Mazda2: The Cheerful Cannibal?

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

The Mazda3 is a perennial TTAC ten-bester, and a top pick for those who want some fun with their practical transportation. Now Mazda President Hisakazu Imaki worries aloud to Automotive News (sub) that introducing its Mazda2 subcompact could cannibalize sales of its long-soldiering Mazda3. “The Mazda2 is a very good product, and we’ve received very strong requests from dealers. But it is still under study,” says Imaki of the 2’s chances at a North American debut. “But I must also say that I don’t regret that we haven’t been able to supply the car thus far.” Beyond cannibalization of the 3 in the short term, Imaki worries that a moderation in fuel prices could slacken demand for the 2. Mazda sister company Ford has already commited to bringing the Mazda2-based Fiesta to America, but then it doesn’t have to worry about squeezing its volume sales leader to fit the Fiesta into its portfolio. Still, Mazda would be crazy to not bring the Yaris/Fit Fighter stateside. The 3 has set a consensus standard for fun-to-drive compact cars, and bringing the Zoom-Zoom attitude to the (on fire) subcompact market could only expand Mazdas brand. Honda’s Fit sells briskly even with dealer markups, in large part because it’s economical, practical and fun to drive. For some reason, nobody at Honda worries about it munching into Civic sales. Dear Mr Imaki, your concern is well taken, but it’s largely unnecessary. For a textbook example of real automotive cannibalism, please reference GM’s Lambda Platform. And bring on the 2 already!

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Rodster205 Rodster205 on Sep 22, 2008

    Here's a thought... the 2 might INCREASE 3 sales. Why? Look at the Civic. The Civic is no longer the bottom of the Honda line. There are plenty of people (my wife included) who would never even consider the bottom car of a brand, no matter how good. We have had 2 Accords. Now, the Fit is the baby Honda, and just that simple thing makes Civics look slightly better in her eyes, and she would consider it now. The same exact thing goes for the Mazda3. I would give my left nut for a Mazdaspeed3. She won't drive a Mazda3 because it is the smallest/cheapest Mazda. If the Mazda2 arrives that will change.

  • Bloodnok Bloodnok on Sep 22, 2008

    damn you, matsuda! if you brought in a mazda2, you could almost entice me back to the dumb bastard dealer that serviced my protege5, leaving the wheel bolts on all four wheels only finger tight. or not. i think i still go for a honda ...

  • Flipper Flipper on Sep 23, 2008

    Mercury Tracer anyone?

  • Davejay Davejay on Sep 23, 2008

    I bought a Versa this time around, but I wanted a Mazda3 -- I just didn't want 21mpg city. If there'd been a Mazda2 available, even with two doors, it would have eaten a Nissan sale (assuming it's safe), not cannibalized a Mazda3 sale.