Mazda Canada has just announced that it will not be launching the B-segment (aka subcompact) 2. Only a year ago, Mazda was preparing to plough its way into this category with a car that most experts agreed was going to be the one to beat. This auto journo believed so.
The reasoning behind the decision is simple: the segment is not growing. In fact, it’s shrinking due in large part to cheap gas and the trend that we all love – the small crossover. By having settled the Mazda2 question, the folks at Mazda Canada can now concentrate on the aforementioned CUVs, namely the hot CX-3, the popular CX-5 and the very soon to be unveiled and reviewed CX-9.
There are other considerations as well. Whether you know it or not, Mazda’s actually a player in the subcompact segment. That new Toyota Yaris sedan you’ve probably not yet heard of? It’s a Mazda2 sedan that's been badge engineered. This car, and the likes of the Nissan Micra and others, are all fighting for a very teeny tiny bit of market share and there’s just not enough room for another player - smart move Mazda.
It’s also a sad move because I’ve driven the Yaris sedan and it’s a very good car to drive. Thus, we could expect that the 2 hatchback would have been its equal but because of the hatch, would have been the car to beat in the segment along with my beloved Micra.
It’s tough to predict if the Mazda2 (also called Demio elsewhere in the world) will ever make it to our shores (as a Mazda). Fuel prices and right sizing will dictate if and when it comes.