When it comes to the automotive market, anyone can certainly say that Japanese car manufacturers are leading the game worldwide. This is even before Honda and Toyota started distributing their own models and brands. Mazda is actually the first Japanese automaker to ever dominate the industry.

As a car company, Mazda actually started with the name of Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. Ltd. back in 1920. Interestingly, Mazda did not start out as a manufacturer of cars at all. Rather, it started as a manufacturer of equipment. There are also several theories surrounding the origin of Mazda. Some theorists mention that the name itself comes from the founder of the company himself, Jujiro Matsuda. There are also other theorists saying that the name comes from Ahura Mazda – a transcendental lord of the religion known as Zoroastrianism. There are also some linguists who claim that Mazda comes from a particular word of the Avestan language. But when you translate the word itself, Mazda literally means “wisdom,” which actually gives much symbolism and insight when it comes to the Japanese culture.

From a manufacturer of all sorts of equipment, Mazda evolved into car manufacturing entering the 60s. During that decade, Mazda cars have also evolved from the small unit bearing just 16 hp to the sports car that we see today, which is powered by the distinctive Wankel engine. This evolution can be attributed to the Mazda Cosmo.

As a car brand, Mazda started penetrating the US market in the 70s, just 2 short years after it made its first appearance in Canada. All throughout the 70s, Mazda was hailed the largest selling Japanese brand in the region. You could even say that Mazda paved the way for other Japanese brands to start penetrating the American forefront as well. It did not take too long for Mazda models to win American hearts all over because they do boast of being fashionable, durable, and reliable – all in one smart and trendy package.

It was in the 90s when Mazda entered the New York Stock Exchange and because of this move, the company’s ownership structure largely modified. More and more foreign investors began taking on stocks and shares from Mazda. The Ford Motor Company, at least for a while, began showing a lot of interest in the company, and this evolved into a healthy alliance between the two automakers.

To date, Mazda is no longer just a Japanese car brand; it has certainly become quite the global car brand as well. With over a million cars in production every year, Mazda is certainly giving every other automaking company a serious run for their money.