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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
https://electrek.co/2017/03/07/mazda-no-pressure-from-customers-to-make-electric-vehicles/

That's OK, Mazda. Your cars are poo anyway.

Mazda announced last year that they will be forced to launch an electric car in California to comply with the zero-emission mandate around 2019, but that’s the only reason they are doing it.
The Japanese automaker is one of the last few major automakers with no interest in electric vehicles and it now explained why: demand.

The company doesn’t see demand for electric vehicles. That’s what the president of Mazda France, Phillipe Geffroy, told CTV News last week:
“There is no real pressure coming from our customers for alternative fuel vehicles. Both in the US and Europe a minority of either wealthy customers, or companies willing to play the ecological image are buying EV,”

That’s quite a surprising statement today, but less so coming from someone at Mazda since again, the company has shown no to little interest in EVs.
It’s not clear on what they are basing their perception of low consumer interest in electric vehicles aside from the wealthy, but that has been a strong talking point from automakers and the oil industry for a long time now.

The*argument*is less convincing in 2017 when Tesla has over 400,000 reservations for the Model 3 and electric vehicles in a country like Norway represent over 30% of new passenger vehicles.
There’s no reason for customers not to want affordable long-range electric vehicles. In*Geffroy’s home country, Renault’s ZOE is having an increasing success and with an available starting price of ~$20,000 after incentive and before gas savings, it’s not only for*wealthy people.
In order to make EVs affordable, automakers need to mass produce them and this is where things have been more difficult.

Mazda has seen its production and sales increase significantly over the last few years to over 1.5 million vehicles in 2016. If it wants to keep the momentum, the Japanese automakers will have to do more than to*introduce vehicles only to comply with zero-emission mandates.

The company keeps betting on its*fuel-efficient SkyActiv technology to meet requirements and it’s easy to see why they would think that it’s a winning strategy since for the fourth year running, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) named Mazda the most fuel-efficient car maker in America.

But internal combustion engines are plateauing in term of efficiency and they will eventually have to go electric in order to keep improving. At least, Geffroy said that Mazda*keeps “working on electric, hybrid or hydrogen” powertrains, but the company doesn’t seem close to commercialization.
 

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What an absolutely ridiculous thing to say.. no demand for them, but were creating one because of demand for them. ?? Or did I read that wrong.
I used to like Mazda till i read that.
The biggest reason for any car manufacturer to go EV - fossil fuels are not endless. And this is a fact even climate change deniers can agree with.
 

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Well Mazda are one third owned by a giant American corporation (Ford), so that attitude doesn't surprise me really.
 

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Sounds barking mad to me . To quote the great Roy Harper " Please leave this world as clean as when you came " ....That's my goal
 

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Does Trump have shares in Mazda? That could explain a lot. Fact. Or alternative fact.

Either way what tripe. If demand wasn't there there would not be over 400,000 pre orders of Tesla 3.

Moronic decision backed up by little or no real basis in reality. Are we sure Trump isn't behind Mazda?
 

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I wouldn't say Mazda cars are 'poo'...we have had three of them and mechanically they have been extremely reliable. Still have our 2004 mazda MPV with 170,000-ish miles. It is a good 'beater' car to drive in snow and to haul stuff ( 30 bags of mulch, etc.. ).

However, all three of them rusted like no other vehicles I have ever seen. I really hope they have gotten the rust issue under control with the new models! We will never even consider buying another one until they get the rust issue figured out!
 

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So same reason Honda declined to import the rather great Honda Fit/Jazz hybrid to the US, no market. While this make little sense for a car already under production, it is incredibly costly to produce a low volume electric and there are no profits. They are only doing for access to the large California market (and I think 9 other states that mirror CA laws). Think of how many Leafs Nissan sells versus their ICE models, it is a very small percentage (global figures are that EVs are 0.15 percent of the total market). As far as I know, not a single company (including Tesla) have amortized the cost of EVs and have turned a profit, and most admit openly that the cars are subsidized with lower than cost selling prices.

