The Mazda that we know today was founded in in Hiroshima, Japan as Toyo Cork Kogyo. It originally produced machine tools and made the transition to vehicles in 1931 with the Mazda-Go, a compact three-wheeled truck.
It wasn’t until 1984 that the company officially adopted the Mazda name; however, every vehicle it sold up until that point was already called Mazda.
Due to World War II, Mazda did not produce a second vehicle until 1958, when it introduced the Romper, a four-wheeled light truck. After that, new vehicles were added to the Mazda lineup on a semi-regular basis every few years.
In 1960, Mazda officially began exporting vehicles to the United States and in 1971, Mazda Motor of America was established. By 1979, Mazda exports to North America surpassed 1 million vehicles.
In the following years Mazda became more and more popular in the United States, so much so that it established Mazda Motors Manufacturing in the U.S. in early 1985 and then a year later added the Mazda R&D Center in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Production in the U.S. began in 1987. September 1989 was a major milestone for Mazda—this was when the MX-5 Roadster was first introduced. It went on sale first in North America and was an immediate hit.
In 1991, Mazda solidified its position in the competitive racing world by winning its first Le Mans 24 Hours Endurance Race. This was the first time a Japanese automaker and a rotary-powered car have won the race.
Over the next decade, Mazda made major changes in its corporate thinking, including adding a recycling program, revamping the corporate symbol to what we see today, establishing an ethics committee, and streamlining operations.
These changes all contributed to the Mazda we know and love today—one that is focused on achieving the ideally-balance car that delivers performance, efficiency, style, and an enjoyable driving experience.
Come check out the modern Mazda lineup available now at Wantagh Mazda.