Mazda: 12 Little-Known Facts About the Japanese Automaker

Mazda MX-5 / mazdausamedia.com

Mazda is one of the most popular and well-known brands of cars. However, despite the fact that the company has spent a considerable amount of time in the spotlight and under the scrutiny of the public eye, there are still some things that many people don’t know. With that in mind, here we present our list of 12 things you probably didn’t know about Mazda. Well, what are you waiting for? Check it out for yourself below!

Number Twelve: Mazda Holds a Special Le Mans Distinction

In fact, the company is the only Japanese automaker to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans outright. It did so with its rotary-powered 787B in 1991.

Number Eleven: It’s Stuck With Rotary Engines Through and Through

Mazda first began using rotary engines to distinguish itself from other automakers after World War II – it did this to avoid the possibility of the company combining with another automaker. To this day, the company is the only automotive manufacturer to mass-produce a rotary engine-powered vehicle.

Number Ten: From Corks to Cars

You might know that Mazda was founded by Jujiro Matsuda. However, what most people don’t know is that Matsuda started the company by repurposing a Japanese cork-making operation into an enterprise that built vehicles.

Number Nine: The CX-3 Was Developed in Only 13 Months

While most vehicles require two or even three years to go from inception to completion, the Mazda CX-3 subcompact crossover SUV took just 13 months to develop. This is incredibly impressive.

Number Eight: It Introduced the Best-Selling Two-Seat Roadster of All Time

Can you guess what it is? the Mazda MX-5 Miata, of course! There have been nearly one million of them made since 1989.

Number Seven: The MX-5 Miata Was Designed by a Journalist

Bob Hall was a former auto journalist, but he’s also responsible for coming up with the MX-5 Miata. He first sketched the car before he began working with Mazda, and then the company began developing the car when Hall joined in the mid-’80s.

Number Six: Mazda’s Great Little Car

The Mazda GLC was the company’s first stateside success. Though the car was sold as the 323 or the Familia overseas, in the United States it was marketed as the GLC because marketers didn’t think a car with a numeric name would be successful. GLC stands for Great Little Car.

Number Five: It Stands Apart in the Japanese Market

While all other major Japanese auto manufacturers are based out of Tokyo, this isn’t the case with Mazda. The company is actually based out of Hiroshima and is the only major Japanese auto manufacturer not based out of Tokyo.

Number Four: Zooming Closer Into ‘Zoom Zoom’

Today, the company is synonymous with the tagline “zoom zoom.” The tagline first appeared in a 2000 ad for the Tribute SUV that aired in the U.S.

Number Three: Its Hiroshima Headquarters Were Spared, Thanks to a Mountain

While Hiroshima experienced horrific devastation on August 6, 1945, Mazda’s HQ survived the atomic bomb. The headquarters were protected by a small mountain named Ogonzan.

Number Two: It Built Weapons for the Japanese Military

Because the company was a tooling manufacturer in the 1930s and ’40s, it quickly became renowned for its engineering prowess. Because of this, it was commissioned during World War II to make weapons for Japan’s military.

Number One: It’s One of the Last Independent Automotive Manufacturers

More and more giant automotive groups have been taking over, but Mazda has been pushing back. Today, it’s one of the last successful independent automotive manufacturers and continues to be highly profitable. Thanks for reading!

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