As new hybrids flood the market, Mazda is stepping back and taking a long look at making gas engine vehicles greener and more attractive to the drivers of the world. It’s a trend that many automakers are starting to consider, as experts are starting to question the actual long-term viability of hybrids.
In other words, the Hybrid Honeymoon is over. Once touted as the cars of the future, hybrids are being criticized on many levels, including cost and performance. Toyota is considering lowering prices on their hybrids, and those companies with hybrids coming out soon are starting to sweat bullets.
People initially flocked to hybrids, especially the Toyota Prius, when gas prices spiked. But, now that they’re back within a reasonable range, folks are starting to look at other alternatives. Mazda is on top of this trend, and this announcement is a result of the change in the marketplace.
Mazda sees hybrids as a small niche that will quickly evaporate as carmakers develop new ways to squeeze more mileage out of conventional gas engines. If they’re right, it could mean the end of the hybrid era.
Read the Detroit News article after the jump: