December 3, 2013
Mazda’s plan to target Asian and female buyers for the next subcompact will remove aggressive styling
While it’s difficult to describe the Mazda2 as an “aggressively styled subcompact”, especially in a sea of other options including the Chevrolet Sonic and, to a lesser degree, the Ford Fiesta, it seems the marketing boffins and designers within Mazda will be stripping the pint-sized Mazda of all its more masculine overtones when the next generation arrives in a couple of years.
This is all due to the Mazda2′s target demographic. The subcompact sees most of its interest in Asia, with women being the primary gender purchasing the car.
British Autocar spoke to Mazda Europe design chief Peter Birtwhistle, who stated “The car is much more profitable in Asia than it is in Europe and has therefore been designed to appeal to a predominantly feminine customer base. It’s prevented us from putting too much visual muscle into the styling, for fear of scaring people off.”
However, he did add “…it’s a good-looking car, and I’m happy with the result.”
The next Mazda2 is expected to also give birth to a new SUV variant, slotting below the current smallest soft-roader Mazda CX-5. With domestic automakers – GM in particular – bringing “cute utes” to market, it would be no surprise to see an SUV version of the Mazda2 arriving on our shores.