Mazda began on January 30, 1920, as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co Ltd, a cork-making factory in Hiroshima, Japan. In 1927, Toyo Cork Kogyo changed its name to Toyo Kogyo Co Ltd. With the introduction of the Mazda-Go auto-rickshaw in 1931, Toyo Kogyo transitioned from the manufacture of machine tools to the manufacture of vehicles. The company formally adopted the Mazda name in 1984 after the god of harmony, intelligence and wisdom. The Mazda R360 debuted in 1960, and the Mazda Carol debuted in 1962.
Beginning in the 1960s, Mazda was inspired by the NSU Ro 80 and decided to devote significant engineering resources to the development of the Wankel rotary engine as a means of distinguishing itself from other Japanese automakers. Beginning with the limited-production Cosmo Sport in 1967 and continuing to the present day with the Pro Mazda Championship, Mazda has become the sole manufacturer of Wankel-type engines for the automotive market.
Mazda was the 22nd largest vehicle manufacturer in the world in 2020, selling 1.42 million vehicles between May 2019 and April 2020 and while the United States is Mazda's largest market, the company sold over 250,000 vehicles in Europe in 2019.
Mazda has always been known for producing dependable vehicles. In 2019, MotorEasy placed Mazda 19th in their dependability ratings and according to other indices, Mazda is actually one of the top manufacturers when it comes to reliability. On the ReliabilityIndex charts, Mazda has a very impressive score of 65.00, meaning it appears in 5th place on their chart. This places it with manufacturers like Lexus, Toyota, Honda and Suzuki at the top of their 40-strong list of manufacturers. So, in a nutshell, Mazda is extremely reliable.
The Mazda MX-5 is the company's crowning achievement. The Mazda MX-5 is simply one of the best-loved and most recognisable sports cars on the market, sweeping up sports car accolades and garnering a massive global fanbase.
From the first-generation model more than 30 years ago to today's fourth-generation effort, it's safe to say it has earned its sporting stripes, with a focus on plastering a big silly grin on your face. Nevertheless, as a sports car, it competes in one of the most difficult segments. If you want a sleek, stylish two-seater convertible, the MX-5 should be on your shortlist.