I spent most of the day at the LA Auto Show today as a guest of David Harris, Group Manager of Digital and Alternative Marketing at MazdaUSA. As part of Mazda’s social media outreach, David has created a group of 22 Mazda enthusiasts, Mazda owners and social media experts called Mazda “22” – and the first meeting of the group was at the LA Auto Show for the Mazda2 press conference and Reveal.
In addition to getting access to the LA Auto Show on press day, each member of Mazda 22 received a Flip minoHD recorder to record the events of the day. David also arranged for the Mazda2 product manager, designer and lead engineer to brief the group on the business, design and technical details of the new auto. I was most intrigued with the designer’s story about how the Mazda2 took shape and how the engineer talked about the big and little things they did to shave 10% of the weight off the previous model of the Mazda2.
Some details about the upcoming details about the 2011 Mazda2:
- Mazda is referring to the Mazda2 as “Zoom Zoom Concentrated”
- The Mazda2 fills a gap in the B-Car market for Mazda in North America as an entry point to the Mazda3 (and the B-Car market is forecast to double in the next 3-4 years)
- The Mazda2 has already won World Car of the Year in 2008 and has also won Car of the Year in over 20 countries (i.e. Mazda already ‘owns’ the global B-Car market)
- The primary goals for the Mazda2 is that it had to:
- be fun to drive (consistent with Mazda’s Zoom Zoom culture)
- be affordable
- possess high QDR ratings (quality, durability and reliability)
- The Mazda2 interior will likely be revealed at the Montreal Auto Show in mid-January
- Pricing will likely be discussed at the Detroit Auto Show in late January
- Mazda2 will likely be in the showrooms by Q3 2010
Besides the official Reveal, my highlight was being right in front of a new Mazda2 when Patrick Dempsey from Grey’s Anatomy and a Mazda racing driver “walked into my viewfinder”. I’ve included a picture of Patrick and a short video clip below along with videos of MazdaUSA president James O’Sullivan at the press conference and in an interview.
MazdaUSA President James O’Sullivan reveals the new 2011 Mazda2:
And here is Patrick Dempsey, Dr. McDreamy from Grey’s Anatomy, walking into my video overview of the Mazda2. Sometimes, it pays to be in the right place at the right time.
Finally, here is James O’Sullivan being interviewed by a member of the press:
All in all, I had a great time at the event – and it is an important baby step for Mazda to become more transparent and reach out to their very loyal customer base through social media. Just with this simple step, Mazda has created a ton of user-generated content and increased the buzz factor for the Mazda2 launch. Look for Mazda to leverage this experience into a bigger social media story. Stay tuned for more…