Mazda Demio goes on sale in Japan

The new Mazda2 has officially gone on sale in Japan, several months after the car made its world debut at the Geneva Motor Show. Known locally as the Demio, the new B-segment model, now in its third generation, has some big shoes to fill. Previous generation Demios were Mazda's most popular models in the Japanese domestic market, selling 1,040,000 units since its introduction in 1996.

For its latest version, Mazda expects to sell up to 5,000 units per month, which shouldn't be hard seeing as it weighs 100kg less than the outgoing model and features top class fuel economy, safety, performance and comfort levels. The Japan spec model comes with the newly developed, naturally aspirated MZR 1.3L Miller-cycle engine and an optional CVT, which gives it a fuel efficiency of 54mpg.

We can't wait to see what Ford does with the platform when it introduces its own version of the car towards the end of the decade.

[Source: Mazda]

Click ahead for the full press release.
Mazda Motor Corporation has announced the Japanese launch of the fully redesigned Mazda Demio (known overseas as the all-new Mazda2) which goes on sale at all Mazda, Mazda Anfini and Mazda Autozam dealers throughout Japan from today, July 5, 2007. The target sales volume for the all-new Demio is 5,000 units a month. Prices range from 1,125,000 to 1,580,000 yen (including tax).

The first generation Mazda Demio went on sale in August 1996. It heralded a new trend in the compact car segment for exceptional space and functionality in a conveniently compact vehicle. The second generation Demio improved on the characteristically Mazda-like driving dynamics and became a popular choice for many consumers. As of May 2007, the Demio had a total production volume in Japan of over 1,040,000 units and has become Mazda's biggest selling model in the Japanese market. The all-new third generation Demio was developed using a "personal smart commuter" concept, with the emphasis on emerging modern values such as increased concern for environmental and safety issues and a greater emphasis on design.

The all-new Demio offers driver-friendly functionality and packaging as well as individual styling that makes you want to get in and drive it. The design team aimed to inherit the fun-to-drive Zoom-Zoom DNA that is common to all Mazda vehicles and balance it with top class fuel economy, safety performance and comfort levels. By completely redesigning the body and chassis, the new Demio is around 100 kilograms lighter than the previous model*. The Demio 13C-V grade combines Mazda's newly developed, naturally aspirated MZR 1.3L Miller-cycle engine with continuously variable transmission (CVT) to achieve top class 10-15 mode fuel efficiency of 23.0 km/L (rated by Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport [MLIT]). This represents an improvement of approximately 20 percent over the previous model*. All model grades also offer superb environmental performance, with emissions at least 75 percent lower than Japan's 2005 standards.

Mazda's Representative Director, Chairman of the Board, President and CEO, Hisakazu Imaki, said, "The all-new Mazda Demio is a core global model and it is intended to accelerate our progress toward achieving the objectives set out in the Mazda Advancement Plan, our new mid-term plan announced in March of this year. Furthermore, this is our very first product that embodies "advanced Zoom-Zoom", offering harmony between driving pleasure and environmental and safety features, based on our long-term technology development vision, 'Sustainable Zoom-Zoom.' At Mazda, we will continue to drive our business forward through product-led growth and, at the same time, enhance our efforts to develop environmental and safety technologies to help realize a sustainable future."

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