HIROSHIMA, Japan—Mazda Motor Corporation has announced that total domestic production of the Mazda Demio (known as the Mazda2 in overseas markets) reached one million units at the end of September 2006. This milestone was achieved in the ten years and three months since production began in July 1996 at Ujina Plant No. 1 located near Mazda's headquarters in Hiroshima.
The Mazda Demio was launched onto the market in August 1996. The first generation Demio proved convenient for inner city driving due to its compact size, and the outstanding packaging optimized the use of the available interior space. With these attributes, the Demio established a brand-new standard for compact cars. In Japan, the Demio has enjoyed high acclaim and was named RJC Car of the Year 1996-1997. Sales have been favorable since its launch, and it achieved a record monthly sales figure of 14,250 units (in March 1998), far outstripping the original monthly target that had been set at 4,000 units.
In August 2002, the Demio was fully redesigned for the second generation model and on its introduction to the domestic market, it joined the ranks of Mazda's new-generation products (beginning with the Atenza/Mazda6 launched in May 2002) that personify the Zoom-Zoom brand message. A lively exterior design was added along with improvements to the highly efficient packaging, enhanced quality interior and outstanding performance and safety to help the Demio gain a reputation ahead of other compact cars.
In August 2006, the Demio reached its tenth anniversary on the Japanese market. In that month the Demio ranked eighth for single model sales with a volume of 4,672 units (according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association), becoming one of Mazda's longest selling products.
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