1.3GDi is one of Mazdas more recent, efficient Skyactiv diesel engines

1.3GDi is one of Mazda's more recent, efficient Skyactiv diesel engines

Mazda Motor has said it would continue to develop diesel engines even as an increasing number of global carmakers turn their back on the 125 year old technology.

Its executive officer in charge of R&D, Kiyoshi Fujiwara, described diesel as one of the company's strong points, adding there was "no reason" for Mazda to stop developing the technology.

Just last week Nissan said it would shift away from diesel for its light passenger vehicle models and increasingly favour hybrids and electric vehicles (EVs).

The company said, at some point in the 2020s, it would cease diesel engine production altogether.

Fiat-Chrysler, Subaru, Volvo and Renault have also come out with similar negative statements about diesel recently. 

Fujiwara believes diesel has a future in light passenger vehicles. He noted Mazda's SUV sales have increased significantly in recent years and the benefits of diesel become more obvious the heavier the vehicle.

Mazda plans to launch electric vehicles from 2019 to compete with market leaders Toyota and Nissan but still expects the internal combustion engine to continue to power most cars worldwide for the foreseeable future.