Inside Mazda

Mazda U.S. History

2017

  • Mazda CX-9 announced as a top-three finalist ahead of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit for Utility Vehicle of the Year.
  • Mazda wins a WardsAuto “10 Best Engines” award for the SKYACTIV-G 2.5T turbocharged engine.
  • The all-new 2017 CX-5 goes on sale in March 2017.

2016

  • Mazda North American Operations announces plans to relocate the North American headquarters to an all-new building at 200 Spectrum in Irvine, California—just two blocks from the current headquarters.
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata and CX-3 are announced as two of the three finalists for World Car Design of the Year.
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata wins both the World Car of the Year and World Car Design of the Year awards at the New York International Auto Show. It is the only car ever to win both awards in the same year.
  • Mazda introduces the MX-5 Miata RF at the New York International Auto Show, replacing the PRHT model and displaying Mazda’s KODO—Soul of Motion design strength.
  • Mazda builds 1 millionth MX-5—a right-hand-drive soft top model—on April 22, 2016. The vehicle tours the world, with 13,000 lucky fans having the opportunity to sign it. From August to October, the “Millionth Miata Celebration Tour” traveled to 17 stops in the U.S., including Miatas at Mazda Raceway.
  • The second-generation CX-9 three-row crossover SUV goes on sale as a 2016 model in June.
  • After eight years of development, Mazda introduces G-Vectoring Control, which uses throttle, steering and other inputs to subtly manage engine power to help provide greater weight on the front tires, helping stabilize steering and create a more surefooted experience. It is the first of Mazda’s SKYACTIV-VEHICLE Dynamics technologies. It goes on sale first in the 2017 Mazda3 and Mazda6 in late summer.
  • The all-new 2017 CX-5 compact crossover debuts at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Mazda announces the next generation of the SKYACTIV-D diesel engine is scheduled to be sold in the CX-5 toward the end of 2017.
  • MX-5 Miata RF goes on sale two months ahead of schedule at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, with the first vehicle being airfreighted to a customer in Huntington Beach, California.
  • The CX-5 tops the Mazda3 as Mazda’s best-selling vehicle in the United States.

2015

  • Mazda posts best sales record since 1994.
  • Mazda debuts new advertising campaign, “Driving Matters,” to expand the brand philosophy messaging in an attempt to create a deeper emotional connection with the brand.
  • 2016 Mazda6 and Mazda CX-5 go on sale with substantially revised interiors, design and materials, showcasing Mazda’s push toward delivering a “Mazda Premium” customer experience.
  • First-ever Mazda CX-3 goes on sale in U.S. during summer, completing Mazda’s crossover SUV lineup.
  • The fourth-generation 2016 MX-5 Miata roadster goes on sale in the U.S. in June 2016, with 1,000-unit Launch Edition leading the way to the most fanatical enthusiasts.
  • Introduced at the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, Mazda’s RX-VISION concept vehicle displays both the company’s next iteration of KODO design and its commitment to rotary engine development.
  • Mazda introduces all-new 2016 CX-9 three-row crossover SUV, the final vehicle in Mazda’s North American lineup to switch the SKYACTIV Technology. It introduces Mazda’s SKYACTIV-G 2.5T turbocharged engine.

2014

  • A school teacher in Chicago unknowingly purchases the 10 millionth Mazda sold in the U.S.—a 2013 Mazda3 Touring 5-door. Upon tracking her purchase, Mazda contacts her to recognize her purchase, buy the car back from her for its collection and reward her with a loaded, all-new 2014 Mazda3 s Grand Touring 5-door. The car now resides in Mazda’s heritage collection in Irvine, California.
  • A final run of 25th Anniversary third-generation MX-5 Miata PRHT models become available for order. Featuring Soul Red paint and a white leather interior, as well as a hand-painted dashboard insert, the 100 units allocated for the U.S. sell out in a mere 10 minutes.
  • After months of anticipation, Mazda introduces the 2016 MX-5 roadster at its world debut in Monterey, California, at club event “Miatas at Mazda Raceway”. Smaller, lighter and quicker than its predecessor, the new MX-5 bucks the weight- and size-creep prevalent in the automotive industry.
  • Mazda introduces MX-5 Cup, a global spec racecar using the new fourth-generation MX-5 as a platform. All MX-5 Cup cars are built by Long Road Racing.

