Mazda currently offers zero all-electric vehicles in the United States after it pulled the MX-30 electric crossover from the market this summer over poor sales.
The automaker does plan to launch another battery-electric vehicle in the U.S., but that one isn’t reportedly coming before 2025. Mazda North America CEO Tom Donnelly recently told Automotive News the future EV will be an existing nameplate and likely a crossover, noting that the automaker will add more EVs depending on consumer demand.
Launching a single new electric vehicle two years from now will hardly help Mazda get a foothold in the U.S. EV market, although that’s better than nothing. The automaker’s approach to EVs seems overly cautious, but you can see where Mazda is coming from when its global CEO is downplaying demand for electric vehicles in the United States.
Mazda’s global CEO Masahiro Moro believes that the share of EVs in the overall U.S. new passenger car market is simply too small—unless your name is Tesla. Speaking with Fortune, Moro acknowledged the importance of EVs but said demand isn’t quite there yet.
“EV is absolutely important technology, and we are developing it. But [in the U.S.] EVs last year [were] about 6% of the market. This year it is 8%. And out of that 8%, 57% was Tesla. Other EVs are not taking off, inventory is piling up,” he said.
Moro added that the lack of charging stations is another factor that impedes EV market share growth in the United States. He didn’t sound too optimistic about the auto industry’s shift to a zero-emissions future in 2035 either. “How we get to zero is up to consumer choice and social infrastructure,” Mazda’s head honcho noted.
Some of his comments will definitely raise some eyebrows, especially those regarding the fact that sales of non-Tesla EVs are not taking off and “inventories are piling.” There are automakers other than Tesla that are doing okay in terms of EV sales in the U.S., including GM with its soon-to-be-discontinued Bolt EV and EUV, Volkswagen, Ford, Hyundai, Kia, and others.
Something Masahiro Moro conveniently fails to mention is that Mazda already sold an EV in the U.S. and failed miserably at it. Mazda’s half-baked attempt at selling an EV, the now-defunct (in the U.S.) MX-30, only survived for two model years (2022 and 2023), selling just 100 units in the first eight months of 2023, down 69 percent from the previous year.
The Mazda MX-30 was plagued by a subpar range rating of 100 miles and limited availability—it was only sold in California. One could say that Mazda went out of its way not to offer a successful EV in the U.S., and that’s only the Japanese automaker’s fault.