By on May 25, 2015

 

2016 Mazda 2

“It’ll always be there if we need it.” – Robert Davis, Senior VP Of Mazda U.S. Operations, on Mazda2.

Although the car’s been certified for sale in the United States, Mazda won’t be bringing the new 2 to American consumers. That doesn’t mean the possibility isn’t there for the future, according to Automotive News, nor does it mean the 2 won’t appear in the United States in another form.

Despite significant improvements, the fourth-generation 2 – formerly known as the Demio and a successor to the first 2 sold in the U.S. – would likely have fared little better than its predecessor.

Mazda began selling the 2 in the U.S. in 2010, at a time when consumers were mad about saving money, not just in terms of payment but also in terms of fuel. Auto consumers are now far more willing to fork over more of their hard-earned cash, even if it means extending the term of their loan.

As a result, subcompact car volume has taken a hit. Through the first four months of 2015, sales of the departing 2 and its better-selling rivals from Nissan, Hyundai, Honda, Chevrolet, Ford, Toyota, and Kia are down 4%. In fact, April was the first month this year in which subcompact sales increased on a year-over-year basis.

2010 Mazda2

Even before the recent downturn in subcompact car sales and the discontinuation of the America’s first Mazda 2, the subcompact Mazda was not among the leaders in its category. On the contrary, the opposite was true.

Since July 2010, over 58 months, Mazda has sold just 61,909 copies of the 2 in the United States. Nissan can sell that many Versas over the span of just six months.

Mazda2 sales peaked in the model’s second full year of 2012 at just 19,315 units. Yet even in 2012, the 2 ranked last in its category. Even non-traditional small cars like the Fiat 500 and late-to-the-party cars like the Dodge Dart (which only competed in the second-half of 2012) outsold the 2 in its best-ever U.S. sales year. Moreover, Mazda was able to sell six times as many copies of the 3 in 2012 as the 2.

Now, with the CX-3 junior crossover arriving to help the compact 3 bolster Mazda’s volume, the simple cost of marketing the 2, a car which has passed U.S. regulatory hurdles, is deemed to be greater than the potential profit earned from actually selling the car.

If it’s difficult for a large automaker to create sufficient margins on high-volume subcompact cars, it’s obviously going to be far more challenging for a small automaker like Mazda to create sufficient profit of a low-volume car like the 2. While it’s true that consumers would be quick to look at the new 2 differently (there’s no 4-speed automatic, there’ll be a greater feature array including head-up display, fuel economy is said to be 20% better) it’s clear that Mazda believes what’s past is prologue. The first bound-for-America 2 flopped. The experiment didn’t pay off. Let’s not do it again.

2016 Mazda 2 fueleconomy.gov

Meanwhile, for consumers who want a Mazda 2, they’ll still be able to buy one. It won’t be a hatchback, and it won’t wear a Mazda badge. But the upcoming Scion iA is, in essence, a 2016 Mazda 2. From fueleconomy.gov, we can assume that the iA will achieve the same fuel economy as the 2 was said to achieve, since the government website is still showing that the 2 will be made available.

Timothy Cain is the founder of GoodCarBadCar.net, which obsesses over the free and frequent publication of U.S. and Canadian auto sales figures. Follow on Twitter @goodcarbadcar and on Facebook.

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54 Comments on “Mazda USA Isn’t Importing The New 2: Here’s Why...”


  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Here’s another reason why: It’s way too small inside.

    The Scion iA won’t sell, either.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Once again demonstrating how much the Canadian auto market differs from that in the USA?

    • 0 avatar
      Timothy Cain

      Old 2 wasn’t actually a raging success in Canada. Usually at or near the bottom of the subcompact segment. But yes, because subcompacts fare better in Canada than they do in the U.S., the 2 does, as well. In that best year of 2012, for example, Mazda USA only sold 4X more 2s than Mazda Canada, even though the U.S. auto market was nearly 9X larger than Canada’s.

      • 0 avatar
        Boff

        So is the new 2 coming to Canada or not? I test-drove the old one and was unimpressed; I could not perceive the snick-snick shifter and tossable handling that others had raved about. I ended up buying a Fiat 500, which although it had neither of those things, at least had some style, a good stereo, and some modicum of infotainment gear.

