The Australian bush fire, Taal Volcano’s eruption, World War III scares, Kobe Bryant’s passing… yep, we think it’s safe to say 2020 is off to a pretty rough start. Still, one hiccup after another doesn’t mean there aren’t a few bright spots here and there, right?
If you’re into the world of automobiles, here’s something worth celebrating this year: The Mazda Motor Corporation has just turned 100 years old.
Surprised? You wouldn’t be if you knew that the Japanese car manufacturer first got its start in 1920 producing cork as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Company. Eventually, it removed ‘cork’ from its name and ventured into the world of transportation with the three-wheeled Mazda Go in 1931.
In 1960, the company—still called Toyo Kogyo Company at the time—produced its first-ever four-wheel passenger car, the R360 Coupe. A few years later, the Familia name was born, followed by the 110S Cosmo Sport in 1967, and the RX-7 in 1978. It was only in 1984 that the company finally changed its name to the Mazda Motor Corporation.
The rest, as they say, is history. Mazda introduced the iconic MX-5, the planet’s happiest car, in 1989. The manufacturer went on to win Le Mans in 1991 with the 787B, the first-ever Japanese automobile to do so. Today, Mazda is one of the world’s most established carmakers, offering products with enough levels of premium to compete with some European nameplates.
“Mazda originated as a company producing cork and then took the path to manufacturing automobiles. Now, our cars have found friends with many customers from over 130 countries and regions,” Mazda CEO Akira Marumoto said in a statement.
“We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the customers, dealers, suppliers, business partners and the local community, who have supported us over the years through good and bad times, to whom we owe our 100 years of existence. As we look ahead to the next 100 years, we will continue to put people first and cherish our ‘uniqueness of co-creating with others,’” he added.
Here’s to another 100 years of producing some of the best driver’s cars around. What’s your fondest memory of this car brand?