Of course, EV's will become profitable if they ever become mainstream, or can compete on price with ICE cars. Companies such as Hyundai are taking a long term view of things to their credit, but as you can see, their timing is incredibly bad in markets such as the US where fuel is not highly taxed (not even high enough to maintain roads or begin to compensate for pollution).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I wouldn't say Mazda cars are 'poo'...we have had three of them and mechanically they have been extremely reliable.
This is probably true. I am basing that belief on a very old, long-held idea that Fords are poo, because they are IMO, and Mazdas have Ford blood in them. I've read that over the years Mazdas have slowly been weaning themselves off of Ford so today's Mazda is probably much less poo. The stigma is still there for me so I haven't even looked at them, ever.
 

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It's a shame that Mazda doesn't at least get into the hybrid game. I think that they make the best looking mid range sedan at the price, and would love to see a 3/6 hybrid. My friend has a 2014 6, and that car is great. very comfortable, well equipped, and looks very sleek on the outside, but I would love if they could make one that gets closer to 40-45 mpg combined as opposed to 30 combined. It's still good, but I feel it could be better.
 

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This is probably true. I am basing that belief on a very old, long-held idea that Fords are poo, because they are IMO, and Mazdas have Ford blood in them. I've read that over the years Mazdas have slowly been weaning themselves off of Ford so today's Mazda is probably much less poo. The stigma is still there for me so I haven't even looked at them, ever.
Yes very little Ford influence these days. In fact, the Mazda SkyActiv engine tech is very good indeed.
 

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Totally agree with Mazda's position. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a car and sometimes much more. The demand for the BEVs at the price point that they would have to ask to recover their design costs is zero. Instead, the design costs are borne by people like me that wouldn't touch an electric car with a 10-foot pole. It's just one of the many ways that other people must help buy rich peoples' EVs. Fiat-Chrysler's president, Sergio Marchionne, begged people not to buy their electric car because it was strictly a compliance vehicle and they lost money on every one they sold. I would much rather see Mazda and the other car makers give the peoples republic of california the middle finger and pull out of that state than to have to subsidize, yet again, other people's BEV when I buy my car.
 

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Totally agree with Mazda's position. It costs hundreds of millions of dollars to develop a car and sometimes much more. The demand for the BEVs at the price point that they would have to ask to recover their design costs is zero. Instead, the design costs are borne by people like me that wouldn't touch an electric car with a 10-foot pole. It's just one of the many ways that other people must help buy rich peoples' EVs. Fiat-Chrysler's president, Sergio Marchionne, begged people not to buy their electric car because it was strictly a compliance vehicle and they lost money on every one they sold. I would much rather see Mazda and the other car makers give the peoples republic of california the middle finger and pull out of that state than to have to subsidize, yet again, other people's BEV when I buy my car.
Note Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, and Vermont have joined Califorina's Zero Emission Vehicle program. In Canada, late last year the province of Quebec has joined as well.

Then you have European countries like Norway and the Netherlands who are banning the sales of gas powered cars by 2025. India is pushing to have all their cars be electric by 2030 and Germany is also considering it.

It's going to be a growing list of states, provinces and countries that any car company would have to pull out of in order to ignore the electric market.

Meanwhile, we are on the Hyundai Ioniq forum, so of course I'll mention that as a smart way of making an electric car with it also being a hybrid car and even a plugin car, instead of starting from scratch which is bound to be more expensive. Also the price of car batteries continue to drop year after year, making it cheaper to produce electric vehicles.

Back in 1999, Toyota was losing approximately $17,000 per Prius that they sold. That year they sold only 15,200 Prius and as of January 2017 they have sold an cumulative of 6.1 million, which is about 61% of the hybrid market. It's gone from Toyota losing money on each car to being very profitable and even helping their brand. Other car companies had to play catch up as far as hybrids are concerned. These car companies who ignore the electric market risk the same problem of falling behind and then having to play catch-up later at great cost.

Meanwhile Mazda and other car companies have spent billions on investing into hydrogen fuel-cell cars. One of the reasons that Mazda might be against electric vehicles is because they had bet billions on a different technology.
 

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It's public relations talk.