        • 0 avatar
          Richard Chen

          http://en.media.mazda.ca/index.php?s=20295&item=122567

          RICHMOND HILL, ON (March 5, 2015) – The launch of the all-new 2016 Mazda2 in Canada has been delayed from its previously announced late-summer 2015 timing. The new launch timing is now 2016.

          Mazda Canada decided to postpone the launch of the Mazda2 in Canada in order to focus on the launches of the all-new 2016 CX-3 and all-new 2016 MX-5.

          Further information on the program, including detailed launch timing for Canada, will be available at a later date, closer to launch.

        • 0 avatar
          Mackie

          I wasn’t impressed either. Fred Flintstone’s car had a smoother ride than this thing. Noisy as heck, too.

          I’m sure the new one will be much improved, though.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      Like the B-class.

      What’s up with that thing?

      (I was in Vancouver for the weekend. I saw two B-classes, and I still don’t understand that vehicle.

      On the way up, while still in WA, I saw a Delica with BC plates heading home.

      *That*, I understand.)

    • 0 avatar

      Yes. The cars are more expensive and there is VAT applied. One data point can be found via my Acura. Over time, the bluetooth module dies. A US based replacement is @$200. A Canada replacement is @$650. The only difference is that the CA version will speak french, which can’t be a $400 expense.

      The Canada market has lots of lower end “not in the US” versions of cars we get as well.

      I would also opine that Canadians are less “showy”, so less likely to buy above their pay grade than Muricans, but that is just a wild ass guess on my part.

  • avatar
    VoGo

    Maybe Toyota will replace the Yaris with the 2 in the US?

  • avatar
    Akrontires

    I am a Mazda dealer in Colombia so obviously I´m hugely biased. With that said, the new Mazda 2 is an amazing vehicle. Light years ahead of the prior generation. Has a beautiful interior, is fun to drive and gets incredible gas mileage. I´m happy that they aren´t bringing it to the States only as that means there will be more availability here. Our biggest problem with the car is that there isn´t enough supply to meet our demand!

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      Spoken like a salesman.

      And I suppose it’s crampy insides are a heart healthy inducement for owners to avoid obesity.

      • 0 avatar
        Akrontires

        Sorry. But as I´m probably the only person on TTAC to actually own this car I thought I would give my perspective. I was upfront about my bias.

        Its a nice car period. I´m a big guy. There is plenty of room for me in the driver´s seat bit cramped in the passenger seat as it doesn´t move up and down like the driver´s seat.

        I actually liked the old 2 as well but I wouldn´t have wanted to drive it all the time. Penalty box interior. That is definitely no longer the case.

        • 0 avatar
          RideHeight

          Thanks. More objective, less subjective emoting. Bias is fine if it comes with supporting facts.

          • 0 avatar
            Akrontires

            You are talking about needing facts while all of you guys are opining about this vehicle without ever having seen or driven it? Give me a break. What is your bias?

          • 0 avatar
            Akrontires

            I was an automotive enthusast and TTAC reader prior to being a car dealer. Plus, I am quite sure there are no TTAC readers in my region of Colombia so whether I am pimping Mazda or being critical, it in no way impacts my business.

            I´m just giving my opinion. I drove a new BMW M3 the other day too. I thought it was amazing. Not sure what numbers you need me to google to back up that opinion.

          • 0 avatar
            RideHeight

            Well, I see it on rental lots parked next to real cars and it’s a pea-dinker.

            My bias is for vehicles on whose roofs I don’t crack my head when entering. Granted, nothing in its class appeals to me. They’re all penalty eggs (can’t even say penalty boxes anymore with these blobs).

        • 0 avatar
          VaderSS

          I rented one a few weeks ago. The only thing I did not like about it was the lack of acceleration, but it had an automatic and I’m sure the manual would have been much more fun. I was shocked at how well it handled on economy rubber.

