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Mazda Evolution: 1920-Present

One of Mazda's notable achievements is the development of the rotary engine.

Mazda Evolution: 1920-Present

Mazda, originally known as Toyo Cork Kogyo Company, was founded in 1920 in Hiroshima, Japan. Initially, the company manufactured cork products. In 1931, Mazda introduced its first vehicle called the "Mazda-go," which was a three-wheeled truck. Over the years, Mazda expanded its lineup and made significant contributions to the automotive industry.

One of Mazda's notable achievements is the development of the rotary engine. In the 1960s, Mazda began working on rotary engine technology, and in 1967, they launched their first production car with a rotary engine, the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S. This innovation set Mazda apart and became synonymous with the brand.

In the late 1970s, Mazda formed a partnership with Ford Motor Company, leading to collaborations and the sharing of technologies. This partnership helped Mazda further its global presence and develop new models.

Throughout the years, Mazda has introduced iconic vehicles that have left a lasting impression. In 1989, Mazda unveiled the MX-5 Miata, a lightweight sports car that became one of the best-selling sports cars in history. The MX-5 Miata epitomizes Mazda's commitment to driving pleasure and has become an automotive icon.

In recent years, Mazda has focused on innovative technologies and design philosophies. They introduced their SKYACTIV engine technology in 2012, which combines fuel efficiency with performance. Mazda's KODO design language, adopted in 2010, emphasizes a sense of motion and dynamic aesthetics in their vehicle designs.

Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2020, marking a century of automotive innovation and craftsmanship. Throughout its history, Mazda has continuously evolved and strived to deliver exciting and engaging vehicles to its customers.

Mazda Evolution (Animation)

Here is a comprehensive timeline of every significant event and development in Mazda's history:

1920: Toyo Cork Kogyo Company is founded by Jujiro Matsuda in Hiroshima, Japan.

1931: The company adopts the name "Mazda" and begins producing machine tools, along with the introduction of its first vehicle, the Mazda-go, a three-wheeled truck.

1945: Mazda's production facilities are destroyed during World War II, forcing the company to focus on machine tools and other manufacturing equipment to stay afloat.

1959: Mazda partners with German carmaker NSU to develop a new rotary engine.

1960: Mazda begins developing rotary engine technology in-house after the partnership with NSU dissolves.

1961: Mazda begins producing consumer products, including the R360 coupe, its first four-wheeled passenger car.

1962: Mazda debuts its first rotary engine car, the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S, at the Tokyo Auto Show.

1964: The Mazda Familia, Mazda's first piston-powered car, is launched.

1967: Mazda launches the Mazda Cosmo Sport 110S, becoming the world's first manufacturer to mass-produce rotary-engined vehicles. Additionally, in the same year, Mazda also began exporting vehicles to the United States, marking its entry into the international market.

1970: Launches the Mazda RX-2, RX-3, and Mazda 616/618.

1971: Introduces the Mazda RX-3 (Savanna) and Mazda 818/Capella.

1972: Launches the Mazda RX-4 (Luce Rotary) and the first-generation Mazda 626.

1978: Introduces the iconic Mazda RX-7, powered by a rotary engine.

1979: Mazda forms a partnership with Ford Motor Company, leading to collaborations and technology sharing. Additionally, Mazda introduced the Mazda 323/GLC and Mazda 929 models during that time.

1980: Changes company name to Mazda Motor Corporation.

1981: The Ford Courier pickup truck debuts, a rebadged version of the Mazda B-Series truck.

1984: Mazda opens a new assembly plant in Hofu, Japan, for the production of front-wheel-drive vehicles, including the newly-developed 929 and 121 models.

1986: The Mazda MX-6 sports coupe is launched, and J.D. Power and Associates names Mazda the #1 Japanese carmaker in customer satisfaction.

1989: The Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car is introduced, winning over enthusiasts with its lightweight chassis and rear-wheel drive setup.

1991: Mazda wins the 24 Hours of Le Man's race with its rotary-powered 787B race car, becoming the first and only Japanese car manufacturer to do so.

1993: The Mazda RX-7 is discontinued and replaced with the RX-8, featuring a new rotary engine and a unique sports car design.

1995: Ford acquires a controlling interest in Mazda, leading to an increase in joint projects and parts-sharing between the two companies.

1996: The first-generation Mazda MPV minivan is launched, introducing new features such as a sliding side door and a modular seating configuration.

1997: The Mazda MX-5 Miata becomes the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history.

1998: Mazda introduces its first SUV, the Tribute, which shares its platform with the Ford Escape.

2002: Mazda introduces its SKYACTIV engine technology, which balances fuel efficiency and performance, along with the launch of the Mazda 3 compact car.

2005: The Mazdaspeed6, Mazda's first high-performance sedan, is launched.

2006: The CX-7 crossover is introduced, featuring a new "Nagare" design language.

2007: The CX-9 large crossover is launched, along with the introduction of the second-generation Mazda6.

2008: The Mazda5 compact minivan is updated, featuring a fuel-efficient engine and a sliding rear door.

2009: The Mazda RX-8 rotary-engined sports car is discontinued.

2010: Mazda adopts its KODO design language, emphasizing a sense of motion and dynamic aesthetics in its vehicle designs, and introduces the Mazda2 subcompact car.

2011: The new SkyActiv-G engine and transmission technologies are launched, along with the third-generation Mazda6 and the CX-5 compact crossover.

2012: The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is introduced, featuring a lighter and more agile design, and the CX-9 crossover is updated with new interior and exterior styling.

2013: The Mazda6 and CX-5 both receive awards for their fuel efficiency and environmental performance.

2014: The Mazda3 and CX-5 receive full redesigns, featuring even greater efficiency and performance capabilities.

2015: The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is unveiled, embodying the spirit of lightweight sports cars.

2016: Mazda announces plans to partner with Toyota to develop electric vehicles and other green technologies and introduces the CX-9's updated second-generation model.

2017: The CX-5 receives significant styling and technology upgrades, and the MX-5 Miata RF is introduced, featuring a retractable hardtop roof.

2018: The Mazda6 receives updates to its interior and exterior design, while the CX-3 receives a major exterior overhaul.

2019: Mazda unveils its "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom 2030" vision, aiming to achieve a carbon-neutral society and a more sustainable future.

2020: Mazda celebrates its 100th anniversary, marking a century of automotive innovation and craftsmanship.

RELATED: The 10 Best Mazda Cars of All Time

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