Seeking to further broaden its U.S. lineup, Mazda has confirmed that it will start selling its subcompact Mazda2 model here, starting in late 2010. The firm's North American Operations' President and CEO, Jim O'Sullivan, made the announcement at a dealer meeting last week in Palm Springs, California. O'Sullivan said the decision was based on both dealer input and revisiting the overall business case for bringing a car that has done well in other world markets to the U.S. and Canada. "As consumers' tastes and attitudes toward small vehicles have changed, we now believe strongly there is a place in our lineup for a car below our current least-expensive car, the Mazda3. Mazda2 will be true to everything that makes our cars stand apart from the competition: it will be stylish, fun-to-drive and a heck of a value. In short, it will be Zoom-Zoom."
The Mazda2, also known as the Demio in Japan, comes in sedan as well as three- and five-door hatchback models, all built on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta. Mazda's diminutive front-driver has racked up an admirable international track record, collecting more than 50 awards to date, including 20 "Car of the Year" crowns as well taking 2008 World Car of the Year honors. Although releasing no further details about the version that we'll see here, Mazda will preview it at the upcoming Los Angeles Auto Show in December. Given U.S. consumer tastes, it's likely to be either the sedan or five-door, and possibly both, with motivation coming from a 1.5-liter gasoline engine.