UPDATE 2-Mazda says new Mazda2 model to get 30 km/litre

* Next Mazda2/Demio first product under SKYACTIV series

* New Mazda2/Demio to go on sale in Japan in H1 2011

* CEO: not thinking of alliances other than with Ford

* Mazda shares gain 1.4 pct, vs Nikkei’s 1.7 pct drop
(Adds CEO comment on alliances, updates share price)

By Chang-Ran Kim, Asia autos correspondent

TOKYO, Oct 20 (BestGrowthStock) – Mazda Motor Corp (7261.T: ) said on
Wednesday its next Mazda2/Demio subcompact would get fuel economy
of 30 km/litre (70 mpg) without the help of an electric motor,
likely making it the most fuel-efficient gasoline car on the

The vehicle will be launched in Japan in the first half of
2011 as the first product to be equipped with Mazda’s
next-generation gasoline and diesel engine and transmission
technology, dubbed SKYACTIV.

Mazda is aiming to improve fuel economy on its cars by 30
percent by 2015 compared with 2008 levels by introducing the
SKYACTIV technology on all of its cars by around 2016. It plans
to build on its current technologies to eventually develop
hybrids, plug-in hybrids and pure electric cars beyond 2015.

Japanese minivehicle maker Daihatsu Motor Co (7262.T: ) has
also said it aims to develop a gasoline car that achieves fuel
economy of 30 km/litre — equivalent to what the “mild” hybrid
version of Honda Motor Co’s (7267.T: ) new Fit subcompact gets.

“I promise that we will offer the Demio at a lower price than
a hybrid of the same segment,” Chief Executive Officer Takashi
Yamanouchi told a news conference, declining to elaborate.

Honda’s Fit hybrid, which went on sale this month in Japan,
starts at 1.59 million yen ($19,480).

While Mazda has no hybrid system of its own, it is seen as
among the most advanced automakers in internal combustion engine
and weight reduction technology.

Mazda said its new direct injection gasoline engine achieves
big mileage improvements mainly due to the world’s highest engine
compression ratio.


Regarding news that Ford Motor Co (F.N: ) is planning to sell
most of its 11 percent stake in Mazda, worth just over $500
million, Yamanouchi repeated Mazda’s official statement that
their strategic relationship remained intact.

A source with knowledge of the matter told Reuters at the
weekend that top shareholder Ford may sell the stake in Mazda by
the end of the year. Ford and Mazda have not confirmed the plan.

“We have an agreement to continue our strategic partnership
with Ford. Therefore, we are not thinking at all of forming an
alliance with companies other than Ford,” Yamanouchi said.

“In any case, under any circumstances we believe it is
important to maintain the Mazda brand.”

Despite their wide-ranging cooperation, Mazda and Ford have
gone their separate ways in developing cleaner vehicles. Mazda in
March turned to Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T: ) for help in developing
its first hybrid car.

Mazda shares rose 1.4 percent on Wednesday, outperforming a
drop in other Japanese auto stocks and the benchmark Nikkei
average’s (.N225: ) 1.7 percent fall.
(Editing by Joseph Radford and Chris Gallagher)

UPDATE 2-Mazda says new Mazda2 model to get 30 km/litre