    • 0 avatar
      DearS

      Been to Colombia twice this year. Small cars and sub-compacts are the most popular cars in Colombia A compact car is luxurious in Colombia, and once you live their it makes a lot of sense. I was very comfy in a Chevy spark in Colombia at the lower speeds typically traveled. When I took a Compact Chevy taxi it felt huge next to all the Picantos and i10s. The Kia Rio looks awesome and mid-sized in Colombia, Really!

    • 0 avatar
      Lack Thereof

      The interior is one of the big reasons it’s not coming to the USA anymore.

      I had one as a rental. The front is OK, but the backseat is unusable for adults. I’m a relatively short guy at 5’9″ (175cm), but the roof is about 6 inches too low for even me to be able to sit upright in the back seat. You either have to sit hunched forward, staring at the floor, or fold your head forward so your chin is laying on your chest.

      If they’d just squared off the rear roofline, a la Chevy Spark or Nissan Versa, it would have been a fantastic car.

      • 0 avatar
        RideHeight

        “If they’d just squared off the rear roofline..”

        So many otherwise great vehicles of the past 8 years suffer from that, the HR-V being one of the latest.

  • avatar

    I rented a 2 in the spring of ’12. it was a dog of a car. Really low power (and I very happily drive an ’08 Civic (stick)), none of the vaunted Mazda handling. Although I greatly enjoyed my trip to Seattle, I can remember vividly getting into my own car again, at around 11pm at Logan Airport, starting the engine, and feeling the responsiveness as I took off.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Getting the stick instead of the rental auto you had helps a lot. It’d still feel slower (and is) compared to your Civic, but it’s not quite so bad. Not helping either is that the powerband is pretty much nonexistent below 3000rpm. That said, being that hamstrung with the automatic would absolutely kill its US prospects. It’ll be interesting to see how the iA does with two extra gears, and a little extra torque.

      I find mine plenty fun to fling around town too, although that’s subjective.

      • 0 avatar

        At least in the one I drove, the handling was very underwhelming. I could have gotten into the car had it had good handling and steering, even without any power. (I’ve thought, after trying them a couple of times, that a Smart would be fun with a stick. And I greatly enjoyed driving an old (’76) Beetle last year.

        I also rented a Fiat in ’11, which was comparable to the Mazda I rented. Again, a stick would have helped, but there was no crispness in the handling and steering.

  • avatar

    This is disappointing because the iA is downright homely.

  • avatar

    No surprise to anyone. Compared to, say, the Fiesta…
    A) Mazda doesn’t have the dealer network to push the 2 on payments/lease/etc.
    B) You can option up the Fiesta like a bastard, not so with the 2.
    C) The 2 is homely as hell with an outdated interior compared to the Fiesta.
    D) No one knows what the 2 is. Great advertising, Mazda.

    fin

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I don’t think people want either model by and large, if it is purchased it is sold on price.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      Why would anyone in the US option up a subcompact car? Isn’t what what the next size up is for?

      I seriously doubt the Fiesta has a better interior than the new 2.

      Mazda has been burning off inventory of the old 2 for the better part of a year. Since they don’t plan to sell the 2 here, why would they advertise it?

  • avatar
    neit_jnf

    the Mazda2 will be sold in Puerto Rico, which means Mazda had to test the car to U.S. safety and environmental standards.

    You don’t have to settle for the oddly looking Scion sedan Mazda2. Just buy the hatchback in PR and ship it over. In order to be sold in PR is has to be certified by EPA and meet Federal safety regulations so it will be completely legal to bring it over from PR and register it in your home State.

    • 0 avatar
      sproc

      Interesting, but it has to cost what, at least $1000 to ship to the continental US? And even if you had a friend or relative who in PR who could both take delivery and get it to the docks in San Juan at no cost, you’d have to tack on travel and transport costs of picking it up somewhere like Jacksonville or Tampa (or pay further to have it shipped to your door somewhere else). If you’re shopping in the Mazda 2 end of the new car market, this sounds insane. It would be one thing if you were bringing in a fully federalized RS6 Avant, but this makes no sense.

      • 0 avatar
        28-Cars-Later

        Depends on what you pay for it.

