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 Sorry, Diesel-Lovers, Mazda Diesel Is Probably Off the Table for the US

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SKYACTIV-D Diesel Engine

Mazda’s SKYACTIV-D Diesel Engine

It comes as no surprise that Mazda has been having difficulty bringing its diesel engines to the United States. The first Mazda diesel was supposed to arrive back in 2013, but was pushed back due to certification delays until Volkswagen’s diesel cheating scandal broke, after which diesels have been a very shaky proposition in the US. At the end of May, Mazda’s senior vice president for US operations Robert Davis told Automotive News that despite the setbacks Mazda still planned to bring diesels across the ocean.

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Sadly, though, Wards Auto reports as much less optimistic statement. At a dinner with reporters, Mazda’s new North American CEO Masahiro Moro, Moro indicated that, in order to meet with new US emissions standards, Mazda would need to sacrifice too much performance, making the engine too weak for Mazda’s comfort, especially since the automaker wanted to release the models without exhaust aftertreatment systems.

Moro added that, thanks to VW’s diesel scandal, the business case for releasing diesel passenger cars in the US is very shaky, especially for a smaller company like Mazda.

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So, to sum up, Mazda continues to watch the United States market to see if diesel engines will be good for import, but as US emissions regulations tighten and the VW scandal shifts public opinion away from diesel-engine cars, it seems more and more likely that a diesel-powered Mazda may be simply off the table entirely.

One powertrain which might appear in Mazda’s lineup soon, though, is a plug-in hybrid, since California law going into effect in 2018 require automakers to sell at least one plug-in car.

News Source: Green Car Reports

  • shusa2013

    I think all this anguish about Mazda giving up on a U.S. diesel is a bit premature. They have cornered the diesel car market in Japan and was the only automaker to pass the government’s surprise diesel emissions tests after the VW scandal broke. They really want to get a diesel here and I expect it to happen sooner than later.