About Mazda

Mazda Heritage

Mazda History

Mazda Motor Show PosterMazda’s history as an automotive manufacturer began back in 1931, although its first motor vehicle – a 3-wheeler truck – rolled off the production line in 1929. As Mazda progressed through the years, its Zoom-Zoom quest to defy convention has been the guiding light. From the development and production of the R360 in 1960 and the rotary engine through to the legendary Mazda MX-5 the company has always made it a point to think beyond the norm. Now, its solid commitment is to making Mazda cars the most fuel-efficient in the world. Mazda’s SKYACTIV engines and technologies give customers extraordinary levels of performance and outstanding economy.   Mazda  will continue to defy convention in everything it does in order to achieve the best possible results.

For more about the history of Mazda, visit http://www.mazda.com/profile/history.

The Beginnings | Driving Pleasure Finds a Name

Where did the name Mazda come from? There are two stories about its origin: First, the name refers to Ahura Mazda, the highest Zoroastrian God. It stands for wisdom and knowledge and united man, nature and all the gods. Another story says the name is derived from the name of Jujiro Matsuda who, in 1920, founded a company in Hiroshima called Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. Ltd., the parent company of today’s Mazda Group.

Jujiro Matsuda

Hiroshima, with its unique history and inhabitants with a peculiar mentality, plays a central role in the Mazda philosophy: “we solve things in our own way; we never give up and always strive for the outstanding.”  This is called “Spirit of Hiroshima”.

Today, Hiroshima is home not only to the Mazda Headquarters, but also to a key production plant and the Mazda Museum that, itself, houses many exhibits from Mazda’s 90-year history.

1920/1960 | Moving Towards Driving Pleasure

In 1929, Mazda started the production of machine tools. Two years later, in 1931, it produced the first three-wheeled truck, the Mazda-Go. It was the beginning of mobility for Mazda. From that time of joy, Mazda has already moved forward significantly. In 1936, six Mazda-Go vehicles were driven for advertising purposes from Kagoshima to Tokyo. Together they covered 2700km of road in 25 days and won many hearts.

Mazda Three Wheeled Truck

In 1940, the first four-wheeled prototype – very similar to a small car – came out, although it never went into production. During the Second World War, Mazda automobile manufacturing came to a halt, and was replaced by machinery production instead. But the 6 August 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima also ended this chapter. Although the Mazda factory was about five kilometers away from the center of Hiroshima, it was adversely affected by the gruesome event. Surviving factory buildings were used as Notlazarette. And Mazda’s main building served as Hiroshima Prefecture starting July 1946 – serving as the administrative headquarters of the ruined city.

Mazda, however, didn’t give up: In 1949, it exported the first three-wheeled trucks to India. Production boomed, as the practical “Three Wheeler” was tax-exempt and could be driven without a driver’s license. By the end of the 1950s, Mazda had about 30 different types of vehicles on offer. By 1958, the first Mazda four-wheel truck went into production. But the age of tricycles was coming to an end. And it was time for Mazda to try something new.

60s, 70s & 80s | The Value of Fun - Tradition & Innovation

By 1960, the first two-door coupe, the Mazda R360, hit the market. By 1962, it was followed by the Mazda Carol, the first four-door car from the house of Mazda. By the following year, the fun that Mazda was having increased a million-fold, as its vehicle production reached one million.

Mazda Carol 360

At the same time Mazda ventured on technical grounds: In 1961, it entered into a partnership with the NSU / Wankela license agreement to develop what was then an unusual rotary engine. Only six years later Mazda brought its rotary engine for series production.  And in 1967, of the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S with that engine came out to market. That set up a nearly 30-year history: Until the mid-1990s, Mazda produced various successor models under the name Cosmo.

In 1978, Mazda had continued to write the success story of the rotary engine, with 1.1 million buyers registering with enthusiasm. The RX-7, another Mazda sports car, came to the market. It was produced for three generations until the year 1995. And the Wankel lived on – in the last four-door sports car RX-8 as an award-winning RENESIS rotary engine.

