4 cm (1 1/2 inches) shorter and 100 kg (220 pounds) lighter than its predecessor, production on the new Mazda 2 has started in Japan. The car, developed together with Ford, will be assembled in Mazda's plant near Hiroshima for the Japanese market, branded as Mazda Demio and at the end of the year the production will start in the Chinese factory of Changan Ford Mazda in Nanjing.
The sales of the Mazda 2 in the European markets will start in October, although prices have yet to be announced. The choices will be initially 3 gasoline-powered engines: 1.3 liter (74 or 85 HP) and a 1.5 liter (105 HP). A month later, Mazda will also include a 1.4 l diesel in the range (rated at 70HP).
Ford is planning to sell this model in the US for 2009 as the Ford Fiesta (or perhaps another name)