Mazda Motor Corp. has commenced production of the next-generation Mazda2 subcompact in Hofu, Japan and has even released the first images of the production model. Based on the images, the fourth-generation Mazda2 – called Demio in Japan -- carries the sharp creases and sportier stance of the brand’s new Kodo design language.
Mazda will start selling the subcompact in Japan in the fall and in the United States in 2015. It features the full suite of Mazda’s Skyactiv technologies, like new engines, transmissions, body, and chassis. It is the fourth Mazda nameplate to get the Skyactiv makeover, following the CX-5 crossover and Mazda6 and Mazda3 sedans.
The US-bound Mazda2 is expected to be built at Mazda’s new Salamanca factory, Mexico, which the carmaker opened earlier this year. Supplemental volume for the US market may also be sourced from Japan, although the carmaker has yet to release details of its sourcing plans.
Mazda currently source all of its Mazda2s from Japan. The carmaker posted a 42-percent surge in sales of the outgoing Mazda2 in the US to 7,957 vehicles in the first half of 2014, which came on the heels of an inventory clear-out.
In 2013, Mazda posted a 39-percent drop in sales of the subcompact to 11,757, placing it near the far end of the segment.
The fourth generation Mazda2 features a new Kodo design language that comes with curvy fender flairs, sharp side creasing and shield grille. Its features a longer hood and rear-slung cabin, as accentuated by a raked rear and wheels pushed to its corners.