Mazda History

Since the launch of the zoom-zoom advertising campaign, Mazda has been on a drive to popularize its vehicles and create greater brand awareness in the car-buying public. It always galled the advertising and brand executives that people usually thought Mazdas were either Hondas or Toyotas, and you’ll notice they insist that recent models have the company name affixed as part of the car’s name, e.g. Mazda6 not Mazda 6.

The company was formed in 1920 by Jujiro Matsuda, and current HQ is Hiroshima, Japan. The name is derived from the Zoroastrian god of reason Ahura Mazda, and the emblem is an ‘owl’ symbol. The company suffered some economic turmoil in the 1960’s, prompting Ford to step in in 1979 for a 7% stake. This has been gradually increased over the years, but in 2008 when Ford itself was haemorrhaging money it reduced its stake in Mazda, and Mazda even bought back 6.8% of the shareholding. Sales for 2007 totalled about 1.3 million vehicles.

Mazda Models

The Mazda lineup in New Zealand kicks off with the BT-50, a 1-ton pickup truck with a 3.0 diesel engine, also available as a dual-cab. The Mazda2, also known as the Demio is a small city car. The latest model is beautifully styled and will definitely give the Ford Fiesta a run for its money. The Mazda3 is a larger hatchback, and it comes with either a 2.0 or 2.5 engine, or the 2.3 turbo in the MPS, the performance model. The Mazda6 is a popular midsize sedan also sold with a choice of 2.0 or 2.5-litre engine. The MX-5 is a long-lived small sports car that’s won high praise from several motoring journalists and owners for its high driving-fun quotient. The RX-8 is a 4-door sports coupe with Mazda’s unusual rotary engine. This engine has a displacement of only 1.3 litres, but its high-revving nature and layout enable it to produce 170kW of power. The sole SUV is the CX-7, a midsize crossover with a 2.3 turbo engine.


Looking at buying a Mazda? Check the vehicle history of any Mazda by entering its number plate in the field above.