Mazda President and CEO Akira Marumoto spoke at length Tuesday about the company’s future, acknowledging the shift towards electrification. This is something all major automakers face, and it wouldn’t have happened without significant investment in new technology.
For Mazda, the price tag stands at $10.6 billion, according to Automotive News. That includes research and manufacturing as well as partnerships with companies in the development of batteries, semiconductors, electric drive units and more. However, it will not be a revolution overnight. Outlined in the three-phase plan presented by Marumoto, Mazda will initially develop the technology while streamlining the supply chain and cutting costs where possible. Internal combustion power will remain Mazda’s core through the first phase and two, with a massive shift to electrification starting in 2028 with phase three.
Additionally, Mazda is taking a more ambitious approach to driver assistance and safety systems. The company will work to develop advanced driver technologies based on human research, making its vehicles safer for passengers and those around them.
“We are targeting no new Mazda to cause avoidable fatal accidents with automotive technology by 2040,” said Marumoto during the presentation.
Mazda has trailed most other automakers in the electrification space. Currently, the only fully electric Mazda available in the US is the MX-30, and it is only being offered for sale in California. The CX-60 was revealed earlier this year as the company’s first plug-in hybrid, but it wasn’t offered in the US market.
Marumoto also spoke at length about extending Mazda’s “brand essence” by creating vehicles that are fun to drive. There’s no denying that the MX-5 Miata is one of the finest elemental sports cars of the last 30 years, and at the end of the presentation, Marumoto introduced a video showing the concept of the future electrified version. Still, with Mazda’s weighty EV timeline towards the end of the decade, it’s likely at least a few more years before we know exactly what will happen to the MX-5.