2013

  • Mazda creates the national Mazda Drive for Good® charitable program, offering a unified way for the company, dealerships, employees and customers to give back to their local community.
  • Mazda introduces the third-generation Mazda3 5-door hatchback at three world locations simultaneously—New York City, Tokyo and London—in May. The Mazda3 goes on sale in summer as a 2014 model using Mazda’s full array of SKYACTIV Technology.
  • Third-generation Mazda6 makes U.S. debut at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, going on sale immediately after as a 2014 model.
  • Mazda campaigns diesel-powered SKYACTIV-D Mazda6 racecars in the GX class of the Grand Am racing series in the U.S. in anticipation of bringing the technology to the U.S. Mazda aims to become the first Japanese automaker since the 1980s to sell a diesel passenger vehicle in the U.S.
  • In Japan, Mazda begins experimenting with a range-extended version of its Demio EV, using a small range extender engine to supplement its electric motor. The Demio is the Japanese version of the Mazda2.

2012

  • Third-generation Mazda6 makes world debut at Moscow Motor Show in August; to go on sale in the U.S. in late 2013 as a 2014 model.
  • The Mazda CX-5 makes its world debut, set to go on sale in the U.S. as a 2013 model.

2011

  • Mazda unveils the MINAGI compact crossover SUV concept as a precursor to the CX-5, the first of Mazda’s all-SKYACTIV “sixth-generation” lineup. It debuts at the Geneva Motor Show.
  • Mazda launches the Mazda3 sedans as a 2012 model, with the vehicle gaining the availability of a SKYACTIV 2.0-liter engine, which is more than 20-percent more fuel-efficient than its MZR-engine predecessor while delivering better performance. It is not only the first modern compact to earn a 40-mpg rating, but it also foreshadows the strength of Mazda’s impending SKYACTIV Technology for all vehicles.

2010

  • Mazda introduces SHINARI concept car at a Design Forum in Milan, showing what will become known as KODO—Soul of Motion design that will spread throughout the Mazda lineup.
  • Mazda introduces second-generation Mazda3 sedan and hatchback in the U.S. with both standard 2.0- and 2.5-liter engines as well as with the turbocharged 2.3-liter MAZDASPEED version.

2009

  • Mazda introduces a lightweight, ultra-efficient combination of engine, chassis, suspension, transmission and body components called “SKY” that indicate Mazda’s next-generation vehicles. Using the highest compression ratio in the world for gas engines, the engines burn efficiently and deliver immediate, torque-rich response. Coined from the term, “The sky is the limit,” SKY is later named SKYACTIV Technology. It is the first time Mazda has had a clean-sheet design without a single carryover part larger than a bolt since 1967.
  • The subcompact Mazda2 is introduced at November’s Los Angeles Auto Show, to go on sale the following year as a 2010 model.

2008

  • Second-generation Mazda6 introduced in U.S. as 2009 model.

2007

  • Mazda introduces high-performance MAZDASPEED3 with 263-horsepower, turbocharged 2.3-liter DISI (direct-injection spark ignition) version of its MZR engine.
  • Mazda CX-9 wins the North American Truck of the Year award as well as the Motor Trend SUV of the Year award.

2006

  • Mazda CX-7 goes on sale, borrowing much of the design from the MX-Crossport concept. It uses both naturally aspirated and turbocharged versions of Mazda’s MZR engine.
  • Limited-edition MAZDASPEED6 performance model introduced with 274-horsepower, 2.3-liter turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive.
  • Mazda introduces its first three-row crossover SUV, the CX-9. It quickly gains popularity for its sleek design and sports sedan-like driving dynamics.
  • Mazda introduces first-ever MX-5 Power Retractable Hardtop (PRHT) model as a 2007 model.

2005

  • Mazda MX-Crossport concept debuts at North American International Auto Show in Detroit, foreshadowing CX-7 production crossover SUV.

