HIROSHIMA, Japan — CEO Akira Marumoto is steering longtime internal combustion stalwart Mazda Motor Corp. through a delicate shift into the age of electrification.
Marumoto previewed the transition last month in a three-phrase business plan running through 2030. Using that road map, Mazda will plow ¥1.5 trillion ($11.07 billion) into electrification with a string of new partners, together targeting everything from batteries and motors to computer chips.
Underpinning the growth will be the rollout of two new large crossovers, the CX-70 and CX-90. Amid mounting market uncertainty, Marumoto said the priority will be sustained profitability over raw volume. But Mazda is still sticking to its target of hitting record U.S. sales in four years, after it rebounds from a supply slump that saw U.S. sales dropping 21 percent through September.
Marumoto, 65, speaking through an interpreter, talked at the company's headquarters here with Asia Editor Hans Greimel about Mazda's electrification push, future market unpredictability and his vision for the next MX-5 Miata. Here are edited excerpts.