Mazda Motor Corporation is Japanese automotive company located in Fuchu, Aki District, in Hiroshima, Japan.
In 1920, Mazda started its operations as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Company Ltd. The company was renamed in 1927 from Toyo Cork Kogyo Company Ltd. to Toyo Kogyo Company Ltd. In the beginning, Toyo Kogyo made machine tools and later in 1931, the company produced its first ever automobile in the form of Mazda-Go. Although, the whole range of automobiles produced by the company was named Mazda, the company got Mazda as its official name in 1984. In 1960 Mazda R360 appeared while Mazda engines went in production somewhere in 1962.
With a view to differentiate themselves from the rest of the automobile companies in US, Mazda began working on the development of Wankel rotary engine in 1960s. The first instance of Wankel-type engine was seen in Cosmo Sport of 1967 and since then these engines are persistent with RX-8. At present, Mazda is the only company that manufactures Wankel-type engines and all the rest companies mainly NSU and Citroen gave away on design.
This was certainly a big achievement of Mazda and it really assisted the company to start exporting its models. Later, piston-powered and rotary-powered models introduced all across the world. Rotary models got a lot of praise and appreciation for the fact that they are powerful as well as light-weighted when compared to the rival piston-engines which needed heavier V6 or V8 engines to generate the power equal to rotary piston-engines. Some of the most popular examples that brought a lot of fame for Mazda include the R100 and RX Series (RX-2, RX-3 and RX-4).
Although, the traces of Mazda in Canada go back to 1959, the company formally launched its operations as MazdaCanada in Canada in 1968. Two years later, Mazda also made an entry in an American market as Mazda North American Operations. Mazda got a warm welcome in America and Mazda launched a Mazda Rotary Pickup particularly designed for the American customers. Mazda still holds the reputation of only automaker that has manufactured a Wankel-powered pickup truck. Besides this, Mazda also has a respect of producing the only rotary-powered bus the Mazda Parkway, offered only in Japan or station wagon within the RX-3 & RX-4 line for US markets.
The 1973 oil crisis stood to be a big upset for the Mazda’s rotary-powered engines as more and more people shifted to the vehicles with better fuel efficiency as a result of which the demand for Mazda’s rotary powered models declines quickly. Mazda proved to be a little sensible here as they keep producing several kinds of four-cylinder models during 1970s. The Familia lineup was the one that got reasonable popularity after 1973.
Mazda didn’t quit producing rotary engine rather they modified it in a way to make it a first choice for the sporting motorists. In 1978, they produced lightweight RX-7 and still going on with its RX-8. Mazda’s main focus has always been remained on improving their powerplant. In 1989, Mazda introduced the piston-powered Mazda Roadster commonly known as MX-5 or Miata getting its inspiration from the concept ‘jinba ittai’ played a vital role in regaining the position that the company somehow lost during 1970s.