I like Mazda. They make some of the funnest to drive, affordable cars on the market, and the "Zoom Zoom" philosophy extends to their entire range of vehicles, not just their sports cars. Mazda has some of the best ICE technology, and their vehicles are consistently among the most fuel efficient in their class. So I don't think it's fair to accuse the company of not being environmentally conscious just because they are delaying getting into the EV game as long as possible. You have to remember that Mazda is the smallest of the major auto manufacturers so they do not have the manufacturing and R&D capabilities to produce vehicles using as wide a range of platforms. They have concentrated on developing ICE as far as possible over the past 10 years, and I believe they have done a very good job at it and should be given credit for pushing the envelope in this area. Since ICE vehicles will still likely make up 80-90% of the global market in 2020, improvements in ICE will likely have a more significant environmental impact than simply going alternative fuel.

I think the closing paragraphs of the article provide a good context for Mazda's caution:
In that respect he, like most in the industry, are concerned that increasing regulation could force something to market before it's truly ready. And it is the same concern that tempers his enthusiasm regarding other technological developments within the industry such as autonomous driving and the potential for things like car-sharing and mobility on demand. "What can be worrying is how regulations evolve -- especially their slow progress or their instability because if the regulations are not stable no one can invest in the adequate technologies nor implement them," he explains.
Because it is such a small company, Mazda can't afford to make a mistake in choosing a platform for their alternative fuel vehicles. We're still in the Blu-ray vs. HD-DVD (or VHS vs. Betamax for us old-timers) stage of alternative vehicles. Imagine if you were one of the companies that invested big in HD-DVD or Betamax? A mistake like that would likely cause the company to go under.

And Mazda has made some progress. They've had an EV version of the Mazda 2 (Demio) in Japan since 2012, and their public position is that they will have a mainstream electric/hybrid vehicle by 2019.
 

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...Back in 1999, Toyota was losing approximately $17,000 per Prius that they sold. That year they sold only 15,200 Prius and as of January 2017 they have sold an cumulative of 6.1 million, which is about 61% of the hybrid market. It's gone from Toyota losing money on each car to being very profitable and even helping their brand. Other car companies had to play catch up as far as hybrids are concerned. These car companies who ignore the electric market risk the same problem of falling behind and then having to play catch-up later at great cost.

Meanwhile Mazda and other car companies have spent billions on investing into hydrogen fuel-cell cars. One of the reasons that Mazda might be against electric vehicles is because they had bet billions on a different technology.
I feel that BEVs are a dead-end technology therefore there is nothing to "play catch up" to. That is, BEvs will never be competitive with conventional or hybrid-electric vehicles. Bill Reinert, former national manager of Toyota's advanced technology group, feels the same way: He's Still Bullish on Hybrids, But Skeptical of Electric Cars - Yale E360.

Both Mr. Reinert and I (and Mazda presumably) feel that between the two loser electric car technologies available today, fuel cell tech shows much greater promise. Nit wit non-math-doing politicians believe otherwise, unfortunately.

When Toyota and Honda released hybrid cars, they had a solid idea that took a long time to gain acceptance; in sharp contrast to BEVs that will never be competitive. It's not unusual for even conventional cars to take a long time to repay development costs. Ford spent $6B (!) developing the Fiesta which was first sold in 1978. Despite being the #1 best selling car in the world for many years, Ford didn't make a profit on it till 2008.

I strongly feel that governments should not pick technology winners and losers. Those of us that earn our money should vote with our money who the winners and losers are.
 

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Mazda is not the only major automaker falling behind. Suzuki doesn't have hybrids or electrics in production either. I think there are others as well. I bet you Mazda knows its coming, they will just spend money to buy/use the patents of other manufacturers and skip all the R&D costs. Toyota has already offered their patents for free for their hybrid technology.
 

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Toyota has already offered their patents for free for their hybrid technology.
Do you have a source for this statement? They do have a patent sharing agreement with Ford because of significant overlap than any generosity; basically, both companies developed and patented the same technologies, and both would be infringing of each other's patents without this agreement. The costs of litigation would be astounding and profit neither company.

Toyota did open up fuel cell patents they own for sharing back in 2015. I'm not sure that qualifies for a hybrid technology label.
 
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