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June 8, 2018updated 07 Jun 2018 11:15am

Mazda bets on diesel as Nissan reportedly drops development

Mazda's R&D head has said the company will keep developing diesel engines, two days after fellow Japanese carmaker Nissan was reported to have dropped the fuel to focus on hybrids and EVs.

By Lorenzo Migliorato

Mazda’s R&D head has said the company will keep developing diesel engines in the future, two days after fellow Japanese carmaker Nissan was reported to have dropped the fuel to focus on hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs).

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, Mazda’s senior executive officer in charge of R&D, called the diesel engine the “company’s strength,” adding there was “no reason” for Mazda to stop its development.

“Sport utility vehicles have become best sellers, and the benefits of diesel become more apparent with heavier vehicles,” he said.

In a jibe to Tesla’s chief executive, he added: “Consumers won’t buy EVs just because of Elon Musk.”

Fujiwara’s words came shortly after the Nikkei Asian Review reported on Monday that Nissan was dropping development of diesel engines, stopping diesel powertrain production altogether at some point in the 2020s.

This would make Nissan the latest in a line of carmakers which have declared or been reported to be moving away from diesel. They include Fiat Chrysler, Volvo, Subaru and Nissan partner Renault.

By contrast, Mazda, which plans to introduce EVs in 2019 to compete with market leaders Toyota and Nissan, said last year it expected the internal combustion engine to “power the majority of cars worldwide for many years to come”.

Mazda UK has a partnership in place with Santander Consumer Finance, which includes PCH in its offer.

Additionally, the carmaker recently entered a collaboration for retail and commercial leasing with Societe Generale’s ADL in the Netherlands.

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