Mazda is considering building EVs for the North American market in Mexico starting in 2028, according to a recent Automotive News report.
The Japanese automaker is planning two EVs for North America, according to the report, which cited comments from Mazda CEO Masahiro Moro, who took over from Akira Marumoto last month.
One of the planned EVs will be based on an existing architecture that can also accommodate internal-combustion and hybrid powertrains, while the other will be based on a dedicated EV platform. Both models will reportedly be introduced in the 2025-2027 timeframe, with initial production in Japan and localized North American production after that.
2023 Mazda MX-30 EV
Shifting production to Mexico would allow vehicles to qualify for federal EV tax credits. New rules include stipulations for local assembly and raw materials sourcing, but they treat vehicles assembled in Mexico the same as those assembled in the U.S. It’s likely no coincidence, then, that BMW recently announced plans to make its next-generation “Neue Klasse” EVs in Mexico, and Tesla is thought to be mulling a Mexican plant as well.
Mazda already has an assembly plant in Salamanca, Mexico, that builds the Mazda 2, Mazda 3, CX-3, and CX-30 models (not all of which are sold in the U.S.)—all with internal-combustion powertrains. The automaker’s only other North American factory is a joint venture plant with Toyota in Huntsville, Alabama, which currently builds the CX-50 crossover.
2023 Mazda MX-30 EV
Mazda first mentioned its dedicated EV platform in 2021, saying at the time that it would be ready by 2025. The automaker has also been shopping for cylindrical battery cells, potentially from Panasonic, which is building a massive factory in Kansas City, Missouri, to service the North American EV market.
Under previous CEO Marumoto, Mazda launched a business plan that calls for spending $10.6 billion on electrification through 2030. Mazda is targeting up to 40% global EV sales by that time.
But in the U.S.—and elsewhere—longer range EVs aren’t the future, it’s said. Mazda’s only current EV, the MX-30, has just 100 miles of EPA range and is as rare as an exotic sports car. A rotary range-extended MX-30 R-EV is on the way but still unconfirmed for America.