Mazda is the Japanese car maker founded in 1920 initially as a machine tool manufacturer and turning to vehicles in 1931 as part of the Japanese war effort. The company formally became known as Mazda in 1984 though it always used the name for its vehicle from inception.
Mazda is well-known for its reliance on the Wankel rotary engine in contrast with other Japanese car makers. Mazda has continuously developed the Wankel rotary and today it is the sole manufacturer of this engine type after General Motors gave up development of its prototype. Mazda entered the US market in 1970 and enjoyed success until the 1973 oil crisis as Mazda was not known for its fuel economy which prompted a move to smaller compact vehicles. The company also made a move into the sports car market and established itself with the RX line which is now known by the prefix, MX.
In 1979, Mazda entered into a partnership with Ford and together they have shared development and vehicle platforms including the Probe, Telstar and the Mazda 626 sedan.
Founded in 1920, Mazda was initially a machine tool manufacturer and then a weapons manufacturer to supplement the Japanese war effort. In 1931, the company commenced manufacturing vehicles and used the name “Mazda” for that division of the company – the company itself only became formally known as Mazda in 1984.
Mazda entered the US car market in 1970 and initially enjoyed commercial success but the 1973 oil crisis put an end to this. Mazda differentiated itself by relying on the Wankel rotary engine (today it is the only car maker to do so) and they were not known for fuel economy. Rather than abandoning the Wankel engine, Mazda entered the compact market and recovered commercial viability as well as entering the sports car sector. Mazda has enjoyed considerable success with its RX and MX sports cars and acquired a racing pedigree.
In 1979, amidst financial difficulties, Mazda entered into a partnership with Ford which continues to this day despite rumors that Ford is considering dropping Mazda due to the current economic climate.
Leave a Reply