Mazda will invest $11B into electrification in catch-up plan

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Seeking help from friends is one way Mazda, with its limited scale, can spread development and manufacturing costs. Among the partnerships announced in the mid-term plan is the team-up with Rohm, which will develop silicon-carbide power semiconductors for electrified cars.

Another is a new joint venture called MHHO Electric Drive Co. to develop electric drive units. It bands together suppliers Ondo Corp., Hiroshima Aluminum Industry Co., and Hirotec Corp.

Another venture, called Mazda Imasen Electric Drive Co., will develop inverters. It will be a 50-50 deal between Mazda and Imasen Electric Industrial. A third will develop electric vehicles motors. MCF Electric Drive Co. will join Mazda, Fukuta Electric & Machinery and Chuo Kaseihin.

“We will proceed with electrification step by step with our partner companies,” Marumoto said. “We will need to have technologies for battery and electric drive units in-house.”

Mazda’s new midterm plan stretches to 2030 and will prioritize revenue per vehicle and profitability over volume. Under its current plan, Mazda has said it expects global sales of all types of vehicles to rise to 1.8 million units in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2025.

Marumoto did not offer a revised volume target. But assuming global sales at that level or higher in 2030, the new electrification plan would amount to as many as 720,000 EVs by then.

Mazda plans to get there with the new EV platform debuting around 2025.

Marumoto detailed the previous mid-term business plan in May 2019, targeting a sustainable operating profit margin of 5 percent by the fiscal year ending March 31, 2025.

In the fiscal year ended March 31, 2022, Mazda booked an operating profit margin of 3.3 percent. But in the latest quarter of the current fiscal year, it zoomed up to 7.3 percent.

Still, in the 2019 announcement, Mazda also downgraded its long-term sales goal in line with tougher realities. Mazda’s more modest goal of 1.8 million vehicles, was trimmed from an earlier vision for selling 2 million in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024.

Naoto Okamura contributed to this report

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