100 Years of Mazda

February 24th, 2020 by

Mazda is celebrating 100 years of making excellent vehicles in 2020. Learn all about Mazda’s history, mission and innovation, and vehicle design over the last 100 years as well as their goals for the next 100 years.

Mazda Celebrates 100 Years

Image via Flickr by Tiger Girl


Mazda began in Hiroshima, Japan, in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Corporation. At first, the company sold machine tools and cork, but it eventually introduced three-wheel pickup trucks and small Mazda car models in 1931.

In 1961, the company began using the name Mazda and started innovating luxury car design with the Cosmo 110S luxury sports coupe. Still, the company primarily operated in Japan and Asia with no business in the United States.

Mazda appeared in the United States in 1967 when the Curtiss-Wright Aviation Company imported two 110S coupes. Today, Mazda’s North American Corporation proudly owns one of these two cars.

Three years after importing the Curtiss-Wright 110Ss, Mazda Motor of America (N.W.), Inc. was established in Seattle, Washington. Japan exported cars for sale in the United States. Between 1970 and 1974, Mazda debuted a variety of cars.

Established in 1975, the Mazda Motor of America (Central), Inc. faced its first major challenge two years later, in 1977. The oil embargo and subsequent fuel scarcity changed how Americans bought and drove cars. Mazda created a new compact car, called the GLC, or Great Little Car, with higher fuel-efficiency than previous models to meet the needs of fuel-conscious drivers.

Ford Motor Company, a huge name in the American automotive industry, purchased 25% stock in Mazda, which was still called Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd., in 1979.

In 1982, Mazda reached a major milestone — selling its millionth car in the United States. The next year, 1983, Mazda received two major commendations. The first was the Mazda RX-7 being named one of Car and Driver’s “10Best.” The other was the Mazda 626 being named Motor Trend’s “Import Car of the Year.”

In 1984, Mazda officially changed its name from Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd. to Mazda Motor Corporation. Additionally, Mazda planned to open an assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan, and Mazda executives established the Mazda Foundation as the philanthropic arm of the Mazda Motor Corporation. The Flat Rock plant opened in 1985.

Mazda continued to debut new designs and win prestigious industry awards through the late 1980s and into the 1990s. In 1992, Mazda Motor Manufacturing (USA) Corporation, or MMUC, became a joint effort between both Mazda and Ford, called AutoAlliance International, Inc., or AAI.

Mazda introduced the innovative Miller-cycle engine in 1994. It featured fuel efficiency with a supercharged output and laid the groundwork for Mazda’s current SKYACTIV technology. In 1996, Ward’s Auto World named the Miller-cycle engine as one of its “Best Engines.” The same year, Ford increased its stock holdings in Mazda from 25% to over 33%.

All the regional Mazda divisions in the United States were consolidated under one name, Mazda North American Operations, located in Irvine, California, in 1997. The famous “Winged M” brand marquee debuted the same year.

In 2000, the famous “Zoom-Zoom” campaign debuted worldwide to immediate acclaim. The following year, Mazda celebrated 70 years of vehicle manufacturing.

Mazda continued to impress industry experts and consumers alike with its award-winning new designs and classic favorites, like the MX-5 Miata. In 2004, Mazda removed the “Miata” badge from its MX-5 sports cars to unify worldwide branding, but the name continues to be used with enthusiasts.

In 2009, Mazda introduced its SKYACTIV technology, a combination of light-weight transmission, engine, chassis, and other components, to create incredibly efficient and speedy vehicles.

Into the 2010s, Mazda continued to exceed goals and expectations with new vehicles, including a new class of SUV crossovers, win awards, and contribute to the community.

Interested in being a part of Mazda’s history? Stop into Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth to explore their fantastic stock of new Mazda vehicles.

Mission and Innovation

Mazda’s Corporate Vision states, “We love cars and want people to enjoy fulfilling lives through cars. We envision cars existing sustainably with the earth and society, and we will continue to tackle challenges with creative ideas.”

This vision and mission demonstrates Mazda’s commitment to honoring its past and creating a positive future. You know Mazda for its award-winning design, dependable vehicles, and groundbreaking technology. You can expect to see these tenets continue as we move into Mazda’s next 100 years. However, with a renewed commitment to sustainable practices, you may see the manner in which Mazda produces its cars and some of the vehicle’s features change in the coming years to support a healthier planet.

Vehicle Design

Mazda relies on Japanese principles of design for all of its vehicles, even those created by Americans, in America, for an American audience. While Mazda gives its designers the freedom to create, they always return to simplicity and timelessness.

Over time, Mazda’s vehicles have transformed from compact, two-door models to a variety of vehicles made to meet every consumer’s needs, including sporty coupes and spacious SUVs. Over the years, standout designs include the RX-7, MX-5, and CX-30. Stop by Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth to see what legendary used cars they have on offer.


Mazda is committed to a sustainable future for both the company and the planet. The company is working on developing technology to support its “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030” campaign. The goal of the campaign is to create a car compatible with sustainable practices.

Campaign components include reducing carbon dioxide emissions, improving electric car options, and introducing automated driving systems. One goal was to develop a superior and more sustainable SKYACTIV engine, called SKYACTIV-X, which Mazda released in a few test models in 2019.

It thrills Hiley Mazda of Fort Worth to celebrate 100 years of Mazda, and we look forward to the next 100 years of Mazda here in DFW. Come in to view our broad selection of new and used cars and service your current vehicle.

Posted in Mazda News