Japanese automaker Mazda is poised to re-enter the US electric vehicle market as early as 2025. This is despite the failure of the Mazda MX-30, the company’s latest attempt at a competitive EV for the US market.
As noted in a Nikkei Asia report, the new electric vehicles will utilize existing gasoline-powered platforms at Mazda’s Hofu plant, which is located in western Japan’s Yamaguchi prefecture. The facility is capable of producing combustion-powered, hybrid, and electric vehicles on the same line.
This would result in Mazda’s upcoming EVs being ineligible for the US federal tax credit. Only vehicles that are produced in North America are eligible for the EV tax credit.
The company has not yet announced which types of EVs it will be releasing in the US, but expectations are high that SUVs will be in the mix. Mazda Chief Executive Masahiro Moro hinted as much in a comment. “It’s hard to make money by making small EVs given the high costs of producing automobiles. We are looking at a segment that will appeal to would-be EV buyers,” Moro said.
Mazda’s efforts to break into the US electric vehicle segment have been unsuccessful so far. The company’s latest EV, the MX-30, was released in 2021, but it was withdrawn from the US market due to subpar sales. The vehicle, which started at $35,485, was outperformed by rivals from companies such as Tesla in key metrics like range, power, utility, and technology.
Mazda’s apparent decision to re-enter the US electric vehicle market in a few years despite the MX-30’s failure is admirable. The US is the world’s second-largest EV market, but it is also one of the most competitive. Tesla, General Motors, and Ford all have a head start on Mazda, and a number of startups like Rivian are also vying for market share.
That being said, Mazda has optimistic goals for its EV program. The automaker is looking for its electric vehicles to account for 25-40% of the company’s global sales by the end of the decade. Mazda is far from this goal, as the company only sold about 7,500 EVs last year, which was less than 1% of the company’s overall global sales.
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