The CEO of Mazda, Masahiro Moro, has offered a pragmatic perspective on the electric vehicle (EV) landscape, emphasizing the ongoing challenges and consumer preferences in an interview with Fortune. Moro, while acknowledging the significance of EV technology, presented a nuanced viewpoint, suggesting that the EV market is not evolving as rapidly as anticipated.
Moro's interview highlighted the growing presence of Tesla in the EV sector, noting that, in the U.S., Tesla accounted for 57% of the 8% EV market share this year. Expressing concerns, Moro stated that non-Tesla EVs are struggling to gain traction, leading to inventory accumulation. Mazda, known for its one electric car offering, has faced challenges aligning with the momentum observed in the market, as per Moro's remarks.
“EV is absolutely important technology, and we are developing it. But [in the U.S.] EVs last year [were] about 6% of the market. This year it is 8%. And out of that 8%, 57% was Tesla. Other EVs are not taking off, inventory is piling up.” said Moro
Moro reiterated the importance of consumer choice and social infrastructure in driving the electric vehicle transition. He suggested that Mazda's approach to achieving zero emissions would be determined by consumer preferences, echoing the sentiment that companies should align their pace with consumer readiness for new technologies.
“Quite honestly, the demand has always been low. It's just slow. It's not where it needs to be. The demand is low because the infrastructure is low.” said Moro
While major automakers have set ambitious targets for emissions-free vehicles, smaller players like Mazda and Enterprise appear to be adopting a more cautious stance, aligning their strategies with market dynamics and consumer demand.
As the industry grapples with the balance between energy transition imperatives and consumer-driven timelines, the evolving conversation is expected to play a central role in global forums such as the Fortune Global Forum and COP 28 in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, respectively.