Impressive opening speech from Mazda's chief, Takashi Yamanouchi, at the Los Angeles motor show, and he expressed sentiments I know will resonate with many Autocar readers.

Yamanouchi, who became president in 2008 just as the world economy collapsed, has been with Mazda 44 years. He understands both the company and car business and expresses his views with an unusually straightforward approach.

Take this; electric cars are for the future, he says. By 2020, five per cent of car sales will be electric at best. Until obstacles such as cost, range and charging times are overcome, they are not for Mazda, at least as mainstream production vehicles.

Better, he reasons, to work on the three pillars of improving the internal combustion engine, honing automatic transmission technology and reducing vehicle weight by at least 100kg for every new production model. And, all the while, building cars that are fun to drive.

The results are already there to see - Mazda's range is 30 per cent  more fuel efficient than in 2008 and will be 30 per cent more fuel efficient again by 2015. There is also a sporting edge to much of the range that rungs true to Yamanouchi's ethos.

“The key to success for Mazda in the future us not the size of the company, but how we connect with our customers," he concluded. "We believe we will be building cars they want.”