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Mazda 100th Anniversary: Celebrating a Century of Automotive Excellence

Mazda 100th Anniversary

January 30, 2020 was the official 100th anniversary of the Mazda brand and we can’t believe how far our brand has come in a century of satisfying customers. But did you know that Mazda started as a company that produced cork & machine tools?

What’s funny is that Mazda didn’t even come to the U.S. for the first 50 years of its existence, with the first models being made were 3-wheel pickup trucks and small vehicles starting in 1931. Transitioning from machine tools to automobiles was a natural one, shown by our brand’s success over the years.

Some milestones of the Mazda brand in our country include:

  • 1973: The Car and Driver RX-2 becoming the first Mazda to win a professional race in the U.S., which springboarded our brand into the motorsports competition we do today all around the world.
  • 1974: Mazda partnering with Ford to enhance our brand’s automotive presence, an alliance that ended in 2015.
  • 1977: Mazda evolving our model lineup to have more fuel-efficient engines in reaction to an oil crisis & embargo.
  • 1982: The 1 millionth Mazda passenger car gets sold in the United States.
  • 1984: The Mazda Foundation is founded to help give back to the community.
  • 1991: The 1 millionth Mazda truck gets sold in the United States.
  • 2000: The Zoom-Zoom marketing message debuts and becomes a smash hit.
  • 2002: The performance-oriented MAZDASPEED performance badge lineup debuts with the 2003 Mazda Protegé
Mazda RX2 NJ

Mazda’s Vehicle History in New Jersey

The first Mazda model to make their way to New Jersey and the rest of the United States was the 1970 Mazda RX-2 coupe, which had a powerful Mazda Wankel engine (called the Capella Rotary in Japan) under the hood. Over the next 20 years, a bunch more Mazda vehicles came over including:

  • The rotary-powered Mazda RX-3 and piston-engine 808 sedan, coupe & wagon in 1972
  • The RX-4 coupe, sedan & wagon in 1974
  • The rotary-engine RX-7, the 626 midsize car (predecessor of the Mazda6) & Mazda B-Series pickup truck in 1978
  • The FWD Mazda 323 (predecessor of the Mazda3) in 1980
  • The MX-6 sports coupe & 929 luxury sedan (eventually making way for the Millenia in 1994) in 1987
  • The Mazda MPV minivan in 1988
  • The Mazda MX-5 Miata sports car, 323 3-door hatchback & Protegé in 1989

As crossovers & SUVs became more popular, Mazda produced some vehicles that were reliable & fun to drive like the Mazda Navajo in 1990 Mazda Tribute in 2001 that were gateways to the newer crop of SUVs popular at our dealership including:

During the new millennium, the Mazda2 brought back the spirit of the original coupes that came over in the 70s & 80s, while the Mazda5 gave families a different alternative to the typical minivans on the market. There was also the performance-oriented MAZDASPEED vehicle lineup that started in 2002 with the Protegé & the Mazda CX-7 that debuted in 2007 alongside the CX-9.

Mazda Electric Vehicles NJ

What’s Next for Mazda’s Next 100 Years

We already see the future of our brand in the vehicles currently on the road. New features like Mazda Connected Services, Apple CarPlay & Android Auto help connect your smartphone to your vehicle, while the i-Activsense® suite of safety technology is designed to reduce the number of accidents on the road.

Our lineup of engines available use Skyactiv® Technology to give you power when you need it while saving gas and reducing emissions. But the trend is going to be more all-electric vehicles, as evident by the unveiling of the all-new Mazda MX-30 last year that’s going to be our brand’s first-ever mass-production battery EV that doesn’t use any gasoline.

The famed Kodo - Soul of Motion design style will surely continue to evolve to give you the styling you desire, as seen in concept vehicles like the Vision Coupe & Kai Concept. There will be plenty of unique materials used to give you the very best atmosphere every time you get behind the wheel including some that are recycled to help the environment further.

Ramsey Mazda will be here for the long haul and we’re looking forward to the next 100 years of Mazda!

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