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by Tim Beissmann

Mazda Australia has confirmed that the relocation of 2011 Mazda2 production from Thailand to Japan means the sedan variant will no longer be available in the local market.

Mazda Australia’s Steve Maciver told CarAdvice production was initially moved to Thailand to help support increased output at the Rayong facility, and now that numbers from the plant were high enough to supply the South East Asia region alone, Australian production was moved back to Japan.

Mr Maciver said Australia took on the sedan as a result of the shift to Thai production eight months ago, and said its sudden departure from the range was entirely a result of the shift back to Hiroshima, rather than poor sales performances.

“If we were staying with Thailand we would continue to offer the sedan, but because we are shifting to Hiroshima it will no longer be offered,” Mr Maciver said.

He said the sedan accounted for 10 percent of Mazda2 sales during its short stint in Australia, around half of Mazda’s initial expectations for the foor-door variant to account for one in five Mazda2 sales.

He said there were no plans to reintroduce the sedan or the three-door hatch into the Australian line-up, with the five-door hatch to remain the sole option for local customers.

“The five-door hatch has always been the core product for us,” Mr Maciver said.

He also confirmed that despite no longer benefitting from Australia’s free trade agreement with Thailand, prices of the 2011 Mazda2 range would be unchanged.

Current driveaway pricing of the Mazda2 starts at $16,990 for the Mazda2 Neo manual ($17,440 for the with the Safety Pack, which adds side and curtain airbags).




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