2004

  • Mazda introduces 2004 MAZDA6 5-Door and Sport Wagon and turbocharged 2004 MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata.
  • MNAO removes “Miata” badge from the MX-5 sports car to globally unify alphanumeric names. Enthusiasts continue to call the vehicle by its colloquial name. The U.S. is still, to this day, the only market in the world that continues to recognize the MX-5 by the name given to it in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show.
  • RX-8 receives Car and Driver “10Best” award, MONEY® magazine’s “Best Sports Car” award, and is a 2004 Automobile Magazine “All-Star”

2003

  • Mazda introduces 2004 RX-8 sports car. The world’s only rotary-engine sports car is first with “Freestyle” door system and room for four adults.
  • Mazda introduces the 2003.5 MAZDASPEED Protegé.
  • Mazda introduces 2004 MAZDA3 4-Door and 5-Door that are designed to replace the Protégé. It is the first compact car in the U.S. to have available xenon HID headlights or leather seats, effectively raising the game in its class.
  • RX-8 RENESIS rotary engine wins 2003 International Engine of the Year.
  • MAZDA6 wins more than 60 domestic and international awards during its first year, including a Car and Driver “10Best,” Automobile Magazine “All-Star,” and MONEY®magazine “2003 Best Mid-Sized Sedan.”

2002

  • MNAO launches MAZDASPEED performance badge.
  • Mazda introduces turbocharged MAZDASPEED Protegé as a 2003 model, sharing both learnings from the Protégé MP3 and technologies shared with motorsports outfitter Racing Beat.
  •  MAZDASPEED Protegé, parts, accessories, and merchandise go on sale at Mazda’s exclusive MAZDASPEED dealers.
  • Mazda launches U.S. production and North American sales of 2003 MAZDA6 sports sedan to replace 626 sedan.

2001

  • Mazda Motor Corporation celebrates 70th anniversary of automobile manufacturing.
  • MNAO acquires naming rights to one of the world’s premier road-racing circuits, now called Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
  • Mazda introduces the Mazda Protegé5 sports wagon as a 2002 model.
  • Mazda introduces the Mazda Protégé MP3, a from-the-factory sports compact car.
  • Mazda MX-5 Miata, MPV, and Tribute named Consumers Digest “Best Buys.”

2000

  • To introduce a new focus on performance-minded, engaging vehicles, Mazda launches its first globally-unified marketing messaging strategy: Zoom-Zoom. It’s an immediate hit.
  • Tribute crossover introduced as a 2001 model year vehicle in conjunction with Ford. Mazda engineers develop much of both vehicles in the U.S. and Japan.

1999

  • The MX-5 Miata celebrates its 10th anniversary with a Special-Edition model and receives numerous accolades, including:
    • Fifth “10Best” award from Car and Driver.
    • Named to Consumers Digest “Best Buy” list.
    • “Best Convertible” in MotorWeek’s Driver’s Choice Awards.
    • One of Sport Compact Car’s “Eight Great Rides.”
  •  Mazda debuts all-new 2000 MPV.

1998

  • Mazda redesigns the MX-5 Miata for the first time since its introduction nine years earlier, debuting the new car as a 1999 model.
  • Mazda debuts the 1998.5 Mazda B-Series Cab Plus 4, the first 4-door import-brand truck.
  • Mazda introduces the all-new third-generation Protegé as a 1999 model. The Protegé receives Ultra Low Emission Vehicle status in California.
  • Millenia S Miller-cycle engine named as one of the “Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World.
  • The all-new MX-5 Miata receives a Car and Driver “10Best” award.

1997

  • MSS, MRA, MANA, and MMA consolidate operations under the new business name Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), headquartered in Irvine, California.
  • Mazda introduces its new “Winged M” brand marquee worldwide.
  • Millenia S Miller-cycle engine named as one of the “Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World.

1996

  • Ford Motor Company increases its equity in Mazda Motor Corporation to 33.4 percent.
  • J.D. Power and Associates Initial Quality Study rates the following among the top three vehicles per segment in initial quality: Compact Car – Mazda Protegé; Compact Pickup – Mazda B-Series; Sporty Car – Mazda MX-5 Miata; Entry Luxury Car (Under $35,000) – Mazda Millenia.
  • Automobile Magazine names MX-5 Miata and Millenia to its “All-Star” list.
  • Millenia S Miller-cycle engine named as one of the “Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World.

