Production of the new Mazda2 has begun in Mexico, the manufacturer has announced.
The work is being carried out at Mazda de Mexico Vehicle Operation (MMVO), the company's new plant in Central America. Construction started on the factory last year and it started operating this month.
MMVO is Mazda's third global facility to begin manufacturing the Mazda2 following plants in Japan and Thailand where production started in July and September respectively.
The manufacturer has introduced SkyActiv technology in recent years and expects 85 per cent of their sales to be because of these models by early next ending March 2016.
The SKYACTIV models are selling well globally and in response to growing demand the company will steadily increase production capacity at MMVO to 250,000 units annually.
The automaker is also working to establish a global production footprint, one of four key initiatives laid out in its structural reform plan that was announced in 2012. MMVO's engine machining plant implements the same advanced production technologies as Mazda's Hiroshima Plant, ensuring production of a diverse range of products.
MMVO President Keishi Egawa said: "With the start of production of the all-new Mazda2, operations underway at the engine machining plant, and an increase in our annual production capacity, we now have an even stronger production framework capable of supplying global markets with SkyActiv products of the same high quality level as those made in Japan. At the same time, we are pleased to be able to make a contribution to Mexico's further economic growth."
Mazda sales in the UK have risen from 25,000 a couple of years ago to more than 37,000 this year.
Dealers are predicting that next year will be the busiest ever for the brand.