The Jiji Press reported that Mazda president Hisakazu Imaki was quoted on saying that compact cars are necessary in the long term because of rising fuel prices. Thus there is increased speculation that the automaker, well-known for its sportier cars, could bring its compact vehicles such as the Mazda2 (pictured) to the U.S. market as early as 2007.

The Mazda3 is currently the smallest Mazda sold in the U.S.

With Toyota, Honda, and Nissan bringing their compact cars next year (see here) while gas prices have dropped, Mazda will probably take a wait-and-see approach.

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