The Japanese automaker Mazda has commenced production on their compact hatchback the Mazda2 at their AutoAlliance factory in Thailand. Although the diminutive city car may not seem so impressive, you have to remember that it did win a few car of the year awards in its previous form and that the new car comes with an all new enticing feature, an even wider grin. The new Mazda2’s smiley face is not only more inviting than the generation that came before but it also gives the 2010 model year small city car a fun face that adds to the Japanese automaker’s Zoom-Zoom spirit of car building.
Just like the new MX-5 , the Mazda2 has undergone a design refreshening and features a new front bumper that incorporates a set of larger larger vertical air intakes as well as the new happy face five point lower grill that is going into all of Mazda’s fun to drive vehicles. A new Mazda2 also gives hope that a new open air roadster inspired version could be in the works, especially after consumers have adjusted to the new car’s playful front end. As for now, these images are pretty much all we have to go on, but we promise to get back to you with more details as they become available.
UPDATE 08/05/2010: Check out our review of the 2010 Mazda2 by clicking here!
Press release after the jump.
Mazda Motor Corporation today announced that it has commenced production of the Mazda2 (known as Mazda Demio in Japan) at the new passenger car plant at AutoAlliance Thailand Co., Ltd. (AAT), a joint venture manufacturing facility with Ford Motor Company. Mazda2 units produced at AAT will be sold mainly in the ASEAN markets.
To celebrate the start of production, AAT today held a ceremony at the new passenger car plant in Rayong’s Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate. The ceremony was attended by executive officers from Mazda’s head office in Japan, including Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Masazumi Wakayama and Managing Executive Officer Yuji Nakamine.
The Thai-produced Mazda2 will be one of Mazda’s core products in the ASEAN region, with ASEAN sales targeted at approximately 20,000 units per year.
“The Thai-produced Mazda2 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 Mazda2 model will also play a pivotal role in Mazda’s global strategy,” said Mazda’s Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, Masazumi Wakayama, before the ceremony.
“Since its launch, the Mazda2 has received more than 50 awards globally, including Car of the Year in over 20 countries. In 2008, Mazda2 was named World Car of the Year, acclaimed for its beautiful design, sporty driving performance, and outstanding eco-friendly features,” added Wakayama. “I firmly believe that the Mazda2 being built at our state-of-the-art facility in Thailand will make an immense contribution toward establishing the Mazda brand in ASEAN markets and will be our main driving force in the region as we go forward.”