in his concept, and the company
THE MARKET committed itself to developing a
In the summer of 1968, Mazda entered the viable, high-performance rotary
Canadian market by crossing the Pacific to engine, unveiling a proto-
open an office in Richmond, B.C., type sports car at the 1964
along with a few dealerships. Tokyo Motor Show.
Initially, the company from Over the next 45 years,
Hiroshima, Japan, offered Mazda would establish
a single product — a curi- itself as one of the most
ous car called the Mazda creative and successful
R100 Coupe. This unas- automotive brands in the
suming import featured world. During the oil
the only production rotary crises of the 1970s, the
engine in the world. The GLC (“Great Little Car”)
little engine had no pistons, gained popularity among
yet managed to outperform cost-conscious consumers. 1978
cars with larger powerplants in races saw the debut of the now legendary RX-7, a car
from Singapore to Germany. In time, the rotary 2004 model year, claiming the title of “Canadian that would dominate the International Motor Sports
engine would come to symbolize the innovative Car of the Year” for the Mazda3. Association (IMSA) race series for more than a
and nonconformist spirit of the Mazda brand. Over the past four years, the company has decade. In 1989, the company rekindled the idea of
Mazda Canada Inc. is now based in another won best-in-class titles with its rotary- and piston- a two-seat convertible roadster with its Mazda
Richmond: Richmond Hill, Ontario. The com- powered sports cars, as well as sedans, wagons, Miata. In 1991, Mazda again made racing history
pany has grown to more than 160 dealerships hatchbacks and multi-purpose family vehicles. by winning the Le Mans 24-hour race with its four-
across Canada, sold over one million cars and And the CX-9 — Mazda’s seven-passenger SUV rotor 787B, becoming the only Japanese car com-
trucks and today offers a full lineup of sports — topped 10 competitors to win Motor Trend’s pany ever to win the prestigious race.
cars, family movers, SUVs and crossovers. But 2008 Sport/Utility of the Year.
it’s still a curious car company, albeit one
committed to building affordable, fun-to-drive HISTORY
vehicles that stand out in a crowd. Back in 1920, a small company was
launched in Hiroshima and soon evolved
ACHIEVEMENTS into a toolmaker. Just 10 years later, it had
The Canadian market is one of Mazda’s global transformed into an ambitious manufacturing
success stories, with annual sales topping 80,000 concern, producing a three-wheeled truck
vehicles for the last two years. In fact, the Mazda3 called the Mazda-go. The little truck’s name
is now the second-best-selling car in the country. was soon applied to the company as a whole.
Mazdas have always been popular with In 1936, a logo was developed that represented In 2002, Mazda introduced
Canadian journalists and critics, winning 20 the new company name — Mazda Motor the zoom-zoom brand concept, emphasizing an
Automobile Journalist Association of Canada Manufacturer — as well as Hiroshima’s sur- emotional connection with drivers — specifically
(AJAC) Car of the Year Awards since the Mazda rounding mountains and city emblem. Those “the emotion of motion.”
RX-7 took the Best New Sports Car title in 1986. mountains would later shield Mazda’s factories
Nine of Mazda’s AJAC wins have come since from the devastation wrought by the atomic THE PRODUCT
introducing “new-generation” vehicles during the bombing of the city at the end of World War II. The first “new-generation” Mazdas were the 2004
In 1949, the GB truck, nick- Mazda6 sedans and wagons, which have since won
named “Speedy Mazda,” began more than 100 international awards. Next was the
rolling off the assembly lines. RX-8. Not only did this sports car feature ground-
It played a vital role in Japan’s breaking design — appearing to be in motion while
reconstruction. standing still — it broke the mould when it came to
Mazda introduced a two- performance. The RX-8 took the World’s Best
door passenger car in 1960. Engine title for its RENESIS rotary engine and
The R360 was compact, afford- set numerous speed and endurance records on test
able and remarkably light tracks and in races.
for the times. By the mid- Today, the Mazda3 and Mazda3 Sport are
’60s, Mazda was working with considered by many critics to be the best
Germany’s NSU to adapt performance/value combination in the compact
inventor Felix Wankel’s rotary segment. And the innovative Mazda5 — a
engine to production vehicles. six-passenger Multi-Activity Vehicle — presents
Mazda’s engineers believed a vibrant alternative for people with active
lifestyles and a visceral dislike for mini-
vans. MAZDASPEED editions are crafted
for performance enthusiasts and epitomize
the attributes of core Mazda models.
In 2007, the MAZDASPEED3 — based
on the Mazda3 platform — was named
Best New Sports/Performance Car (under
$50,000) by AJAC.
