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Everything you need to know about Mazda

PHOTO: Charles Banaag

What is Mazda known for?

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The Mazda Motor Corporation is known for iconic cars like the MX-5, a.k.a. the Miata, and the RX-7. Many of its vehicles are popular for their driver-centric performance and sleek designs. The company is also renowned for its jinba ittai philosophy. To put it simply, this philosophy revolves around the unity between a horse and its rider, or a vehicle and its driver.

The brand is also known for developing and championing the Wankel rotary engine. While conventional engines have pistons that turn a crankshaft to drive the wheels, the rotary engine propels the vehicle with a central component.

Because of their design, rotary engines were smaller and quite powerful for their size. The only downside is that they’re vulnerable to wear and produce more emissions. Many believed that rotary engines would no longer be a thing when the RX-8 was discontinued in 2012, but Mazda announced the comeback of the iconic engine design as a range extender in future electric powertrains.


When and how did Mazda start?

Image of the Mazda logo
Mazda, then known as the Toyo Kogyo, started out as a manufacturer of cork products in 1920. The Toyo Kogyo officially changed its name to the Mazda Motor Corporation in October 1931 as it ventured into automobile manufacturing. Their first product out of the production line was a tricycle truck called the Mazda-go, coined by one of Mazda’s founders and second president, Jujiro Matsuda.

Why did the brand choose the name Mazda?

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Given what we know about this carmaker, why is it called ‘Mazda’ and not ‘Matsuda’ after one of the founding fathers of the company? We all know how other car manufacturers named their brands after their founders. Take Ford or Honda, for example.

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See, the name Mazda came from the name Ahura Mazda, the Zoroastrian god of life. This West Asian deity is said to bring harmony, intelligence, and wisdom–all the things that Mazda the carmaker aspires to bring about into the world.

For Mazda, the name represents the joint effort of Eastern and Western automobile manufacturing industries to work towards improving civilization and culture as a whole. The company also wanted a name that symbolized its desire to bring world peace and be a light in the automotive industry.

The word Mazda also sounds a lot like Jujiro Matsuda’s last name. So, in the end, the name makes sense.

How many Mazda cars are manufactured and sold?

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Most Mazda vehicles are manufactured in Japanese plants, specifically in Hiroshima, Miyoshi, and Hofu. Meanwhile, vehicles slated for the North American market are produced in Mexico. The manufacturer also has facilities in China, Russia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia.


In the first half of 2022 alone, Mazda produced 492,327 passenger and commercial vehicles worldwide.

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What’s a notable Mazda concept car

Image of the Mazda MX-5 NM Concept
When it comes to Mazda concept cars, we have a couple of favorites. One of them, despite not being made by the brand, is the Miata NM Concept. This is the iconic roadster stripped down to its most basic form. One seat, no windshield, and just pure driving performance. Is it practical? No. But it is gorgeous and looks like a blast to drive.

Another favorite is the Mazda Senku, a four-seater sports car armed with the brand’s signature rotary engines. It didn’t make its way to a production line, but the curves and the lines on this thing are smooth like butter.

We also love the Mazda Taiki, a concept that reimagined what a sports car could be. This concept embodies flow and was actually inspired by Japanese traditional garments. The Taiki stayed in the drafts, never making it past the concept stage, but it was supposed to feature a next-generation rotary engine.

And dare we even forget the Mazda Furai? This is one of the most famous Mazda concept thanks to its futuristic design. Unfortunately, the Furai caught fire at the Top Gear test track and got fried to a crisp.

How is Mazda doing in the Philippines?

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Mazda has been under Bermaz Auto Philippines in the local market since 2012. It’s been ten years since new management took over here in the country, and since then, Mazda has become one of the most desirable brands in the market.

Mazda Philippines is also involved in a number of environmental initiatives. It is the first local car brand to participate in the carbon-offset program in collaboration with Shell Philippines. In 2021, the company had already accumulated and offset 11 tons of CO2 from its fleet’s overall expenditure.


The Mazda Center of Excellence in Cabuyao, Laguna is also another marvel in sustainability and innovation. The 2.5-hectare warehouse and training facility compound has the infrastructure to store up to 135,000 liters of rainwater and generate 125 kWh of power.

What Mazda models are available in the Philippines?

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Mazda Philippines has a well-rounded lineup of vehicles in the Philippines. One of the most popular is the Mazda 3. This model won Mazda plenty of awards already. In fact, the Mazda 3 is the winner of the 2020 World Car Design of the Year Award. This was the second time Mazda had won the World Car Design of the Year award, following the MX-5’s back-to-back World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year wins in 2016.

Other mainstream Mazda passenger cars include the Mazda 2 and the Mazda 6. If you want a crossover, there’s the Mazda CX-3 and CX-30, both drive great and feature sharp designs. But if you’re in the market for something with a roomier interior, you might do well to check out the CX-5 and CX-9.

Rear quarter view of the 2022 Mazda BT-50 4x2 MT

In the market for a pickup? There’s the Mazda BT-50, which we recently compared to the Ford Ranger and the Toyota Hilux.

And of course, there’s the Mazda MX-5. It’s arguable the market’s top driver’s car and being behind its wheel is one of the purest motoring experiences available in the market. It’s absolute freedom, we tell you—except for when you have to keep the top up driving through major roads because of all the pollution.

Where can I buy a Mazda in the Philippines?

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Thinking of getting a Mazda 3, or perhaps an MX-5? There are 16 Mazda dealerships across the Philippines, from Alabang and Makati to Cebu, Cagayan De Oro, and Davao. You can check out the list of dealers on the Mazda Philippines website, where you can find their addresses and contact details.


If you want to request a quote, Mazda Philippines has a tool on its website for that as well. Just enter the vehicle information and your preferred dealer to get a quote.

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PHOTO: Charles Banaag
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