Mazda2: The Cheerful Cannibal?
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!
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