January 30, 1920 – Mazda is founded

Toyo Cork Kogyo, which would eventually become Mazda, was founded by Jujiro Matsuda in Hiroshima, Japan on this day in 1920. The company, which produced cork, was saved from bankruptcy by Hiroshima Savings Bank in the late 1920s. The near death experience allowed the board of the company  to reconsider their product offerings. They reorganized in 1931 as Toyo Kogyo Co and introduced the three-wheeled Mazda-Go auto-rickshaw, beginning the company’s endeavor into automobiles. 


Mazda R360 coupé by Mic, CC 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/8GYRuj. Top: Mazda-Go Auto Rickshaw

The company’s first real car, the Mazda R360 was introduced in 1960, about the time the company formed a partnership with German company NSU to develop the Wankel rotary engine. This joint venture would lead to the Mazda Cosmo Sport in 1967, which featured the revolutionary rotary engine. Mazda expanded to Canada and the US in 1968 and 1970 respectively. It wasn’t until 1984 the company officially adopted Mazda as its name. Some 22 years after that, nearly 5,000 brand new Mazdas met the crusher after a massive shipping accident.

mazda cosmo
Mazda Cosmo Sport by Contri, CC 2.0 https://flic.kr/p/8HK1GH


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The best way to support This Day in Automotive History is to become a monthly subscriber on Facebook.

Subscriber benefits include:

  • Most importantly, you’re supporting great content about Automotive History
  • Early access to content on Facebook
  • Discounts on our store
  • Special live videos

If you learned something today, please buy me a beer!

No payment method connected. Contact seller.

Categories

This Day in Automotive History - the book!

This Day In Automotive History

By Brian Corey

This book tells fascinating tales, bringing individual days to life with short stories, photographs and illustrations.

This Day in Automotive History

This Day in Automotive History is a transportation history, car history and general automotive history website dedicated to providing informative and entertaining content.

We encourage you to share our page and connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter. If you’d like your car featured, reach out to us!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!

Connect with us on Facebook or sign up for our automotive history newsletter to keep in touch.

Love automotive history? Support this site!

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER!

Sign up for our automotive history newsletter to keep in touch.