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by Jay Traugott
Despite not being in the best financial shape, Mazda is reportedly looking into developing a Mini rival. But would it sell well in the US?
The emergence of the premiium hatchback segment must be an enticing prospect for any automaker. Take something that would otherwise be cheap, redesign it to look more upscale and give it some luxury amenities and presto! You've got a more upmarket car to sell. BMW has made a go of it with the Mini brand, prompting Citroen to go after the same territory with the DS3, GM with the new Vauxhall/Opel Adam and Audi with the A1, to name just a few. But the newest challenger could come from unlikely an automaker as Mazda.
According to The Motor Report, that's precisely what the Zoom-Zoom automaker is considering. The new model wouldn't replace the Mazda2 as much as it would complement it in the lineup. Just how closely the premium model would be based on the 2 remains to be seen, but with Mazda already parnering with Alfa Romeo on the next MX-5, a better Mito successor wouldn't be outside the real of possibility, either. Although the Mazda2 has been a success in other markets, it hasn't sold well in the United States. So like the DS3, Adam and A1, don't expect it to make the journey to North America, where the Mazda2 is losing ground to the Ford Fiesta.