Mazda’s world premiere of its Hazumi concept, which hints at the next-generation Mazda2 subcompact to be built at a new plant in Salamanca, Mexico, is set for March 4 at this year’s Geneva auto show.

The Japanese word Hazumi, meaning to bound or spring up, was chosen to convey the image of an untamed animal leaping, the automaker says. Mazda considers the Hazumi as the ideal form for the company's next-generation subcompact car.

The Mazda2 has been a bit player in WardsAuto’s Lower Small car segment, dominated by the Nissan Versa and Kia Soul, both of which sold more than 117,000 units in 2013. Other popular vehicles in the sector include the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio.

Near last place in 2013 was the current Mazda2, which sold 11,757 units, down 39% from 2012. In January, Mazda2 deliveries reached 907 units, down 41% from like-2013, and lagging the sales pace of the larger Mazda3 and Mazda6 by wide margins.

Also in Geneva, Mazda will debut the new diesel 1.5L Skyactiv-D engine.

Meanwhile, it remains unclear when Mazda will bring its larger 2.2L Skyactiv 4-cyl. diesel to the U.S. The engine was supposed to be available in the Mazda6 last year, but the program has been delayed indefinitely.

tmurphy@wardsauto.com