Mazda is delaying the launch of its diesel-powered Mazda6 mid-sized sedan in the United States until the second quarter of 2014 due to delays in emissions testing. Robert Davis, senior vice president of US operations for Mazda North American Operations, disclosed to Mazda employees through a letter obtained by Automotive News that Mazda6 sedans -- powered by Skyactiv-D 2.2-liter turbodiesel -- will be rolled out to US showrooms in April 2014, instead of before the end of 2013.
Mazda later confirmed that the diesel launch of the sedan would be postponed until late-spring 2014, "to accommodate final emissions testing and certification." The delay will slow down Mazda's plan to become the only Japanese carmaker to sell a diesel-powered passenger car in the US.
Mazda opted to deviate from the current trend of launching plug-ins, hybrids and plug-in hybrids and instead chose to offer diesel-powered vehicles as a key part of its fuel economy strategy. In the letter, Davis said that final emissions certification testing on the powertrain is taking longer than Mazda expected.
A source privy with the matter told Automotive News that in lieu of the Mazda6 diesel, Mazda will provide US dealers with around 4,000 additional units of the Mazda6 sedan with regular gasoline engines in the first quarter of 2014. There is currently a shortage in gasoline-fun Mazda6 sedans after the carmaker saw its sales more than double in June, July and August 2013.