LOS ANGELES -- Mazda will enter America's rapidly expanding small-car segment when it launches the Mazda2 here in fall 2010.
The five-door hatchback, which is smaller than the Mazda3, is based on the same platform as the Ford Fiesta, which debuts in the United States next summer. The Mazda2 will compete with the Fiesta as well as such vehicles as the Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit and Chevrolet Aveo.
Mazda dealers were told of the addition to the lineup last week at their national meeting in Palm Springs, Calif. The U.S.-spec Mazda2 will be unveiled at the Los Angeles auto show in December.
The current version of the Mazda2 has been on sale in Europe and Japan since 2007 and was voted 2008 World Car of the Year by a panel of auto journalists. In Japan, it is known as the Demio.
The Mazda2's arrival in the United States will coincide with a minor midcycle face-lift. The brand's "smiling" front fascia, seen on the Mazda3, is expected to replace the existing version.