New Demio has won Mazda its fifth Japan Car of the Year award

New Demio has won Mazda its fifth Japan Car of the Year award

Mazda’s Demio – known as the 2 outside Japan – is Japan’s Car of the Year for 2014-15, the fifth time the automaker has won the award.

The award was announced in Tokyo on Monday. All passenger vehicles with an expected annual sales volume of more than 500 units, announced or launched in Japan between 1 November, 2013 and 30 September, 2014 are eligible.

The last Mazda to be named Car of the Year Japan was the CX-5 in 2012.

The award comes as Mazda Europe announced its plans to launch the super-mini which was notable by its absence from the company’s stand at the Paris motor show earlier this month  - an absence which caused a few raised eyebrows. The car is already on sale in Japan and will go on sale across Europe from early 2015.

In a statement, Mazda Europe said that it is taking an "unconventional approach" to the launch of the 2, focusing on regional events rather than major motor shows.

The media launch will start in early November at Mazda Space, the company’s new brand centre in Barcelona which will used for all future product launches.

Before the media launch, the 2 will be on display at the International Film Festival of Rome at the MAXXI Museum of 21st Century Art from 16-25 October. It will also feature at motor shows in Zurich (5-9 November), Vienna (14-18 November) and Brussels (15-25 January).