Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Mazda 2 to come to US in 2007?

According to Forbes, follow link to AutoBlog, then Forbes, the Mazda 2 may be coming to these shores in 2007. In answer to Honda, Toyota and Nissan's entry into the smaller car market in the US, Mazda may bring the Mazda 2 here to the US. Forbes speculates on whether Mazda will use one of their own plants or capacity at a Ford plant for production.

So here's a question, will Ford rebadge a version of this car for their own lineup or use the Euro Fiesta? The Fiesta is a great car and has a Diesel option that I don't believe the Mazda has. The closest we've come to a Mazda this small in the US was the Kia produced Ford Festiva, a rebadged Mazda 121.

The smaller car market is expected to grow in this country, based on rising fuel prices. Ford has options here that could let them at least keep up with the Japanese manufacturers. A new Fiesta or Mazda 2 based Ford, produced locally could help with a turn around at Ford. Time will tell.


NLPRacing said...

They do sell a diesel Mazda2 in Europe that gets something like 70 mpg. If it were available here, I would replace the Festiva with it in a heartbeat!

Big Ford Fan said...

NLP I stand corrected, Mazda does sell a Diesel 2 in Europe and according to the UK website it gets 62 mpg.

I think I actually prefer the looks of the Fiesta, but the 2 is nice.

Shawn said...

I disagree on the issue of small cars. I think small cars are just a fad.

Yes, you can argue that gas price increasing and fuel efficiency is needed...so on and so on.

Look at what happened after 1973? Many pronounced the death of big American cars. Car did get smaller, but as soon as gas prices stablized, SUVs appeared, and Americans embraced it. SUVs outsold cars for many years.

As soon as the public calms down over the very cheap $2 a gallon gas, bigger cars/trucks will sell once again.

Big Ford Fan said...

Shawn, you may be right, but there has always been a cyclical trend in these matters, even going back to the 50's. I recall my father being very proud that our Mercury Montego MX circa 1968 got 20 mpg on the highway, back in the 70's.

Just as small cars have balooned over the last decade, there will be a new wave of small cars to replace them.

Even if it's only a short trend, smaller cars will come and Ford needs to respond to this trend quickly.

I think it's funny how in the blogsphere and press, GM is praised for the Aveo. That car is a major pile of crap, no matter what MPG it achieves.

NLPRacing said...

Not that I ever stick up for Chevy, but my sister bought an Aveo (because didn't offer anything smaller than the Focus), and it's a pretty nice little car for $9000 or so that she paid for it.

Shawn said...

Yeah, but if you don't tell the "press" the car was designed by Italdesign, I bet ya it would be slammed.

Here's the problem I see. The only way you can sell a tiny little car is cheap. If you try to do a higher price models, then people will just go with a slightly bigger model with more power, comfort and practicality. When it comes to a daily driver, I see size as a need, not a desire.

How much market place is there for small cars? As you noted, the small cars of previous generations, ALL have gotten bigger and heavier.

There is a need for small cars. I question if it is large enough to handle more makes jumping in the game.

Dorri732 said...

Shawn, you say you see size as a need rather than a want.

I think I understand you are saying you need a large car rather than a small one.

In all actuality, most of us don't need a car at all, large or small. (But I really, really want one!)

When put in that perspective, a very small car will do just fine.

Big Ford Fan said...

Shawn, you may have a point, but with new smaller cars headed our way from "premium" brands like BMW and Audi, I'm not sure I agree 100%. The BMW 1 series and Audi A3 are only two examples.

Smaller cars are going to be a reality in our market, and Ford needs to be ready to compete. The Fiesta would be my choice, but even the Mazda 2 would be better than giving up on this segment.

Big Ford Fan said...

Dori, I had a Festiva, outwardly a very small car, and I used to drive around with 3 of my friends and nobody complained about space.

I loved that car, 40 mpg and a lot of fun. A perfect first car. Remember when Hyundai first came out they stole sales from used car dealers.

And like you, I feel I NEED a vehicle, or two. But I probably could live without one.