Mazda Motor Corp. History – Global
Mazda Motor Corporation began as the Toyo Cork Kogyo in 1920. The company was renamed Toyo Kogyo Ltd. in 1927. Toyo Kogyo’s start in motor vehicle manufacturer was in 1931 when the company, which had been in the production of machine tools, introduced a three-wheel truck, the Mazda Go. This vehicle was based on a motorcycle.
During the Second World War Toyo Kogyo was involved in the production of weapons for the Japanese military, predominantly rifles.
From 1950 Mazda produced a series of three-wheel vehicles and introduced four-wheel mini trucks, the Romper, in 1958 and the D1000 and D1500 from 1959. The B1500, a bonneted pickup, came out in 1961, the D2000 in 1962, and the E2000, a forward control light truck, in 1964. A light bus, the A series was introduced in 1966, this bus developed into the Parkway.
Production of cars started in 1966 with the Luce and the Familia in 1967. Mazda also started production of rotary engine cars with the Cosmo sports car in 1967.
Larger truck production started in 1968 with the Boxer truck (export version the E3800). The Titan series (export version the E series and later T series) was introduced in 1971.
Early export markets, from the 1960’s, included: Australia, Canada, USA and New Zealand.
Mazda began a relationship with Ford Motor Co in 1974. Ford had acquired a stake of 24.5% and by 1995 a controlling interest of 33.4%. During this period Ford and Mazda shared parts, platforms, re-badged vehicles and production facilities. Ford began selling down its stake in 2008 and by 2015 had virtually cut all ties.
Mazda has many manufacturing plants around the world including: Columbia, USA, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Russia, China and Mexico. Overseas assembly plants include: Iran, Indonesia, Kenya and South Africa.
All Mazda’s vehicles from 1935 have been named “Mazda” but the company name was not changed from Toyo Kogyo Ltd. to Mazda Motor Corp. until 1984. This name is a play on the similar sounding surname of the founder Jujiro Matsuda and Ahura Mazda the lord of wisdom in the ancient Iranian religion of Zoroastrianism .