Despite numerous reports this year that Mazda was developing a next-generation rotary engine, its new CEO has confirmed it’s not in the plans for now.
According to Masamichi Kogai, Mazda’s new CEO, sales would have to reach 100,000 a year for the Japanese automaker to justify a rotary engine. In other words, it is simply not a viable commercial proposition for Mazda.
Earlier this week, Kogai also expressed his aim to see Mazda hit record sales in the U.S. by 2016, and the CEO took office in June after overhauling the company’s manufacturing.
Rotary engines were teased by the automaker itself earlier this year, with the former CEO even expressing the idea of putting a rotary in a hybrid vehicle to generate electricity that would charge the battery. But Kogai is more about numbers and making Mazda profitable for the long term. The Japanese automaker posted its first annual profit in five years, so it’s really no surprise that Kogai doesn’t want to invest into developing a rotary engine that simply won’t sell in today’s fuel-conscious market.
But he didn’t slam the door shut on the idea entirely. Kogai did state that Mazda is continuing to research in the technology since rotary engines are flexible enough to run on a wide variety of fuels, including gasoline, hydrogen and even kerosene.
[Source: Automotive News]
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