Innovation is in the blood of the Japanese. This can be seen through many things in their culture but a really good example would be the companies found in Japan. The biggest companies in Japan weren’t always involved in the businesses that made them what they are today. More often than not, these automakers and other technology companies started off as simple gadget repair stores which eventually grew into the industrial monsters that they are today. Amongst all the big companies that originate from this pattern, the company of Mazda is a great company to look into regarding this matter because they started as a simple manufacturer of machine tools and then steadily turned into one of the best automobile makers in the world.
Mazda’s Journey to Success
Nowadays, Mazda is famous enough to be recognized by just their logo but when they were starting off, they weren’t even using Mazda as their company name yet. Back then, they used to be known as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd, which was founded in Hiroshima in the year of 1920, specifically on the 30th day of January. This name would become Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd in the year of 1927 and it would stay that way for decades.
Many more things would happen before they change their name to Mazda. Even as they moved from manufacturing machine tools to manufacturing vehicles and automobiles, they remained to be known as Toyo Kogyo. Alongside their car manufacturing activities, they also made income through their production of weapons for the Japanese military during the period of the Second World War. They didn’t supply the army with all their weapons for the war but they did, however, manufacture and supply the series 30 to series 35 of the Type 99 rifle. For those who do not know, this gun was a bolt-action type rifle that became one of the more iconic guns for the Japanese army during World War II.
When Mazda shifted from making parts to making vehicles, they didn’t go straight into making the cars you see today. They started off with something called the Mazda-Go autorickshaw. If you take a look at how this thing looked like, you’ll really appreciate the development and growth that this company has made in a very short time. They released this model in the year of 1931 and by the year 1960, they have advanced enough to release their first automobile which was the Mazda R360. Some may think that the 29-year difference between the release of the autorickshaw and the R360 was a tad long but you have to consider the fact that one of the biggest wars also happened within this period in time so certain regressions were inevitable.
As progress slowly came back into the world after the war, so too did it with the company of Mazda. This can be seen with how fast they innovated their manufacturing game in the 1960s by aiming to differentiate themselves from the other automobile manufacturing companies in Japan. They were able to achieve this goal when they successfully developed the Wankel rotary engine with the help of NSU. Coincidentally, NSU, a German manufacturer of automobiles, would eventually be partners with Mazda. This partnership was a great move for them because it was the one that made it possible to create the limited-production Mazda Cosmo Sport in the year of 1967 as well as give birth to the Pro Mazda Championship series.
These moves they made were essential and the fruits of their decisions would be apparent when the exporting of their vehicles grew rapidly in the following years. Their investment in creating their trademark engine paid off as their rotary-powered models were being bought in massive quantities for its lightweight and good power. To mention some of these models, there were the likes of the R100, as well as the RX series which includes RX-2, RX-3, and RX-4. With all the attention that their Wankel rotary engine received, it was very lucky that it didn’t negatively affect the sales of their piston-powered models because a notable amount of these piston-powered cars were still bought.
Many more events happened after this like the 1973 oil crisis and their partnership with Ford Motors. If you are interested in learning about those particular parts of Mazda’s history, you can easily search for which details you are looking about it. If you aren’t particular with the details, all you really need to know is that Mazda rode the highs and the lows of business to get where they are. Now, they are one of the best automobile makers in the world and they are able to do this while also giving back to the environment through certain developments like their SkyActiv technology.
A Closer Look into Mazda’s Mazda 3 or the Mazda Axela, Mazda Demio, and the Mazda RX-7 as well as the RX-8
Throughout the decades, Mazda has, without a doubt, provided the world with some great quality automobiles that fit different lifestyles. A really good model to start off with is the Mazda 3. This car is also known as the Mazda Axela and it was named that way because it was a mix of “acceleration” and “excellence”. In North America, it was marketed as the Mazdaspeed3. In Japan, on the other hand, it was marketed as the Mazdaspeed Axela. It even had a name variation of Mazda3 MPS for the market in Europe.
The first model of the Mazda 3 was great and the second generation as well but the improvements and new features Mazda made and added on the third generation of Mazda 3 models, which they released in the year of 2013, brought this compact car to another level for the market. This was because the details that they added to the new model increased its efficiency tremendously. This improvement was attained through the integration of Mazda’s SkyActiv technology into the new model as well as its usage of a new direct injection engine. Due to the powerful engine, both manual and automatic users of this model get to drive this car with the new 6-speed transmission which is surely a huge bonus for the speed racers out there. In addition to these upgrades, the third generation of Mazda 3 cars also caught the attention of the market due to its modernly rigid body and design. With all these factors in play, it shouldn’t be surprising to find out that by January of 2014, Mazda had already sold over 4 million units, cumulatively.
