Wednesday 10 October 2007
Mazda, derived from ancient god Ahura Mazda, aspires to be a symbol of automotive culture, incorporating a desire for development in the vehicle manufacturing industry. Also named after its founder, Jujiro Matsuda, Mazda was established in January 1920. Mr. Matsuda changed the name in 1931, and he specifically wanted the company to associate its image with the god Ahura Mazda. Mr. Matsuda had trouble deciding between naming the company after his family name or the god. However, he finally chose the god’s name because “this was characteristic of the company’s founder, who was humble and idealistic and wished the brand name to be symbolic of a broader positive meaning”.
In 1929, the company started its production of trucks designed for commercial use. Three decades later, Mazda launched its first ever line-up of cars. It also started developing rotary engines and other Mazda parts. Not long after the company sprang open its gates for the company’s first passenger car models, Mazda began to export automobiles, as well as Mazda parts to Europe and the United States. In fact, since exportation started 40 years ago, overseas sales represent almost 70 percent of the company’s overall revenue. 610,000 Mazda cars were made, in 2005, for exportation while overseas production went beyond 280,000. Situated in Japan’s storied city Hiroshima, Mazda is currently one of the leading Japanese car makers in the world.
Mazda’s family consists of two main production sites in Japan and 18 overseas facilities. The factory located in Hiroshima is one of the largest single-site automobile plants in the world, with an annual production capacity of over 500,000 units. Located in Hofu, the other plant can manufacture 400,000 units. Mazda has also collaborated with foreign automotive companies overseas. Most of them are based in the United States, with one located in Thailand, where they work hand-in-hand with Ford Motor Company, Mazda’s largest shareholder.
The rotary engine best typifies Mazda’s rich history of engineering innovation, though the production of other Mazda parts keeps the company abreast with global automotive market. Despite persistent efforts by big companies to develop the sports car engine along more commercial lines, it was Japanese car maker Mazda that finally produced one through painstakingly research and hard work. Mazda boasts of being the only international maker of gasoline, diesel, and rotary internal combustion engines. The phenomenal RX-8, Mazda’s newest blueprint automobile, is equipped with the rotary engine. Mazda’s claimed purpose for its existence is to make cars that are both affordable and exhilarating to drive in. True to its slogan “Zoom-Zoom”, Mazda aims to afford drivers that feeling of rush, that motoring pleasure and passionate spirit that drives Mazda and all Mazda cars forward.