Mazda Motor Corporation has started production of the 2 -  Demio in Japan - at its new passenger car plant at AutoAlliance Thailand (AAT), its joint venture manufacturing facility with shareholder Ford.

Cars assembled at AAT will be sold mainly in ASEAN markets and the Thai-produced 2 will be one of the company's core products in the region with sales targeted at around 20,000 units a year.

Senior managing executive pfficer Masazumi Wakayama, said: "The Thai-produced 2 will be a key element in Mazda's future growth in the ASEAN region, which is continuing to see growing demand for small cars. We consider that the model will also play a pivotal role in [our] global strategy."