Recently Mazda had announced that it had no interest in hybrid models.  Then they announced that diesel options would be available soon.  Then a focus on more efficient, direct injection technology followed by an announcement that they had interest in producing hybrid vehicles.  Now Mazda announces that they will ramp up the engineering and design on hybrid models in hopes of bringing several to market before 2020.

At the Japanese launch of the Mazda 3 yesterday, Mazda officials made their goals public by announcing that they would put hybrid power trains into several existing models as soon as possible.  That may not be soon enough though as the competition is well ahead of them.

According to Mazda Executive Vice President Philip Spender, "It's going to be the 20-teens that we're going to be actually engineering all this.  And we're actually trying to pull that forward, if we can."  We've started to talk a lot more about it lately, in part because everybody else is."

With the new CAFE requirements forthcoming in 2016, Mazda is now well aware of their targets in terms of efficiency and mpgs and they have shortcomings in some segments that must be improved to meet the new requirements.  The hybrid models would help the company meet their goals.

Mazda intends to offer hybrids as an option and not as a stand alone model such as the Prius or the Insight.  As they continue to work on the future hybrids they will also improve engine design and transmission design to increase their CAFE by 30 percent in the next 6 years.

Source:  Automotive News  (Login required)