      • 0 avatar

        One shipping company quotes $825 to ship a ’14 Mazda2 from San Juan to Jacksonville. To ship to New Jersey is a bit more than a thousand dollars.
        Another company quotes $851 to ship a car from PR to FLA.

        I wonder if Mazda ships cars directly through the Panama Canal to Puerto Rico or if they transship through the continental U.S.

        • 0 avatar
          jhefner

          I have seen auto transport ships make their way up the Houston Ship Channel while riding the ferry to Galveston. I am pretty sure they are Panamax ships that will just fit in the Canal.

          Offloading them on the west coast, transhipping them across the United States, then putting them on a boat again for PR just does not make sense to me from a logistics point of view.

          • 0 avatar
            chaparral

            Jhefner,

            It would make no sense to offload – transship – reload for cars coming from Japan to Puerto Rico.

            However, the new 2 is made in Mexico. It is US-certified and sold in Puerto Rico.

            Therefore, all you have to do to get your Mazda2 is to speak Spanish. Contact a dealer in Puerto Rico, and say that you want Mexican factory delivery (like a BMW in Germany). Obtain PR license plates and registration for the car by mail, fly to the plant in Mexico, have a local (same-city) Mazda dealer prepare the car for customer delivery, and drive the car home for probably less than what MazdaUSA would charge for local delivery.

            What would stop you is if Mazda Corporate interfered with a sale of a car to someone who’s going well out of his way to purchase it. A pigheaded automaker like Chrysler might, but little minnow Mazda might go for it, especially for a group buy of 5 or 10 cars from the same region.

            PS: Chrysler would not do factory delivery on a new Ram to someone who lived close enough to the Warren Truck plant to walk there and pick his new truck up.

  • avatar

    The Mazda 2 is one of those vehicles I forget exists except for the rare times i see one on the road.

    I guess i’m not the target market for this car. But maybe nobody is.

    • 0 avatar
      Trichobezoar

      My wife rented a 2 last year and really liked it. We currently have an 2007 Mazda 3 and were kinda dismayed that all of the new 3s are almost as big as the 6 now.

      Currently we’re hoping/waiting for the CX-3 to hit the mildly-used market soon. While we like to think we have no interest in the “CUV” segment, that thing is still based on the 2, about the same size as our 2007 3, and hopefully has better ground clearance and AWD that we’d find useful given how often we’d bottom out with our current car.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Who’d a thunk 20 years ago that Nissan, GM, and Ford would be among the subcompact leaders, Mazda would have given up, Toyota wasn’t even in the race and should just give up, and Honda can’t keep up with the top sellers.

    Whacky!

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      It was pretty foreseeable in 1995 that Honda and Toyota would have moved upmarket while Ford, GM and Nissan would be bottom-feeding if they were still around.

  • avatar
    spw

    i dont quite get this – didnt they build new plant in Mexico for Mazda2? Why the comments on not being able to get the car then in autonews? They have something like 100k extra capacity in that plant, after they build Scion.

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      I would assume some of that 100k is allocated for the Yaris when that program starts up.

      Mazda could allocate some 2’s to the US, but they’ll get a better return devoting their efforts to selling CX3s and Miatas.

      • 0 avatar
        spw

        There wont be Mazda2 Yaris…. thats Scion model. 50k for Scion is huge, it doubles the sales of all of their cars combined. Even Yaris itself sells 2k per month.

        So maybe Mazda2 will be exported from Mexico worldwide?

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          The Mazda2 made in Mexico is to provide all of the Americas. The main market for the 2 should be Latin America. They have little if any presence in Brazil, so that could be a big growth area for them.

          • 0 avatar
            spw

            Mazda 2 is pretty expensive so I doubt it will be big in emerging countries… I bet they will export this worldwide, 100k extra capacity is a lot for Mazda.

