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Mazda Works The Zoom-Zoom

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2008 Mazda Kazamai concept

2008 Mazda Kazamai concept

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In a move that seems markedly out of step with its fellow automakers, Mazda has said that it has no plans to make an electric car, either now or in the future. Providing the most cloying, irrelevant quote we've seen in weeks, Mazda North America president  Jim O'Sullivan said, "We will not go somewhere unless it's 'zoom-zoom'." Someone has perhaps spent too much time in marketing meetings.

Despite the annoying repetition of Madza's current tag line, O'Sullivan's statement is notable for the way it stands in contrast to many of the world's automakers--especially exhibitors at the recent Detroit Auto Show, where every other vehicle seemed to be electric or an electric hybrid. To be fair, Mazda has said it is working on improving the efficiency of its gas engines and lightening its vehicles to improve efficiency. It is also working on an engine that can work on both gasoline and hydrogen. Both those are great, but when big automakers in one of the world's biggest markets are making a great deal of noise about going electric, perhaps Mazda should consider playing along.

Of course, in other ways, Mazda is marching in lockstep with its colleagues, cutting production at its factories and wages for its workers. So maybe the company isn't as cavalier as it looks?

 
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Comments (5)
  1. "Reece"

    I'm with Mazda not sure all of this mania over electric vehicles is the true future of the automobile. There are still big issues about the cost, weight and performance of batteries to say they are definetely the future.
    Mazda is smart, let all the other spend billions of dollars on research, if they get it right Mazda can always levereage Ford for the technology, if they are all wrong Mazda saves a bucket of money.
    At the moment it is at least focused on what it wants to be, not a car for every market but one's that fuflfil its zoom-zoom image. It's a smart play but not one all manufacturers can rely on.
     
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  2. "Range-extend Vehicle?"

    This belies earlier news releases from 2008
    that said Mazda was working on a range-extended
    vehicle similar to Chevy's Volt, except Mazda
    would be using a small Wankel Rotary for the
    Genset.
     
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  3. "Re: Mazda REV"

    Here's a newslink to Mazda's plans for a
    range-extended vehicle. It says they have been in
    testing, already: http://www.treehugger.com/files/2008/08/mazda-electric-car-series-hybrid-gm-volt.php
     
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  4. "Interesting..."

    Good call, Larz. With a few significant word changes, the engine described on Treehugger could be the same one described in the piece I cited. Both are hybrids engines, currently testing on Japanese roads....
     
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  5. "Mazda = Ford"

    Not forgetting Ford still own a significant % of Mazda and the Ford Focus and Mondeo are simply badge engineered Mazdas. As Ford have committed themselves to a BIG move into battery EVs in this size range of vehicle on new platforms, if the new Ford EVs are based on Mazda then Mazda can easily enter the EV market using the same components. The current Ford EV demo vehcile is a Focus which is basically a Mazda 3.
     
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