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With a company name that translates into the Ancient God of wisdom, intelligence and harmony, the automotive industry has the right to expect a lot from a Mazda.
Although founded in 1920 under the name Toyo Cork Kogyo Company, Mazda did not enter the automotive industry until 1958. Until then they primarily manufactured tools. In 1931 they introduced a 3 wheeled trike known as the Mazda-Go which was exclusively exported to China.
During the second world war, Toyo Kogyo Company was a major producer of rifles for the Japanese Imperial Army. Once the war ended, they resumed production of their trike, this time expanding the exportation to India.
Mazda began its foray into four wheeled vehicles with a light-duty truck called the Romper. Two years later they introduced the R360, a 60 horse power car with a top speed of 52 mph. During this same period their efforts turned towards designing and developing their own Wankel Rotary engine with great success.
Their second car, the B360, was not unveiled until 1961. Utilizing almost the exact same design and parts of its predecessor, the B360 was offered as a pick-up or van. Later that year they began building their own assembly plant in South Korea and started work on a four door passenger car known as the Carol 600. By 1963 they reached the million mark in total number of vehicles sold.
By the early 1970’s, the Mazda Company was exporting its rotary engine vehicles to every corner of the planet. They also formally entered the American marketplace under the name Mazda North America Operations. The 1973 oil crises made their rotary engine inefficient and they had to resort to using the standard piston driven engine. They continued to have success with their automobile lines, but financially they were in trouble.
During the more affluent ‘80’s, the Mazda Company fared much better. Re-kindled by a Japanese car of the year award for its Familia 323, they developed the luxury sedan known as the 929. Finally in 1984 they officially became the Mazda Motor Corporation. A year later the B-series trucks were introduced followed by the sporty RX-7. With the reintroduction of the rotary engine and a turbo system, the RX-7 proved to be just a prototype for the upcoming super sporty MX-5.
The end of the 20th century was a series of ups and downs for the newly christened Mazda Corporation. Their race car sales were strong and they were beginning to develop an electric car when Asian owned corporations were suddenly hit hard by the 1997 financial crises. In order to remain in business, Mazda had to turn over its majority interest to the Ford Motor Company. Ironically, Ford would have to sell it back a decade later when they too were affected by financial troubles.
Mazda remains a strong force in the American market, with a focus on producing vehicles that are energy efficient. They are continuously at work with new designs and technologies to help them stay one step ahead of the competition.
Mazda is one of the few companies who has forged forward with direct fuel injection for an engine that is more efficient and powerful. It is their constant forward thinking that has kept them going for decades.
CX-5 – When you look at an SVU you judge it for its practicality, how much it can hold and the ease at which you can fold down the seats for more room. The CX-5 has all the practical perks you want in a family vehicle, wrapped up in a chic package that is also fun to drive.
CX-9 – The European styled SVU remains fresh with modern design features and an emphasis on family living inside of a compact vehicle. With room for 7 in a stylish interior, the CX-9 lacks the legroom and cargo area that make other crossovers more appealing.
Mazda2 – The Mazda2 resembles a car, but is really a fuel efficient scooter at heart. Perfect for bouncing around town, this clever car makes use of its limited interior space so that the driver and passengers never feel cramped.
Mazda3 – While the other guys were running around trying to make fuel efficient cars with bare bones, the Mazda3 came along and did it with some style. The Mazda3 is still the most popular come to originate from the company, thanks to their focus on fuel efficiency and reliability wrapped up in a pretty package.
Mazda5 – The minivan has become anything but mini to most car manufacturers, but the Mazda5 stays true to the original idea and offers a family style automobile that is still maneuverable and fuel efficient, even when fully loaded with hockey gear.
Mazda6 – The Mazda6 has a personality all of its own, making it a fun to drive vehicle. It offers a smooth ride in quiet comfort and refinement on the highway that is giving its competitors a run for their money.
Miata – A driving sensation since 1990, the convertible Mazda is the epitome of an affordable sports car that far exceeds its low price tag. Enthusiastic, lively and streamlined, the Miata continues to impress.
Considering its late entrance into the world of four wheeled automotives, Mazda has made an amazing impact on the industry. Sleek styling and innovative engine ideas have made this brand one of the most coveted around the world.