Citing what they say is a need ”to accommodate final emissions testing and certification,” Mazda confirmed that the U.S. launch of the diesel powered Mazda6 will be delayed from the end of this year until late April 2014.
Earlier, Robert Davis, senior vice president of U.S. operations for Mazda North American Operations, had sent a letter to Mazda employees about the delay Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter turbodiesel’s availability in the Mazda6. Certification testing is apparently taking longer than the company had hoped or expected. ”I know we had discussed it being in showrooms before the end of the year, and everyone involved in the program is disappointed it will not be, but final certification testing — the results of which are looking encouraging — is taking longer than we had initially expected,” Davis wrote. Mazda has eschewed hybrids and electric power in favor of diesel engines as a path forward to better fuel economy.
Even without the diesel, the new Mazda6 is doing well, with June-August sales this year doubling last year’s figures and the Automotive News reports that the car is in short supply. To make up for not having the diesel, Mazda will be allocating U.S. dealers an additional 4,000 gasoline powered Mazda6 cars in the first quarter of 2014.