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Mazda Remains Committed To Offering Diesel Models In U.S. Market

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On: Tue, May 31, 2016 at 11:34AM | By: Carl Malek

Mazda Remains Committed To Offering Diesel Models In U.S. Market

Despite several years of empty promises, as well as several missed deadlines, Mazda has stated that it is still firmly committed to offering U.S. buyers a diesel-powered Mazda variant in the near future in what could be the first tangible evidence of the technology finally making the jump to production models.

This latest development helps quiet some recent rumors, and also clarifies the company's position on whether it's still committed to offering a diesel-powered model for U.S. buyers. Mazda first floated the idea back in 2013 when the third generation Mazda6 made its public debut. The Mazda6 also made its racing debut with a trick version of the company's diesel engine that allowed it to nab some success early in its racing career. However, converting the engine from a race-bred track machine into a street-oriented piece has proven to be more difficult than anticipated; Mazda engineers reportedly had higher than expected difficulty in making the SkyActiv-D engine and its associated exhaust systems comply with stricter U.S. emissions rules.

It has been widely reported that Volkswagen's emission cheating scandal will have broader implications across the entire diesel industry, but it appears that Mazda is not letting this get in the way of its plans. According to an interview with Automotive News, Mazda's Senior VP of U.S. operations, Robert Davis, said that diesel engines are still in the pipeline and are being considered for two different U.S. models. It is unknown what the second model will be, but expect the next generation Mazda6 to fill the first slot, especially since it was the one that initially spearheaded the idea of a diesel option for U.S. buyers. Davis stopped short of revealing a formal timeline for the move, stating,"We are still committed to it," and later added that he will not talk about it, "I don't speak timing because I made three commitments and missed all three, so i keep my mouth shut."

Mazda's entry into the diesel wars could give it and other companies the opportunity to steal sales from Volkswagen, and use the German firm's fall from grace to revitalize the diesel car segment (which never expanded beyond a niche market even in VW's heyday), as well as promote growth and innovation in the segment. This, in turn, could lure in a new generation of young buyers who want a more fuel-efficient alternative to traditional petrol-powered cars, especially if fuel prices spike once again.


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