2010 Mazda2 (Thailand-spec) - Click above for high-res image gallery

Mazda has just announced that it has commenced production of the Mazda2 subcompact in Thailand. No big deal, right? Well, not in and of itself, but the Japanese automaker also released three images of the car, and its sporting a revised front fascia that mimics that of its big brother, the Mazda3.

Mazda doesn't specifically indicate that all new 2s worldwide will get the smiley face treatment, but it seems likely that the automaker would want to keep all of its products in line with one another. Presumably, that would include the United States, which is slated to get the subcompact near the end of 2010.

In any case, we're expecting to see the car make its debut in North American-spec later this year at the LA Auto Show, so we'll know for sure if it will sport the new look soon enough. Check out the photo galleries below to compare the new car with the old.


Mazda Commences Production of Mazda2 at New Passenger Car Plant in Thailand

HIROSHIMA, Japan-Mazda Motor Corporation today announced that it has commenced production of the Mazda2 (known as Mazda Demio in Japan) at the new passenger car plant at AutoAlliance Thailand Co., Ltd. (AAT), a joint venture manufacturing facility with Ford Motor Company. Mazda2 units produced at AAT will be sold mainly in the ASEAN markets.

To celebrate the start of production, AAT today held a ceremony at the new passenger car plant in Rayong's Eastern Seaboard Industrial Estate. The ceremony was attended by executive officers from Mazda's head office in Japan, including Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer Masazumi Wakayama and Managing Executive Officer Yuji Nakamine.

The Thai-produced Mazda2 will be one of Mazda's core products in the ASEAN region, with ASEAN sales targeted at approximately 20,000 units per year.

"The Thai-produced Mazda2 will be a key element in Mazda's future growth in the ASEAN region, which is continuing to see growing demand for small cars. We consider that the Mazda2 model will also play a pivotal role in Mazda's global strategy," said Mazda's Director and Senior Managing Executive Officer, Masazumi Wakayama, before the ceremony.

"Since its launch, the Mazda2 has received more than 50 awards globally, including Car of the Year in over 20 countries. In 2008, Mazda2 was named World Car of the Year, acclaimed for its beautiful design, sporty driving performance, and outstanding eco-friendly features," added Wakayama. "I firmly believe that the Mazda2 being built at our state-of-the-art facility in Thailand will make an immense contribution toward establishing the Mazda brand in ASEAN markets and will be our main driving force in the region as we go forward."

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