The History of Mazda Cars

Founded in 1920, Mazda has grown from a machine tool manufacturer to one of the largest automobile manufacturers in the world. Toyo Cork Kogyo Company was the original name of the company. The name changed after the release of the Mazda-Go automobile in 1931. They were specializing in manufacturing Japanese racecars. This car featured a new type of engine development. The company created a combustion engine that had a rotary styled design. This became the Wankel rotary engine. Today, the company has grown to producing over 1 .3 million cars a year.

Wankel Rotary Engines

Mazda manufactured many cars that featured a sporty design. Each of their cars in the 1960’s, had the Wankel engine installed. Specializing in this engine design gave Mazda a competitive advantage against their competitors. The success of this rotary engine allowed Mazda to enter larger markets such as America and Australia.

Financial Issues

Many growing companies may incur financial problems. Mazda was no stranger to them. Although Mazda had a competitive advantage with their unique rotary engine, specializing and not differentiating became a major setback when it came to sales. Ford Motors purchased a 7 percent share in the company during its financial downturn in the 1960’s. This allowed Ford and Mazda to partner on new manufacturing developments and allowed Ford to expand pick-up truck developments. Another crisis hampered Mazda in 1997. This was the Asian financial crisis which started with the collapse of the Thailand currency.


Mazda has been on the forefront of recycling and bio-material production. The company has used plastics for their consoles and recycled fabrics for creating their seats. One of the leaps in vehicle innovation was cars that can run on hydrogen. An example of this release was the Premacy. This was a hybrid mini-van that featured a rotary engine and that could run not only on gasoline but also hydrogen. This technology was provided to Toyota which soon after released the Prius.


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