Bloomberg reported last night that in the wake of VW's diesel debacle they may push back plans to introduce diesel engines in the US.
Mazda's worry is two pronged.
First diesel is suffering a perception problem. What should be a VW problem has been projected into a diesel problem.
Second, reality is perception and if consumers perceive Mazda diesels=VW diesels it doesn't really matter if they're not. Doubt is spinkled over Mazdas ability to build a clean and efficient diesel (without DEF), regardless of the real reality.
As the smallest large automaker in Japan Mazda is fighting with one hand behind their back. They simply don't have the cash to fund hybrid and electric technology like Japans other 3 (which is why they partnered with Toyota earlier in the year), leaving them more exposed to diesel. Mazda does about 45% of its JDM volume in diesel.
They're working on adapting the Skyactiv-D to EPA standard but there's fear the regulatory goalposts could move thanks to VW. “Mazda is aiming to introduce the diesel vehicles in North America, but this Volkswagen cheating case looms dark in front,” Satoru Takada, an analyst at TIW Inc. in Tokyo, quipped to Bloomberg. “There is the possibility that authorities raise the bar of emissions testing even higher. That would be a burden for their strategy.”
Mazda did release a statement earlier this week regarding the compliance of their engines, but for the time being, at least in the US, Mazda seems to be adopting a wait and see policy. The regulations are only going to get tougher...