Mazda Motor Corporation has built its first 2 (known as the Demio in Japan) at Ujina Plant No.1 (U1) near company headquarters in Hiroshima.

The first off the line is bound for the Japanese market, with sales due to commence in summer 2007.

While the current model was originally intended for the domestic market, the new model has been developed into a globally competitive car. Its platform, developed by Mazda, will also underpin the next generation Ford Fiesta (which will probably have a new name) which goes into production next year.

A focus on weight reduction during its development has resulted in the redesigned car being about 100 kilograms (220lbs) lighter than its predecessor, placing it among the most fuel efficient vehicles in its class.

Additional production will begin at the Ujina Plant No.2 (U2) in June 2007. Sales will commence in Japan, followed by Europe and Australia and other markets. Production of for the Chinese market is scheduled to start at the Changan Ford Mazda Nanjing plant by the end of 2007.

The outgoing model was built for Europe at a Ford plant in Spain but the replacement will be built in Japan.