The Happy Car Company has changed its attitude towards Hybrid cars, announcing that it will put petrol-electric drivetrains into its lineup for the next decade. However Mazda will not create a whole new model just to compete with the Prius and Insight, it will simply equip its existing models with a hybrid option.
"It's going to be the 20-tens that we're going to be actually engineering all this, and we're actually trying to pull that forward, if we can." Executive Vice President Philip Spender said last week at the Japan launch of the Mazda3.
With the Toyota Prius claiming the best selling car title in Japan last month, other Japanese manufacturers have started to take notice. They may be years behind the Big T in hybrid technology but the sooner the better.
"We've started to talk a lot more about it lately, in part because everybody else is, we now know what the carbon dioxide targets are. We now know what our fleet performance and our gaps are," Spender said.
The change in strategy will not conflict with the company's current target to improve engines and transmissions to improve the fuel efficiency of its global fleet by 30 per cent come 2015.