Discover Mazda

Learn About the History of the Mazda Brand

Mazda has achieved acclaim among auto manufacturers for its value and affordability while producing stylish and practical models. With a range of models from the sports car to the sedan, the compact to the full-size SUV, Mazda has something for everyone around Metairie, Kenner, and New Orleans.

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The History of Mazda

Founded in 1920 as Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. Ltd, the company was first known for making substitutes for cork from plants to use as a seal. Natural cork became popular, taking business away from Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. Ltd. Jujiro Matsuda became president in 1921, moving the focus to mechanics.

It took ten years before the first vehicle was developed, which was a three-wheel motorized truck. It was around the same time that the company’s name changed to Mazda GO, which was a reflection of the pronunciation of Matsuda in Japanese.

The first car was built in 1940 with a new logo, featuring an M with extended wings, which had been developed four years earlier. The war put production on hold until 1945. By the end of the 1950s, Mazda had expanded its lineup to around 30 models, from minivans to pickups. The first mass-produced car was introduced in 1960, the City-Coupe Mazda R360.

Like other manufacturers, Mazda became known for its innovation. It first introduced the two-rotor rotary engine in 1963. By 1967, the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110 S made history with a two-rotor rotary engine for the first production car.

In 1967, Mazda began exporting to Europe with the US beginning to sell the models in 1970. Sales continued to climb and Mazda reaches the top ten of automobile manufacturers by 1973. The rotary engine was the first to pass US emission standards in 1975.

One of the best-known lines from Mazda was first introduced in 1979 with Mazda RX-7. This model sold until 2002 as the premier sports car with the unique wedge shape from Mazda.

In 1984, the name officially changes to Mazda Motor Corporation. An updated logo is also introduced to commemorate the event. The best-selling roadster in the world was introduced in 1989 with the Mazda MX-5. Over one million of the models have been sold. Also known as the Mazda Miata, the sports car debuted at the Chicago Auto Show.

Several other models debuted in the 2000s, including the ever-popular Mazda3 in 2003. SKYACTIV drive technology was introduced in 2010, which would revolutionize Mazda vehicles. By 2012, the manufacturer had expanded into the SUV segment with the CX-5.

Less than two decades later, in 1970, American Motors Corporation purchased the company. Chrysler also started purchasing assets, which would lead to mergers until AMC moved under the umbrella of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles or FCA.

Mazda Today

Today, Mazda offers an extensive lineup of sedans, sports cars, and SUVs. The company is continuing to innovate by adding hybrid and electric vehicles to appeal to a wider audience. For instance, the Mazda MX-30 EV is a compact SUV. The Mazda3 is still in production with a sedan and hatchback version.

Mazda continues the tradition of the sports car roadster with the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Families will appreciate the Mazda CX-50 and CX-9 with more room for passengers and cargo.

You can see a selection of Mazda models for sale at Premier Clearance Center Metairie when you stop by. Check out our vehicles and take one for a test drive today.