1995

  • Mazda RX-7 receives fifth “10Best” award from Car and Driver.
  • Automobile Magazine names MX-5 Miata and Millenia to its “All-Star” list.
  • Millenia S Miller-cycle engine named as one of the “Best Engines” by Ward’s Auto World.

1994

  • Mazda introduces the 1995 Mazda Millenia, an all-new luxury sedan.
  • Mazda introduces the supercharged high-output, fuel-efficient Miller-cycle engine (in the Millenia S), the first automotive application of Miller-cycle technology in a mass-production vehicle, a process which is still used in SKYACTIV gasoline engines.
  • Mazda introduces the 1995 Protegé, featuring OptiSpace design.
  • Mazda RX-7 named as a Car and Driver “10Best.”

1993

  • Assembly of the one-millionth Mazda at AAI.
  • Introduction of Mazda’s all-new 1994 B-Series Truck, assembled in Edison, New Jersey, in collaboration with Ford.
  • Mazda RX-7 named as a Car and Driver “10Best.”
  •  Automobile Magazine names MX-5 Miata to its “All-Star” list.

1992

  • MMUC becomes a joint venture between Mazda and Ford Motor Company, named AutoAlliance International, Inc. (AAI).
  • Completion of MANA’s Quality Research Building and the $25.6 million Woodhaven Inland Port facility in Woodhaven, Michigan.
  • Introduction of the 1993 RX-7.
  • Assembly of the all-new 1993 Mazda MX-6, 626, and Ford Probe begins at AAI.
  • MX-5 Miata receives a “10Best” award from Car and Driver.
  • Automobile Magazine names MX-5 Miata to its “All-Star” list.

1991

  • Mazda’s four-rotor 787B wins Le Mans, becoming the first and only Japanese manufacturer to win this famous endurance race.
  • Mazda enters into an agreement with Ford Motor Company to develop and manufacture a new Mazda compact B-Series Truck for the North American market, starting in 1993.
  • Introduction of the all-new 1992 Mazda 929 luxury sedan and MX-3 sports coupe, the first in its class offered with a 1.8-liter V6 engine, the smallest V6 in mass production.
  • One-millionth Mazda B-Series Truck sold in the U.S.
  • Automobile Magazine names MX-5 Miata to its “All-Star” list.
  • Mazda Navajo 2-door SUV wins Motor Trend Truck of the Year award.
  • MX-5 Miata and MPV 3.0-liter V6 each receive a Car and Driver “10Best” award.

1990

  • MRA Flat Rock expands to include testing for local parts development.
  • Mazda enters the U.S. sport-utility market segment with the 2-door Mazda Navajo.
  • MX-5 Miata receives “Automobile of the Year” award from Automobile Magazine.
  • MX-5 Miata and MPV each receive a “10Best” award from Car and Driver.

1989

  • Mazda introduces the MX-5 Miata sports car as a 1990 model at February’s Chicago Auto Show.
  • Introduction of the all-new 323 3-door hatchback and 1990 Mazda Protegé, which replaces the Mazda 323 sedan.
  • Assembly of the Mazda 626 4-door sedan begins at MMUC in Flat Rock.
  • MX-5 Miata named as one of five “World’s Best Cars” by Road & Track.

1988

  • Mazda’s U.S. operations undergo reorganization, with the consolidation of Mazda Motor of America (Central), Inc. and Mazda Motor of America (East), Inc. into Mazda Motor of America, Inc. (MMA), and the creation of Mazda Research & Development of North America, Inc. (MRA).
  • Mazda dedicates all-new $23 million R&D center in Irvine, California.
  • MMUC commences assembly of the Ford Probe and announces plans to export the Probe model to Japan for sale through Mazda’s Autorama dealer network. Export of the MX-6 to Taiwan and Canada follows.
  • Introduction of the 1989 Mazda MPV minivan.

1987

  • Mazda Motor of America, Inc. moves into new North American headquarters at 7755 Irvine Center Drive in Irvine, California.
  • Mazda introduces the MX-6 sports coupe and restyles the 626 series. The MX-6 is the North American name for the 626 sports coupe.
  • Assembly of the Mazda MX-6 begins in Flat Rock. In just over a year, MMUC fulfills virtually all North American demand for the MX-6.
  • Mazda introduces the 929 luxury sedan, giving the company a complete line of vehicles for its North American customers.
  • Mazda RX-7 Turbo named as a Car and Driver “10Best.”

