Mazda is dedicated to the philosophy of omotenashi – a Japanese mindset that puts others ahead of oneself and delivery joy through thoughtfulness.
The year 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of Mazda, rather than recognize the company’s history and innovations, we chose to focus on the “challenger spirit” which is at the core of the brand’s DNA. When COVID hit, Mazda pivoted from celebrating its own accomplishments to instead sought to uplift and help communities.
The Making of Mazda Heroes
As a result, Mazda launched Essential Car Care, a program that donated up to $5 million in free oil changes to keep healthcare workers going regardless of the make or model of the cars.
Mazda took notice of the inspiring work being done by people across the country and wanted to celebrate the people who shared our commitment to community — a value held throughout our 100-year existence. Mazda decided to honor Americans who were leaning into their own Challenger Spirit with “Mazda Heroes: Honoring the Human Spirit.”
The initiative aimed to recognize the amazing work of 50 individuals who employed creative approaches to uplift their communities during the time of COVID. And to acknowledge their selfless dedication, honor each of them with a small piece of Mazda’s history – a brand new Mazda MX-5 Miata 100th Anniversary Special Edition.
Three of these heroes were surprised with the news live on Good Morning America by hosts Michael Strahan and Ginger Zee. Another 47 heroes were honored by their friends and family or at local dealerships. The breadth of this initiative and the people it honored is perhaps best told by the numbers.
Mazda Heroes by the Numbers
- 1,000+ nominations were submitted in the nationwide search for heroes
- 50 heroes selected
- $143K was donated to non-profit organizations by four recipients who opted for the cash donation option
- 16 opted to drive away with a 2020 CX-5
- 5 teachers
- 7 food securers
- 8 PPE makers and gatherers
- 13 Good Samaritans
- 17 healthcare workers
For more on Mazda Heroes, click here.