Like the look of Mazda’s rugged new US-market crossover, the CX-50? Us too. But don’t hold out hope for it going on sale here.
The firm’s UK boss, Jeremy Thomson, said: “We don’t see a role for it in Europe. It wouldn’t add anything to what we have with Mazda CX-5 today.”
He added that with the all-new, European-market CX-60 arriving here shortly, “a fifth SUV might be a bit much for a manufacturer of our scale”.
The CX-50 will be sold to US customers with either a turbocharged or naturally aspirated version of Mazda’s 2.5-litre Skyactiv-G petrol engine, paired to a six-speed automatic gearbox. Electrified options including a full hybrid will arrive later.
Volvo busted its revenue and profitability records in 2021, despite the supply chain crisis restricting its output in the fourth quarter; but of the nearly 700,000 new cars that it shipped last year, only 3.7% were EVs – a relatively small proportion for a brand that plans to ditch internal combustion entirely in just eight years.
Departing CEO Håkan Samuelsson explained that “the percentage is related to production capacity”, pledging to boost that proportion to 10% in 2022 as capacity for EV production is increased to 150,000 units per year.
“The strategy has always been, for the first step into electrification, to offer a plug-in hybrid, because we still see problems within the charging networks,” he said, pointing to PHEVs’ 27% share of Volvo sales as a sign that ploy is working.