The range will be built at the Auto Alliance Thailand plant - which already builds BT-50s for Australia and will build around 50,000 Mazda 2s for Asian markets - and it's expected to arrive in Australia from mid-2010.
Mazda Australia managing director Doug Dickson wasn't prepared to talk in more detail about the pricing structure for the Thai-sourced Mazda2. The AAT plant boasts Mazda's three-layer wet paint system and Mr Dickson said it was a good opportunity for Mazda to bring the sedan - which boasts a 450-litre boot - here.
"We are delighted to be able to offer Australians the all-new Mazda2 sedan and moving to Thailand production enables us to do this," he says. "I can confirm one of the year's worst kept secrets - from mid 2010 Australia bound 2s will be built in Thailand. The second part is we will be able to offer the Mazda2 sedan - it sits on the same wheelbase as the hatch, has the same 1.5-litre engine - we don't have any pricing or volume information yet," he says.
"It is too early to talk pricing, but we're not backward in coming forward and being competitive," he says. Mr Dickson says the company was looking forward to 2010 after 2009, which he says should have been a disastrous year for the industry.
"October 09 was the first year-on-year in crease in 16 months, since July 2008 - for the balance of this year we're expecting a good November and December. Mr Dickson believes 2009 will end up being between 10 and 11 per cent down. "But that pales by comparison to the 35 per cent setback between 1985 and 1987, and the 17 per cent setback in 1991 - we have got off lightly this year," he says.
"We're very proud of what we've achieved, we'll fall back about six per cent in sales, but we've picked 0.6 percentage points since July 2008 - the second best market share improvement in the industry," he says.