Toyo Cork Kogyo is founded on January 30, 1920 in Hiroshima, focused on manufacturing cork substitutes. As natural cork begins to flood the market, the company shifts its production to mechanics.
The name ‘Mazda’ first appears as ‘Mazda-Go’, a motorized three-wheel truck. The name originates from Ahura Mazda, the god of light, wisdom, intelligence and harmony. It also derives from the company founder’s name, as Matsuda is pronounced Mazda in Japanese.
From that point on, the company paid homage to the resilience and spirit of the people of Hiroshima. The inspiration Mazda takes from its fellow citizens leads to its own reinvention. Astonishingly, given the devastation the war brought, Mazda regroups and begins producing a prototype of a small passenger car as early as 1945.
Building on the success of the Mazda-Go, Mazda begins production of the iconic three-wheeled K360 truck, which goes on to sell 280,000 units until it was discontinued in 1969.
After years of persistence and a single-minded focus on reaching their goal, Mazda engineers make a breakthrough in 1967 with the iconic rotary-powered Cosmo sports car. The successful engineers become automotive legends for crossing the finish line with a splashy new vehicle that puts the automotive world on notice.
For nearly five decades, Mazda has been bringing its joy of driving to Canadians. Established here in 1968, we’ve grown to have 163 independently owned, franchised dealers across the country. Mazda sales in Canada began with the iconic R100 Coupe.
Mazda releases the RX-2, a stylish mid-size saloon and coupe, in 1971, with a succession of RXs following its debut.
Drivers – and automotive critics – noticed the difference. Since then it’s become the bestselling sports car of all time, with more than 1 million sold. Today the MX-5 remains a favourite among drivers for its acclaimed design and handling
After competing in the gruelling 24 Hours of Le Mans race for year, Mazda upsets the motoring world by winning the coveted “triple crown” – the first time a rotary engine wins the classic competition. By getting the overall win in the 1991 race, Mazda also becomes the first Asian carmaker to do so. In a race that tests the limits of an engine in terms of durability and efficiency, Mazda demonstrates that its rotary technology is up to the task by defeating automotive giants who’d dominated this pinnacle of endurance racing. This was a moment that set the tone for the rest of the decade, with our now-iconic Miata sportscar bringing the joy of elite driving to the masses.
In 2001, Mazda celebrates 70 years of carmaking and in the following decade receives multiple honours and awards – for Best SUV and Best Family Sedan among many others. In 2004, the Mazda RX-8 sports car comes with its celebrated rotary engine – the only vehicle with this feature at the time.
Our engineers never stop innovating and the dawn of a new century brings the Skyactiv family of breakthrough technologies. Skyactiv engines harness a 13:1 compression ratio (similar to that of a racing car) to deliver unparalleled fuel efficiency, power and exhaust performance.
The milestone marker is a 2016 Mazda3, which also happens to be Canada’s best-selling vehicle, this particular one purchased in Quebec.