Image: Mazda 2
Dominic Favre  /  AFP - Getty Images
The Mazda 2 is unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show in 2007.
updated 3/20/2008 5:24:08 PM ET 2008-03-20T21:24:08

The Mazda2 has been named the World Car of the Year by a panel of international journalists. The award was announced Thursday at the New York International Auto Show.

The compact, two-door Mazda2 also is known as the Mazda Demio. It isn’t sold in the U.S. but is found in Japan, Europe and other markets. A four-door version goes on sale in China this spring.

Ford Motor Co., which owns a third of Mazda Motor Corp., is basing its new Fiesta subcompact on the Mazda2 platform. The Fiesta goes on sale in the U.S. in 2010.

Forty-seven jurors from 24 countries determine the winner based on styling, quality, safety and other factors.

The Ford Mondeo and the Mercedes C-Class were the other nominees.

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