New Mazda 2 appears at last. Model will now also be built in Mexico and be basis of OEM build for Toyota NAFTA markets next year

New Mazda 2 appears at last. Model will now also be built in Mexico and be basis of OEM build for Toyota NAFTA markets next year

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After a long, seven years of the old model, Mazda has begun production of the redesigned 2 (Demio in Japan) at its Hofu Plant No. 1 in Yamaguchi, Japan. Production in Mexico, Thailand and China is expected to follow and the car will also be the basis of a Mexican OEM build for Toyota's NAFTA markets.

The new car is the automaker's fourth to get Skyactiv technology and 'Kodo-Soul of Motion' design. The worldwide launch starts with Japan this autumn.

The model will have a Connect connectivity system, and a wide range of i-Activsense advanced safety features to aid the driver in recognising and responding to hazards.

Engine options will include a new 1.5-litre clean diesel engine claimed to deliver fuel economy and eco-performance while delivering torque comparable to a 2.5-litre petrol engine and 1.3- and 1.5-litre direct injection petrol engines.

Japanese buyers will be offered the 1.5 diesel and 1.3 petrol.

Since launch in 1992, the 2/Demio has sold over 2.4m units. The latest car is generation four.

In June 2011, Mazda revealed that this 2 would be built at its new plant in Mexico as would the third generation 3. Build is also expected in Thailand and China.

The MMVO Salamanca plant in Mexico has an initial capacity of 140,000 vehicles a year, operating on two shifts. In January 2013 Mazda stated that it intends to expand the facility to 230,000 cars a year by 2016. The third generation 3 was the first model to be made at the new plant.

In November 2012, Mazda announced that MMVO would also build up to 50,000 units a year of a 2-based model for Toyota. Production is set to commence in "summer 2015". This may serve as the replacement for the Yaris in North American markets, though some sources now believe it will instead be a small car for the Scion division.

In August 2013, Mazda stated that it would also make Skyactiv petrol engines at Salamanca. This plant, which will have a capacity of 230,000 engines per year, is due to commence operations in October 2014.