Inspiring People through Cars Sustainable with the Earth and Society
President and CEO
Mazda Motor Corporation
Cherishing Mazda’s uniqueness to continue to thrive and grow
The automotive industry is currently experiencing a once-in-a-century transformation. Reform is required in numerous areas including product planning, development, production, sales and services in order to respond to the demands of this period as represented by CASE—an acronym used to designate the new technologies of Connected technology, Autonomous driving technology, Shared services, and Electrification technology. To ensure that Mazda overcomes this time of great change, and continues to thrive and grow, we must cherith and co-create Mazda’s uniqueness together with everyone involved with Mazda.
Promoting initiatives for three priority areas defined under the Medium-Term Management Plan
We announced our Medium-Term Management Plan in November 2019, based on the philosophy of "co-creation of uniqueness with others." As the first stage for the next 100 years, we defined three focus areas: investment in unique products, technologies and customer experience; curbing expenses that depreciate our brand value; and investment in areas in which we need to catch up. In FY March 2020, steady progress was made in our initiatives for these priority areas, including the commercialization of new technology in response to CASE.
Status of initiatives for priority areas (As of October 2020)
1. Investment in unique products, technologies and customer experience
- ■Commercialization of new technology in response of CASE
- ・Environmental technologies
- -Mazda EV battery system developed in-house
- -New-generation gasoline engine, Skyactiv-X
- -Mild hybrid system, Mazda M Hybrid
- ・Connected technologies and services
- -Starting services in Japan, the United States and Europe
- ・Advanced safety technologies linked to automated driving technology
- ・Environmental technologies
- ■New-generation products—1st: MAZDA3, 2nd: CX-30, 3rd: MX-30
- ■Continuing and strengthening investments to reinforce sales networks
2. Curbing expenses that depreciate our brand value
- ■Improving sales quality by curbing marketing expenses
- ■Reducing marketing expenses by improving product quality
3. Investment in areas in which we need to catch up*
- ■Initiatives to address social issues
- ・Testing of a shared mobility service in Miyoshi City, Hiroshima Prefecture (since December 2018)
- ■Establishing a next-generation biodiesel fuel value chain (Since August 2020)
- ■Continuing and strengthening industry-academia-government collaboration promoted by the Hiroshima Council of Automotive Industry-Academia- Government Collaboration
*Investment in infrastructure, building partnerships, and environment and safety (related to people, local community, SDGs and CSR)
In September of FY March 2021, Mazda launched in Europe its first mass-production EV model, the MX-30. In Japan, a mild hybrid model of the MX-30 was launched in October, while the EV model is due to be released in January 2021.
Capitalize on learning from the COVID-19 pandemic to reform our business structure and make it more resilient to future crises
Since March 2020, the global pandemic has significantly impacted management at Mazda. However, we have learned and reflected over things by taking the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to look back on the past, analyze the present, and contemplate the future. We have been undertaking efforts to speed up reforms of work style, review and optimize operations, accelerate the streamlining of fixed costs, balance inventories and production, and review our investment methods and efficiency.
Making the most of these trying times, we will revise the Medium-Term Management Plan, and will look to reform our business structure to become more resilient.
Carrying forward stakeholder initiatives, despite current harsh conditions
Despite the current harsh conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazda strives to contribute to resolving social issues, and proactively promote stakeholder initiatives.
The Company places the highest priority on the health and safety of its employees, their families and the local community, and is making efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Specifically, Mazda ensures employees’ health and safety by avoiding close-contact settings through such measures as increasing the number of employees working from home, and staggering employee working hours. We have also opened an internal portal for infection response that provides information regarding infectious diseases. As a vehicle manufacturer, Mazda is providing as much support as possible to all the people on the frontline, working tirelessly day and night, including members of the central and local governments, healthcare professionals, and members of local communities. Additionally, keeping true to the spirit of coexistence and mutual prosperity, Mazda is offering assistance to suppliers affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Besides our actions to curb the spread of COVID-19, Mazda continues to support natural disaster-affected areas as part of its efforts to contribute to local communities. For example, to support recovery work in the areas stricken by the heavy rain of July 2020, we made monetary donations and provided vehicles and relief supplies, including gloves, surgical masks, sandbags and kits of Mazda original items useful for spending the night in a car.
Carry forward CSR initiatives to contribute toward achieving SDGs
Mazda will strengthen its investment in safety and the environment, in order to fight climate change and enhance road traffic safety, primary issues for all automobile manufacturers. We will also promote activities to help enrich people’s lives by capitalizing on Mazda’s technologies and resources.
In regard to the environment, we strive to establish a value chain of next-generation biodiesel fuel, aiming to spread carbon neutral biofuels as alternatives to fossil fuels. In collaboration with the government and other companies, Mazda began a project to conduct a virtual power plant demonstration test for reusable technology of EV drive batteries. As exemplified by these activities, Mazda is working to reduce environmental impact, from both the perspective of well-to-wheel CO2 emissions, and the perspective of life cycle assessment that evaluates the environmental impact of vehicles across their entire life cycle, from the purchase of materials to final disposal.
Looking at safety, Mazda launched an acceleration suppression device in Japan that activates when the driver pushes the wrong pedal, to help prevent accidents caused by drivers mistakenly stepping on the accelerator instead of the brakes. With the goal of realizing a motorized society free of traffic accidents, we strive to develop more advanced safety technologies under the Mazda Proactive Safety Philosophy.
Mazda vehicles have been highly acclaimed by external organizations for their outstanding safety performance. For example, many Mazda 2020 models currently on sale in the United States received the highest safety ratings from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as a result of the IIHS evaluation of safety performance, which includes crashworthiness, crash avoidance and mitigation.
In terms of our initiatives for people, we are vigorously implementing initiatives for the purpose of creating a society where people can live healthy peaceful lives. As part of its support activities during the global pandemic, Mazda has offered local governments in Japan vehicles for the transportation of carriers of COVID-19 showing mild or no symptoms. In the United States, Mazda offered the Essential Car Care program, which provides free oil changes and car cleaning services for eligible healthcare workers.
We will clarify the relationship between our Medium-Term Management Plan and the targets of the SDGs, to make it easier to understand both our initiatives to address social issues through our business activities and our contributions toward the achievement of the SDGs.
We will make continuous efforts to take up the challenge of attaining our ideal for the Mazda brand, seeking enhancement of corporate value, while also promoting CSR activities to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs even within the significantly changing external environment.
Looking ahead to the next 100 years
Mazda Motor Corporation celebrated its 100th anniversary on January 30, 2020.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the customers, dealers, suppliers, business partners and the local community, who have all supported us over the years, and to whom we owe our 100 years of existence. As we look ahead to the next 100 years, we will continue to put people first and cherish our “uniqueness of co-creating with others”. As we strengthen co-creation with all those connected to the Company, we will continue to challenge ourselves to create unique products, technologies and experiences that our customers love, and continue to grow as a sustainable company.