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Mazda chief wants to prioritize engine technology over electric cars: interview

Mazda Motor Corp. President Masamichi Kogai speaks during an interview on Oct. 26, 2017. (Mainichi)

Mazda Motor Corp. President Masamichi Kogai revealed that he wants Mazda to prioritize improving engine technology over focusing on electric technology in an exclusive interview with the Mainichi Shimbun on Oct. 26.

    "First of all, I want to improve the performance of Mazda's internal combustion engines, before adding electric technology accurately," Kogai explained.

    The president also said that he wants Mazda to be able to respond flexibly to the respective environmental regulations in countries across the world, in tandem with working on projects such as the development of electric vehicles (EV).

    Commenting on the recent trend of preferential treatment given to electric vehicles in Europe and other areas, Kogai pointed out that, "If you look at the whole process (from fuel sourcing to the customer driving the finished product), it cannot be said that EV production is completely environmentally friendly."

    Mazda does intend to work on the development of EV with an eye on the likely introduction of stricter environmental regulations, but for the time being, it wants to focus on simplified hybrid cars, produced at relatively low cost and with good-quality engine technology.

    Mazda announced in August that it wants to halve its corporate average emissions of carbon dioxide by 2030 from the 2010 figures. It has also revealed plans to accelerate the switch to next-generation models that are environmentally friendly, through the introduction of models such as a fuel-efficient, high-power gasoline engine-equipped car in 2019.

    Kogai added that, "Mazda has the ability to provide affordable cars with superior internal combustion engines," and that, "Our raison d'etre is to continue to make driving fun, just as we have been doing all these years." He thus suggested that his company wants to bring out the "joy of driving" while also keeping its cars environmentally friendly.

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