Mazda has not given up on its unique rotary engine despite the car industry's drive towards alternative fuels and powertrains.

Often criticised in the past for its poor fuel economy, the rotary engine remains very much in the minds of the Japanese company's engineers, according to Jeremy Thomson, managing director of Mazda UK.

He said: "The engineers still talk about it a lot and it could come back. We don't want to lose the technology."

While other car makers pursue the electric vehicle or hybrid approach, Mazda continues to engineer environmental improvements to existing technologies through its Skyactiv programme, such as lightweight materials, stop start and regenerative braking.

Thomson said: "There is currently a resurgence in the brand with the introduction of new and updated models and our dealers are now making money. Yes, over the past few years, Mazda has seen some significant losses but we are now putting the meat back on the bones.

"Currently there is a dramatic difference in sales performance in the UK, where Mazda is growing, and the rest of Europe. In the UK we are seeing more confidence among consumers than is currently being experienced Europe. We are also seeing that buyers are not so much attracted by overt 0% finance offers but more towards affordable finance and servicing packages."

Mazda sold 25,000 cars in the UK in 2012 and expects to increase this to 30,000 this year.

Thomson added: "We would like to get back to the 2.5% market share we had in 2008 and I believe we can do it. The interesting thing is that three years after the scrappage incentives, how many people will be returning to the new car market? We exceeded our run rate during scrappage and hopefully we can hang on to some of those customers."