Started as the Mazda Motor Corporation in Fuchu, Hiroshima Prefecture, in 1920, Mazda is one of the oldest automobile manufacturing companies in Japan.
The Japanese God of Light, Ahura Mazda, inspired the name Mazda; the company led the way to an automotive revolution in Japan. The company specialized in the production of compact cars and until 1927, Mazda continued to be one of the primary suppliers of small vehicles on the island nation. Post-1927, the company experienced massive financial challenges and was saved from closure by local Japanese businesses.
Once out of the grips of bankruptcy, Mazda looked towards Germany’s (then) state-of-the-art four-door sedan for inspiration and developed the famous Cosmo 110S luxury sports coupe. The company invested a lot of money in the development of the Wankel rotary engine in 1961, which turned out to be Mazda’s USP for years.
In 1967, the company launched Cosmo Sport. The same year, it started exporting its cars to the United States and subsequently in 1970; they opened their North American subsidiary.
The next few years were a flurry of activities for Mazda. The company produced many variants, like the rotary-powered RX-3, piston engine 808 sedans, RX-4 coupe, Mazda B-Series pickup, 626 series mid-size car, and the RX-7 sports car.
During this time, fuel shortages and excessive carbon emissions prompted the company to establish stringent emission rules, and their engines evolved along with these. The Mazda 323 was one of the first fuel-efficient solutions to cater to the needs of fuel-guzzling America.
Soon after, Mazda introduced FWD in the 626. The 626 also received “Import Car of the Year” in 1983. Both the 626 and the RX-7 made their way to America’s “10 Best Cars” list.
It was in the 1980s and 1990s that the company introduced the MX-5
In 2015, the company sold its 1.5 millionth car in America. In 2019, the CX-9 ranked in the Top 3 of the North American International Auto Show for Utility Vehicle of the Year Award.
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