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2016 Mazda2 Aims for 'Upscale' Subcompact Market 16-09-2014

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Mazda is hoping its new subcompact hatch will break away from the segment. The 2016 Mazda2 has been unveiled as the Japanese automaker's next-generation subcompact hatchback, which currently ranks 11th in the U.S. for the subcompact segment despite a 55-percent increase in sales to 11,112 vehicles through August. The crowded market has been taken over by American automakers in recent years, with models including the Ford Fiesta and Chevrolet Sonic, while the Nissan Versa is the only Japanese nameplate in the top 5 this year. The company is hoping the new Mazda2, which will arrive U.S. showrooms next year sporting a Skyactive drivetrain, body and chassis technologies will help elevate it towards the top of the pack. According to Chief Engineer Ayumu Doi, the new Mazda2 and its improved drivetrain, sportier styling and more premium interior aims to bring the model more "upscale worldwide." The 2016 Mazda2 will feature a six-speed automatic transmission, replacing the outdated four-speed unit and will also benefit from Mazda Connect, the company's smartphone connectivity system. Other new advanced features include a pre-crash auto-braking system and for the Japanese market, a head-up display. Mazda is targeting annual global sales of 200,000 units, which is close to the model's record of 212,144 units in 2011. The new Mazda2 will be manufactured in Mexico for the U.S. and Europe.
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