Speaking to reporters early Friday, Moro said North American production of EVs would likely begin in the 2028-30 third stage of that business plan. Marumoto had earlier suggested it could begin to meet local production requirements in the second half of the 2025-27 second stage.
“Our assumption for North American production of EVs is Phase 3 timing,” Moro said.
Mazda is planning two varieties of full electrics, Moro said.
One will be an EV based on an existing architecture that also accommodates internal combustion and hybrid powertrains. The other will be a dedicated EV platform. Both will be introduced in the 2025-2027 stage two, Moro said. But production is expected to begin in Japan.
Mazda has only two production bases in North America.
It has an assembly plant in Salamanca, Mexico, that makes the Mazda2 and Mazda3 small cars as well as the CX-3 and CX-30 compact crossovers. It also has a joint venture plant with Toyota in Huntsville, Ala., where Mazda makes the CX-50 crossover.
Mazda has the capacity to build 150,000 vehicles a year in Huntsville.
But Moro said Mazda wanted to focus Huntsville on slimming up the output of the CX-50 through the end of the decade. The company has already said, for instance, that it plans to introduce the production of a hybrid version there. US sales of the CX-50 reached only 21,466 through June.
Mazda must also consult with its partner Toyota before introducing an EV there, he said.
“At this point, we’re not thinking about it,” Moro said of making EVs in Alabama.
Instead, the company will consider Mexico when it comes time to weigh its options. Moro said Mazda didn’t “have the money” to invest in a new factory just to produce EVs in North America.
Mazda expects EVs to make up between 25 and 40 percent of its global sales in 2030.
Rapidly shifting regulatory frameworks — as exemplified by new EV incentives in the US Inflation Reduction Act — complicates Mazda’s EV rollout planning.
Moro said Mazda expects the US market to keep shifting toward electrification.
But the speed of the transition partly depends on government policy and could also hinge on next year’s US presidential election. President Joe Biden’s administration has proposed the toughest-ever curbs on US auto pollution, controversial rules that effectively require carmakers to generate two-thirds of their sales from EVs by 2032.
“American electrification will certainly continue,” Moro said. “But I don’t know if it will continue in the direction desired by the Biden administration.”
Moro knows the US market well. He was chairman of Mazda Motor of America before becoming head of the company’s administrative division in 2021.