Marumoto didn't give an exact timeline for the jump, saying only that sales will ramp up "post-2022" as the automaker shifts into a period of "strong growth." But his new target would surpass Mazda's previous U.S. sales high-water mark of 379,843 vehicles back in 1986.
Marumoto announced the target last week at the same time he delayed by a year Mazda's time frame for achieving his midterm plan. He said the company now expects to reach its goal of 1.8 million global vehicle sales and an operating profit margin of 5 percent in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2026.
That adjustment came as Mazda reported a second straight quarter of losses in the July-September period as the COVID-19 pandemic depressed global deliveries.
Mazda booked an operating loss of ¥7.6 billion ($72.0 million) in the quarter ended Sept. 30, compared with an operating profit of ¥18.8 billion ($178.0 million) the year before. At the net level, Mazda plunged to a loss of ¥26.3 billion ($249.1 million).
Mazda also booked operating and net losses in the April-June fiscal first quarter and warned it would notch a ¥40.0 billion ($378.8 million) operating loss for the full fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, reversing a ¥43.6 billion ($412.9 million) operating profit in the year earlier.
It also projected a ¥90.0 billion ($852.3 million) net loss for the current fiscal year.
Revenue slid 14 percent to ¥739.1 billion ($7.00 billion) in the July-September period. Global retail sales declined 12 percent to 334,000 vehicles; wholesale volume fell 18 percent to 255,000.
But Mazda expects its business worldwide to start rebounding in the second half of this fiscal year.
Citing a gradual recovery from the pandemic, Mazda modestly raised its North American retail sales target by 5,000 vehicles to 388,000, a decline from 397,000 last year.
As with the rest of the industry, widespread U.S. lockdowns torpedoed early sales momentum for Mazda this year.