If you think the Mazda 3 had a lot of names, you should check out the Mazda 2. This type of Mazda 2 car was first released in the year of 1996 and, back then, it was called the Mazda 121 as well as the Ford Festiva Mini Wagon. There have been 4 generations since and the most recent models were highly notable because they received some impressive recognition. The third generation of Mazda 2s won “World Car of the Year” in the year of 2008 while the 4th and latest generation of the Mazda 2s or the Demio won “Japanese Car of the Year” in the year of 2014. In addition to the 4th generation or version winning this award, it also happens to be the model that has the most names amongst all Mazda 2s as it is marketed under names like Mazda2 Demio, Scion iA, and Toyota Yaris.
Mazda also got into creating sports cars and for this class of automobile, you need not look farther than the Mazda RX-8. The Miata and RX-7 are definitely contenders in this class but there is no denying that the RX-8 has great appeal. With a height of 1340 mm and a width of 1770 mm, this small and slick car is able to reach speeds over 100 mph easily. It does this with ease because the RX-8 has a 1.3 L RENESIS engine which has enough HP or horsepower to create a power output of nearly 168 kW. It is also worth noting that cars that come in this size usually have only 2 doors but the RX-8 is a 4-door, 4- seater car which is a bonus because having that kind of extra space in a car is always handy. Unfortunately, this model stopped production in 2012 but you can still find some 2nd hand models for sale that can be easily restored with the help of centers like the Mazdaspeed, which is the in-house tuning center for different models of Mazda cars whether it be the newer ones or the older ones.
A Closer Look into Mazda’s Mazda CX8, Mazda CX5, Mazda Atenza or the Mazda 6, and the Mazda Roadster
The Mazda Roadster was already mentioned earlier but under its other name which was the Miata. In Japan, it goes by the names of Mazda Roadster and Eunos Roadster but, in different parts of North America, it is marketed as the Mazda MX-5 Miata or simply the Mazda Miata. It falls under the small sports car class and it was first produced during the year of 1989. Until this day, it is still being produced and that is a testament to the quality of this car because it never lost its market. Its designers have done a great job of making the right adjustments as the generations passed to maintain the Miata’s ever modern look.
Buyers want something that checks a lot of the list of things or specifications they want for their car. Examples of these things are its size, seating capacity, and looks. When Mazda released their Mazda Atenza or Mazda 6 in the year of 2002 to replace the Capella 616 and the Capella 626. You can be sure that it checked a lot of things off the market’s list because it this 4-door sedan was able to sell more than a million units faster than any other car Mazda has released. Seeing how it actually looks can help you understand how it might have done this but if you also consider the efficiency of this car and how much it is sold for at MSRP, you might not even have to see it in real life to want to get it immediately.
The Mazda 6 and the Mazda 3 share a platform with another model that also has its share of interesting facts. This model is the Mazda CX-5 and it is a compact crossover with a wheelbase of about 106 to 107 inches that Mazda first released in the year of 2013. This car was a special one because it was the first of its kind to be equipped with the KODO which meant the “Soul of Motion Design language”. In addition to this, the CX-5 also happened to be the first Mazda car to have the full Skyactiv Technology system. For a while this made the CX-5 one of the more efficient sedan hatchbacks there were in the market.
Recently, Mazda released another compact crossover and it was labeled to be the model in between the CX-5 and the CX-9. This is no other than the CX-8 which is an SUV that Mazda released at the end of 2017. This car was commended for its performance, economy, and refinement. Marton Pettendy, who wrote for Motoring, even gave this model an 84 out of 100 which isn’t bad at all considering that this line is in the first generation of car models for the CX-8 line. This car is spacious and efficient so it’s perfect for touring on long drives. The only bad thing you might notice about this model is that it lacks a spare tire but that can easily be remedied.
The prices of these cars were not included mainly because these prices change quite often. It would definitely be better for you as a buyer to just go to a Mazda dealership to inquire up front what you might want to know or see in a specific Mazda model to help you decide which one you like the most. Any car buyer wants their car to be grand so if you see a Mazda model you like online, you should definitely take a look and see these models up close and personal to really get a feel of it and be sure that it’s the type of thing you want to be driving around. Going to these dealerships would also make it easier to get the latest news or ask about more technical things like engine displacements in cubic inches (cu.in.) and any other queries you may have about a model you like.