  • avatar
    pbwe_

    I’ve rented an automatic M2, and this was enough to provoke interest in a manual. I’ve test driven a couple of manuals and this led to investigating performance improvements. Overall, the things that most posters seem to prioritize are not relevant for me. I like simple and direct car that will be long term enjoyable to drive and inexpensive to own.
    I test drove a Ford Focus, and the modern microprocessor intervention of the thing was a turn-off; all the redundant/inscruitable notifications, warning noises, restrictions on actions, and alarms going off cause a certain anxiety in me. I prefer the simple function of older generation cars. As a technical Luddite, I appreciate the unembellished simple interior of the M2 with all the clearly/simply rendered functions. I anticipate the M2 interior will last far longer with its basic aesthetic intact than the 02 VW Golf I owned, the interior of which disintegrated around me despite attentive care (among the laundry list of other materials failings).
    I’ve sat in a new M2 in Singapore, and it is significantly upscale by comparison to the previous gen M2, but the prev gen 2 has all the quality of materials and function I would ever need, and with suspension mods all the handling I could hope for at a modest price. I’ve test driven the other comparably priced/sized competition, but none are enjoyable to drive as the M2. I’ve missed multiple opportunities to pick one up with less than 20k mi. for 10k$ or less (being often out of the country), but such are the possibilities. For spirited driving in constrained cosmopolitan environments, it is more than adequate, and the car has done well where it is entered in autocross, which attests to its high basic handling capability. The worst problem of the car in my mind is the large gearing difference between 1st and 2nd. The Mazduh engineer/projMgr responsible for this should be fired.

  • avatar
    redav

    It’s still known as the Demio–in Japan. I think due to Japanese law not permitting trademarks of such generic terms like “Mazda2,” they are forced to use “Demio,” “Alexa,” etc., for their model names. I do not know if those names have been used anywhere else.

  • avatar

    It’s easy for Mazda to blame the failure of the 2 in the US on American’s dislike of hatchbacks, and then make the assumption that this next 2 will endure the same the fate. However, popular hatchbacks like the Sonic, Versa, and Fit prove otherwise.

    I rented a 2 several years ago, and it was the most awful car I had driven in years. The engine was pretty gutless, the interior was full of hard, dull plastics, fuel economy was pathetic for a car its size (32mpg highway!?), and it just felt cramped and tinny. I remember the engine being extremely loud and relentless and it seemed as though the sound insulation was made of old Chinese newspapers. I drove the car about 250 miles in a day, and it brought back the stigma of a penalty box. Couldn’t wait to get rid of it.

    And then Mazda had the nerve to charge $16k for a base model, and close to $20k for a Touring model of this car? So not worth it much better cars available for the same price, if not less.

    Sure, the handling was good, but most subcompact buyers don’t care too much about that. The car made an awful impression on my drive, and wouldn’t be too impressive on the showroom floor or on a test drive for the average consumer. Especially when the more substantial Sonic, immensely roomier Fit or Versa, and more frugal Fiesta were available for the same price, if not less

    • 0 avatar
      RideHeight

      “Sure, the handling was good, but most subcompact buyers don’t care too much about that.”

      Exactly. Except for well-to-do edge cases, no Americans buy little crampy cars unless they have to. Objectively, who can blame us when we would have to coexist at 80 mph with all those big scary things on the road? Not to mention just plain hatred of being cramped and blind in traffic?

      “Handling” is as esoteric and rare a concern here as is opera. And we LUUUV hatches as long as they’re on CUVs or larger.

  • avatar
    Truckducken

    Dear Lord, this thread is a mess. I came here to read about the new M2, and all anyone can think to point out is that the previous one sucked six ways from Sunday. Nice to know, and thanks for sharing, but let’s get back on topic.

    This new unit bagged Japan’s Car of Year award and sounds like a much better offering inside and out. I’m disappointed to see Mazda passing on the US, and hope they reconsider once the sales rush for the new CX-3 and Miata has died down. There’s a market for small cars here, but the penalty box market is particularly tiny and the Versa already owns it.

    • 0 avatar
      chaparral

      Here’s the problem – the old 2 didn’t “suck six ways to Sunday”. Car and Driver thought it was the 3rd-best car in class. It was light, quick (0-60 in the high 8s with a manual), roomy enough for 4 average-sized people, and easy on consumables.

      You’d think the TTAC Skinflintariat would’ve loved it.


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