Mazda Make Overview
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Older Mazda Models
|Mazda 121||Mazda 323||Mazda 808|
|Mazda 929||Mazda B-Series Truck||Mazda B2000|
|Mazda Bongo||Mazda Capella||Mazda Cosmo|
|Mazda Demio||Mazda Familia||Mazda GLC|
|Mazda MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata||Mazda MAZDASPEED Protege||Mazda MAZDASPEED6|
|Mazda MX-3||Mazda MX-6||Mazda Navajo|
|Mazda Premacy||Mazda RX-3||Mazda RX-4|
|Mazda RX-7||Mazda Truck||Mazda Xedos 6|
Ask just about any car aficionado to name the most memorable Mazda, and chances are they'll say the RX-7 sports car, an iconic vehicle that helped establish Mazda as a verifiable brand in the U.S. and could be considered the forerunner of the automaker's "zoom zoom" marketing campaign. But Mazda was around a long time before the RX-7 made its first appearance in 1978.
The origins of Mazda go all the way back to the 1920s, when the company that would eventually become Mazda, then called the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., was founded in Hiroshima. Although it originally produced machine tools, the company soon began producing three-wheeled trucks and sedans. However, it wasn't until 1960 that the company produced its first four-wheeled vehicle, called the R360. Mazda soon moved aggressively into auto production, with the first Mazdas appearing in the U.S. in 1970.
During the 1970s, Mazda became known as the automaker that produced vehicles with the Wankel rotary engine, including the RX-2, the RX-3, and the RX-7. In 1979, Ford bought a 25 percent stake in the company, and Mazdas and Fords have been linked ever since. In fact, Mazda built early Ford Ranger pickup trucks, until Ford took over production of the trucks in the mid-1980s.
In later years, such Mazda vehicles as the 323, the 626, the Millennia, the Protege, and the Miata helped establish the Mazda brand. In addition, the automaker's popular "zoom zoom" marketing campaign helped distinguish the company from its competitors.