Mazda’s history of automotive manufacturing began with a three-wheeled truck. In the late 1920’s to 1930’, three-wheeled trucks were fast penetrating Japan as an accessible means of cargo freight. Named "Mazda-Go", the Type-DA was an innovative car powered by an air-cooled single-cylinder engine developed by Mazda. All the parts were made in Japan, which was rare back then. A "three diamonds" badge on the fuel tank recognized Mitsubishi Corporation, a Japanese trading company that was consigned to sell Mazda’s three-wheeled trucks.
When Mazda ventured into automotive manufacturing, the company built a new factory close to Jujiro Matsuda’s birthplace and relocated from Hiroshima City to Fuchu-cho where the current Mazda Headquarters are located.
In 1960, a small four-seater micro car rolled out of the state-of-the-art factory with innovative computer-aided production management. Mazda’s very first passenger car was soon known as "Mazda’s Coupe" thanks to its smart style. Loaded with the cutting-edge technology at that time, including luxury 4-cycle engine and extensive use of light alloy to reduce body weight, the Mazda R360 Coupe came with an amazing price tag of just 300,000 yen. This car definitely contributed to helping many Japanese consumers’ dream to have their own car come true. From three wheels to four wheels, moving away from trucks to passenger vehicles, the R360 Coupe is the symbol of Mazda’s early development as a car company.
It took 6 years for Mazda to commercialize the rotary engine. The first rotary-powered Mazda was launched in 1967 as a sports car with a futuristic form. Powered by the compact and high-power "dream engine", the car was named "Cosmo Sport" after the Latin word "cosmo" that means space.
To celebrate the launch, Mazda hosted a big launch event at a hotel in Tokyo with 1,700 celebrity guests from inside and outside the auto industry, which commanded a huge attention from all over the world. Even though only 1,176 units were produced in total, many Cosmo Sports are kept alive on the street today by their passionate owners.
A front-engine front-wheel-drive (FF) configuration is adopted by many compact cars today. The fifth-generation Mazda Familia was Mazda’s first model with the FF configuration.
Thanks to linear and sharp design, spacious and comfortable interior and agile, sporty driving, the Mazda Familia became a huge hit in Japan and was the top-selling model for a total of 8 months. The premium grade Familia XG was sought after by the young generation at that time; for the young and active Japanese men and women, the playful equipment such as rear lounge seat and a power sunroof was just spot on.
Mazda revived the lightweight sports car that was popular in the 1960’s in Europe and called it the first-generation Roadster. The car was launched in 1989 in its home country bearing Mazda’s new sales channel name, Eunos. Priced at 1,700,000 yen, pre-sale order taking events at venues across Japan attracted enthusiastic buyers. The enthusiasm soon spread around the world with the Roadster’s "fun to drive" coming out of Mazda’s pursuit of Jinba-ittai, a refreshing driving experience in an open-top sports car and emotional, cute design. The Eunos Roadster opened up new ways for people to enjoy driving through one make races and spawned a community of the Roadster fans and owners to share their passion.
Mazda 787B is a racing car that led Mazda to enjoy the first victory by a Japanese car company at the 59th 24 Heures du Mans (Le Mans) in June 1991. Due to updates on racing regulations, 1991 was the final year for the rotary-powered racing cars to enter Le Mans.
From the early stages of the race, the No.55 Mazda 787B was one of the top-placed cars; with 3 hours remaining, the No. 55 took the first position and sped on to win. Even though the finish time in France was around midnight in Japan on the same day, many motorsports fans stayed up with their eyes glued on television screen. After 17 years from its first Le Mans entry in 1974, Mazda and its rotary engine seized the prestigious title in their 13th attempt.
MAZDA3, launched in 2019, is the first model powered by SKYACTIV-X, an innovative engine that uses Mazda’s original SPCCI combustion technology to combine the benefits of gasoline and diesel engine. Mazda designers succeeded in further elevating KODO Design; the MAZDA3 Hatchback, developed under "seductive presence" theme, lets the light play on its flowing lines on the side of the body. The company also demonstrated further evolution of its next-generation technologies that reflected human-centered product development philosophy, advanced safety technology, audio system and connectivity system. The MAZDA3 is the proof of Mazda’s commitment to lifting its "Celebrate Driving" (the exhilaration and truly fun-to-drive) to the new level.