Perhaps the most significant additions
to the Mazda product line have been two
new crossover vehicles. First out of the gate
was the all-wheel-drive Mazda CX-7. The
five-passenger CX-7’s dramatic and angu-
lar body style clearly announced the arrival
of a new category and design language.
The Mazda CX-9 is a luxurious SUV
that accommodates seven passengers. In
addition to the Motor Trend Sport/Utility
of the Year award mentioned, the influen-
tial car comparison website Edmunds.com named electric system. And the stunning new Mazda vehicles that are stylish, insightful and spirited.
the CX-9 to its Editor’s Most Wanted Vehicles list Furai concept, which appeared at the 2008 The physical results of these traits are products with
for 2007. Its 273-hp 3.7-litre V6 engine with a Canadian International Auto Show, is a 450-hp distinctive designs, exceptional functionality and
six-speed transmission injects a strong dose of supercar that runs on 100% ethanol (E100) fuel. responsive handling. The experiential sum of these
zoom-zoom into the SUV market. And while it Mazda’s environmental focus isn’t limited parts is zoom-zoom — a feeling of youthful exuber-
may look like a million bucks, it’s not as pricey to alternative fuels. 75% of all ance only possible when motion
as many competitors. plastic parts are now suitable turns into pure joy.
for recycling, and all gaskets Mazda’s engineers and
RECENT DEVELOPMENTS and brake pads are asbestos- designers immerse themselves
Mazda has committed itself to reducing the envi- free. No ozone-damaging CFCs in more than materials and
ronmental impact of all of its vehicles, not just a are used in Mazda’s foam technology in their pursuit of
few specialty “green” cars. Its engineers have padding. Mazda has also zoom-zoom. They also look to
proven time and again that outstanding perform- patented a unique paint sys- the contrasts and harmonies
ance is compatible with reduced emissions — tem that dramatically reduces found in nature, such as the
and zoom-zoom. emissions of volatile organic gentle curves and straight lines
Consider the DISI engine introduced in the solvents and CO2 — actually of a bird’s wing and the sense
MAZDASPEED6 and now powering the Mazda improving paint quality, dura- of “oneness” between a horse
CX-7 and MAZDASPEED3. DISI (pronounced bility and rust protection in and rider.
“dizzy”) stands for direct-injection spark-ignition. the process. The latest articulation of
Direct injection has long been used in diesel Mazda’s brand values can be
engines to improve fuel efficiency, but Mazda PROMOTION seen in its 2006–08 concept
added spark-ignition technology and a turbo- Mazda’s most widely known vehicles. Five new designs,
charger to achieve the seemingly improbable: advertising theme is the zoom- including the Furai mentioned
great acceleration, power that doesn’t trail off zoom song, which continues to above, have been unveiled at
at higher revs and reduced exhaust emissions. appear across media channels. a succession of automotive
This powerplant achieves Japan’s tough SU-LEV Today, Mazda vehicles past and shows to rave reviews. Each
designation, meaning its exhaust emissions are present are featured in several popular gaming titles, concept is an expression of the Nagare design
most notably Electronic Arts’ theme (pronounced “na-ga-reh”). Nagare, mean-
Need for Speed Carbon. ing “flow,” is one of a hundred or more Japanese
Mazda Canada often plays words that describe the embodiment of motion —
long-form commercials in on land, in the air and in water. Nagare concepts,
movie theatres, has col- including the Furai, illustrate an evocative surface
laborated on a reality TV language that will appear on future Mazda pro-
show called Star Racer duction vehicles.
with Discovery Channel
and has backed several
battle of the bands compe- THINGS YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT
titions with music maga- MAZDA
zines and on college and
H Mazda started out as a cork company in
The company’s 15-year
1920: Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd.
sponsorship of the National
75% lower than 2005 standards. It was recently Canoe Kayak Team is one of the longest cor- H International exports began in 1932 with
named one of Ward’s “10 Best Engines.” porate sponsorships of a national team in three-wheeled trucks sold in China.
Rotary engines are well suited to alternative Canadian amateur sports history, providing finan- H Mazda has invested $25 million in its Cana-
fuels such as hydrogen, and Mazda is testing cial and transportation support to national, world dian headquarters and a state-of-the-art
hydrogen/petrol and hydrogen/hybrid vehicles in and Olympic competitors. parts distribution centre.
Japan and Norway. The Mazda5 Hydrogen RE H Domestic manufacturing plants have reduced
Hybrid is a concept car in which a hydrogen- BRAND VALUES direct landfill waste to near zero.
rotary engine with dual-fuel (hydrogen and Since 1998, the firm’s brand identity has been
gasoline) capability is combined with a hybrid defined by its Design DNA proposition: build