Mazda to target fuel-efficiency for U.S. sales growth, diesels coming 2013

Mazda said that it’s making ‘real-word’ fuel-efficiency a part of its brand that has previously touted sport handling. Mazda aims to increase U.S. sales volume by 74 percent by mid-decade from 2010.

Next week, Mazda will kick of sales of the new 2012 Mazda3 with a new SKYACTIV 2.0 liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. Prices for the entry-level Mazda3 i Touring models with the new SKYACTIV 2.0 liter gasoline engine start at $18,450. EPA-rated fuel-economy comes in at 40 mpg on the highway.

While we haven’t driven it yet, Robert Davis, Mazda’s senior vice president of U.S. operations, says that the new Mazda3 with SKYACTIV gets 40 mpg highway without slowing acceleration.

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Click here to view pictures of the 2012 Mazda3.

“It’s not acceptable to us have 40 mpg and sacrifice performance,” Davis said.

Mazda plans on offering that engine on the new CX-5 due next year as well. The company plans on adding diesel models by 2013.

The brand’s U.S. sales hit 229,556 in 2010 and could exceed 250,000 this year. Mazda’s new annual sales target is 400,000 units by mid-decade.

– By: Omar Rana

Source: Automotive News