliveries. Globally, it’s estimated that electric vehicles will only account for between 25 and 40% of the automaker’s sales by the start of the next decade.
Moro said that the US automotive industry will continue transitioning to electricity over fossil fuels, “But I don’t know if it will continue in the direction desired by the Biden administration.”