Mazda Motor Corporation is one of the automotive companies from Japan. The company was founded in 1920 with the head office in Hiroshima, Japan. The company employed 39,365 workers on March 31, 2008. In 2007, Mazda produced 1.3 million cars in the world. Most of the production reached nearly 1 million that was produced at the factory in Japan and remain product were spreading around the world. Mazda is famous for the rotary engine which installed on the Mazda RX-7 and Mazda RX-8. In 1979, Mazda began an alliance with Ford Motor Company. In 2014, Mazda chose to end the cooperation with Ford.
Mazda then signed a partnership with Toyota Motor Corporation and Isuzu in 2015 and July 2016, especially in the development of their double cabin pick-up, BT-50. Currently, Mazda wants to change the image into a brand of luxury car with equivalent quality to the European cars. Mazda was founded on 30 January 1920 by Jujiro Matsuda, which was originally named Toyo Kogyo Co.Ltd. Then, in 1927, the company started producing machine tools. Until eventually this company changed the name back into Mazda and it is still used this time.
After the Second World War, Mazda continued to produce vehicles under the name Toyo Kogyo. But in 1984, the name of the vehicles was later transformed into Mazda. According to the company’s website, the name was from Ahura Mazda, the Persian God of Zoroastrianism. However, historians in the automotive field also believe that the company name comes from the founder, Jujiro Matsuda. This claim is still unverified even until today.
The popularity of Mazda began to grow in 1960 when the company introduced the first car, Mazda R360. This type of car was 4 seats, 2-door coupe, powered by a 356-cc rear mounted air-cooled V-twin engine. This machine was suitable for 4-speed manual transmission or 2-speed automatic transmission. The engine was capable to produce maximum power output up to 16 horsepower and 16 lb-ft of torque. The engine was also able to have a highest speed about 52mph. In addition, the operation of Mazda also involved the development of Wankel’s rotary engine.
The concern of this company to the engine development was basically triggered by Mazda’s desire to use this technology as a means of differentiating the product itself from other Japanese cars. The efforts and resources of Mazda that were used in developing rotary engines finally got positive results. The company started selling new machines and it was developed in 1962. Five years later, Mazda released a limited-edition Cosmo Sport was powered by a Mazda rotary engine. This type of machine is also used in the current RX-8 engine. This event made Mazda as the only car manufacturer that was involved in Wankel machine production.
Mazda Motor Corporation developed a partnership with Ford Motor Company when Mazda suffered a financial crisis in 1960. Ford wanted to be an investor and American car manufacturer gained a 7% financial stake in 1979, and later increased to 27% during the year 80s. Since Mazda has suffered a financial crisis, Ford continued to acquire some of the company’s shares, and in 1996 Ford was able to achieve 33.4% of Mazda’s financial shares.
However, the problem happened, the car which sold by Ford in 2008 had the negative impact because of the world financial crisis. As a result, Ford reduced the involvement with Mazda’s operations, then finally allowed Japanese automakers to handle the business and involved a global car market with full independence. Mazda and Ford partnership began to weaken when the Japanese car company was led by several presidents, such as Henry Wallace in 1996, James Miller in 1997, and Mark Field, a Ford executive, in 1999.
Under the leadership of Field, Mazda began expanding the product line and marking the beginning of Mazda’s independence from Ford. The global economic crisis has weakened the alliance between the two companies and then Ford sold the share to Mazda’s company. In November 2010, Ford’s financial shares in Mazda were reduced to only 3%, and this is the possibility for Mazda to pursue the own interests and increased growth in developing markets. The partnership between the two companies is currently limited to several joint ventures and some information technology exchange.
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