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Mazda Motor Corporation is a Japanese car manufacturer started in 1931 producing the Mazda Go.
In the early 1960s Mazda started a major development of the Wankel €rotary€ engine as it wanted to differentiate itself from its competitors. These engines provided good power and light weight in comparison to the V6 and V8 piston-driven engines of its competitors, who produced the same power but were much heavier.
From that moment on Mazda rapidly started exporting vehicles both with rotary and piston-driven engines. The RX series and the R100 were the company's top sellers. Nowadays it has become the sole manufacturer of Wankel-type engines.
The 1973 oil-crises slowed down the company as customers were seeking for cars with better fuel efficiency. Mazda then concentrated their efforts into producing the small €Familia€ brand series with piston-driven engines.
The rotary engines were kept for sports cars such as the RX-7 and RX-8.
As a results of its efforts in 1989 it came up with the lightweight sports car Mazda Roadster, better known as MX-5 which literally revived the market of small sports cars and became a the most popular roadster world-wide.
Following on its decades-long interests in alternative engine technology, Mazda introduced a Miller-cycle engine on the Millenia luxury sedan in 1995 and in the Demio model from 2008. Again the company is the only one to use a Miller-cycle engine in the production of cars.
In 1979 Mazda collaborated with Ford Motor Company and the partnership led to many joint projects and by 1997 Ford held 33.9% of Mazda.
The company has always aimed to produce and market cars that provide high safety and environmental performance and at the same time are fun to drive.
At present Mazda is the 15th largest producer of cars and LCVs in the world (OICA, 2009) and its current portfolio includes Mazda 2/Demio and Verisa (hatchbacks), Mazda 3/Axela (hatchbacks, sedans), Mazda 5/Premacy and Mazda 8/MPV (MPVs), Mazda 6/Atenza (sedans, station wagons, liftbacks), MX-5 (roadsters, hardtops), RX-8 (sports coupe), Tribute, CX-7 and CX-9 (SUVs), BT-90 (pick-up trucks).