The fireworks are cold, the confetti cartridges are spent, and the 2008 World Car of the Year Awards have come to an end. Based on standards of merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, significance, and emotional appeal, the three finalists were the Volvo Ford Mondeo, Mazda2/Demio and Mercedes C-Class. Don't read any further if, for some reason, you don't want to know what the 2008 World Car of the Year is and you haven't seen the photo above: the Mazda 2/Demio. What we earlier called
Featuring cars one step up from a minicar, the Japanese subcompact segment was once Mazda's turf. Recently, the company has lost ground to Toyota and Honda in that category, but hopes that today's introduction of the new Demio (known as the Mazda2 elsewhere), will be the spark that brings sales numbers back up. With a starting price of 1.125 million yen ($9,170), that's not unlikely.