1986

  • Mazda introduces second-generation RX-7.
  • Specially prepared Mazda RX-7 sets land speed class record of 238.442 miles per hour at Bonneville National Speed Trials.
  • Mazda RX-7 is awarded Motor Trend “Import Car of the Year.”

1985

  • Mazda Motor Manufacturing (USA) Corporation (MMUC) holds groundbreaking ceremony for new Flat Rock plant, the first US-based factory owned by a Japanese company.
  • Mazda introduces completely redesigned B-Series Truck.

1984

  • Mazda changes its name from Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd. to Mazda Motor Corporation.
  • Mazda announces plans to build an assembly plant in Flat Rock, Michigan.
  • Mazda establishes the Mazda Foundation as a way to give back to the communities in which it does business. The Foundation is established to providing financial and volunteer support to various non-profit organization that make a difference in their community.
  • Mazda 626 named as one of Car and Driver’s “10Best.”

1983

  • MANA opens Detroit office to conduct EPA emission testing and trend research.
  • Mazda RX-7 named as a Car and Driver “10Best.”
  • Mazda 626 is awarded Motor Trend “Import Car of the Year.”

1982

  • Mazda sells its one-millionth passenger car in the U.S.
  • Mazda introduces front-wheel-drive 626.

1981

  • MTC and TKUS merge to form Mazda (North America), Inc. (MANA).

1980

  • Mazda introduces the front-wheel-drive Mazda 323 as a replacement to the GLC.

1979

  • Ford Motor Company purchases a 25 percent stake in Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd. (later to become Mazda Motor Corporation)

1978

  • Mazda introduces the rotary-engine RX-7 sports car.
  • Mazda introduces the 626 series midsize car.
  • Introduction of the Mazda B-series pickup

1977

  • Mazda heads back to the drawing board after an oil embargo renders fuel scare and more expensive, limiting the viability of rotary-powered vehicles in the United States. As a result, Mazda builds a new compact car to achieve greater fuel-efficiency. Called the 323 or Familia in many overseas markets, U.S. marketers opt for a more American-sounding name—GLC, or “Great Little Car.”

1975

  • Mazda Motor of America (Central), Inc. established.

1974

  • Mazda debuts the RX-4, coupe, sedan and wagon.

1973

  • Mazda RX-3 becomes the first vehicle in the world to pass strict new U.S. standards for regulating exhaust emissions.
  • Car and Driver magazine purchases an RX-2 after their 40,000-mile evaluation and repurposes it as a race car. Their Car and Driver RX-2 becomes the first Mazda to win a professional race in the U.S., leading to a long heritage of motorsports competition both in the U.S. and abroad.

1972

  • Mazda Technical Center (MTC) and Toyo Kogyo U.S. Representative office (TKUS) established.
  • Mazda debuts the piston-engine 808 sedan, coupe and wagon.
  • Mazda debuts the rotary-powered RX-3.

1971

  • Mazda USA debuts the rotary-powered RX-2.

1970

  • Mazda establishes Mazda Motor of America (N.W.), Inc., located in Seattle, Washington.
  • Vehicle sales begin in the US, with the first imports from Japan departing Hiroshima on April 14, 1970, to arrive at the port of Seattle.

1967

  • The first 110S goes into production in May 1967, and two make it to the U.S. as official imports of the Curtiss-Wright aviation company.
  • Today, Mazda North American Operations proudly owns one of the two Curtiss-Wright 110S coupes known to exist.

1961

  • In order to stay independent in Japan, Mazda is mandated to create its own technological expertise. Following licensing of the Wankel rotary engine from German automaker NSU, Mazda perfects the engine for its Cosmo 110S luxury sports coupe.

1921

  • Jujiro Matsuda becomes president of Toyo Cork Kogyo Corporation.

1920

  • Toyo Cork Kogyo Corporation is founded by Shinpachi Kaizuka in Hiroshima, Japan.
  • The company produces cork and machine tools. In 1931, it evolves to sell three-wheel pickup trucks and small vehicles for the Japanese market.

 

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