The oil crisis and the increasingly stringent environmental regulations in the 1970s led to a rethinking of the entire Mazda model range. In 1977, the Mazda Familia (323) and the larger Mazda Capella (626) were produced.  They were in the most successful Mazda models in the 1980s.

The Mazda MX-5 | Fun Driving Has a New Name

At the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda presented the 1989 Mazda MX-5 – a classic two seater roadster with a front engine and rear wheel drive. An instant sensation hailed by media and motorists as the rebirth of the classic roadster of the 50s and 60s.

Mazda MX-5 Generation

Nearly ten years of intensive development were followed by that triumph. In 1979, Bob Hall, a motoring journalist, outlined in an interview with Mazda design manager Kenichi Yamamoto with a few strokes of chalk on a blackboard his idea for a two-seater sports car. When, in 1983, Hall became one of the first product planners at the newly opened California’s Mazda development center, he readily pursued his idea. As part of their “Offline, GO, GO” program for the future, he gave the Mazda designers free hand. And they took advantage of this freedom.

The Mazda MX-5 was the quintessential roadster driving fun – and the best-selling two-seater sports car in automotive history: by 2011 there were already more than 900,000 units. It is no wonder that Mazda now offering a third generation version, and with an electric coupé roof.

Mazda Racing | Driving Pleasure can be Measured - Even in Length

Since the late 60s we were involved in racing in endurance racing. Both Cosmo and the R100 coupe and the Mazda RX-7 went there at the start and proved emphatically the reliability of the rotary engine even under extreme conditions. The RX-7 was also drove out of 1970 at the 24 Hours of Spa-Francorchamps Champ the first win for us – the first for a Japanese manufacturer ever at this traditional endurance classic. In the 70s many victories followed in Japan, Australia and finally in the United States.

Mazda Rennsport

The highlight of our racing success, however, the year 1991: A Mazda 787B won the famous 24-hour race at Le Mans. For the first – and only time – here won by a Japanese car manufacturer. And for the first time a vehicle drove rotary engine all the way up to the podium. Advise us at that time had incidentally Jacky Ickx, the six-time Le Mans winner. A title defense was the Mazda 787B however denied: The FIA ​​issued the rotary engine for 1992 no longer admit.

Today it is mostly national sales companies that are active in racing for Mazda. In the UK, ran the RX-8 Women Challenge, a racing series for female riders. And 2004 on the test track in Papenburg learned two Mazda RX-8, a total of 40 FIA records.

For 2013 we plan the way a comeback at Le Mans: We provide our new SKYACTIV-D 2.2-liter four-cylinder diesel engine with two-stage turbocharging teams for participating in the LMP2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the 2013th Also there: Dempsey Racing with actor Patrick Dempsey, who was with the 24-hour classic already in the GT category at the start.

90s Until Today | Fun is to Stay in Constant Motion

Even in the 90s, the classic Mazda remained on track. So we had 1996 twice reason to celebrate: 5 million sold Mazda 626 Mazda 323 and 10 million sold In 1997, our movement then got a more modern face: The “M” in the new logo of Mazda spreads its wings and symbolically takes off into the future. And since 2001, we are also acoustically distinctive: The Zoom-Zoom Sound is now inextricably linked to the Mazda brand.

Mazda Hiroshima Headquarters

With the new millennium, we began a new era – more precisely, a new design era. 2005, we launched the largest offensive in the model Mazda History: A total of 16 new models were brought up to the year 2009 on the market. But design is not everything: Since 2007, we have committed ourselves in the framework of the Sustainable Zoom-Zoom strategy, the global average consumption of our vehicles – measured by the year 2008 – to reduce by 30 percent by 2015. To achieve this goal we have developed the SKYACTIV technologies. Our mission: driving pleasure, safety and environmentally-friendly engines to harmonically. The result is an integrated drive system that extends from the engine through the transmission to the chassis and bodywork.

The first vehicle of the SKYACTIV-generation vehicle, we presented the 2012 compact SUV Mazda CX-5. He is also the first Mazda production model is the new Mazda design language ‘KODO – Soul of Motion “was designed. Inspired by the power and beauty of natural movement of animals expresses the KODO design from what the Mazda philosophy so unique: the original, intense joy of movement.