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The Japanese international car manufacturer Mazda was founded in 1920 by Jujiro Matsuda, and as of 2015, produced no less than 1.5 million cars worldwide. The company was founded in Hiroshima under the original name of Toyo cork Kogyo Co.
The first actual road vehicles sold by Mazda was the Mazda R360, introduced to the market in 1960. Two years later, the Japanese automaker introduced a second model, the Carol. During the early 60s, Mazda invested large amounts of money, time and personnel into developing and improving Wankel engines for its automotive line. Mazda remained the only player in the automotive industry to pursue development of rotary engines, after NSU and Citroen dropped the activity during the early 70s.
Some of the best export efforts done by Mazda materialized in selling the RX models (particularly the RX-2, RX-3 and RX-4) alongside the R100. These cars were available both piston-powered as well as rotary versions. Overall, customers preferred rotary units as they offered a very good power-to-weight ratio, easily competing against V6 and V8 engines produced in the West.
Mazda and Ford agreed on a partnership that lasted between 1975 and 2015 in order to overcome difficulties of financial order on the side of the Japanese producer. During the early stages of the partnership, Ford constructed a number of cars using Mazda’s Familia platform. Such models include the Ford Laser and Escort.
As for the North American market, Mazda supplied the 626 sedan and the MX-6 sports coupe, both built in the Flat Rock, Michigan factory. In 1995, Mazda introduced the Millenia luxury sedan, featuring a V6 engine working on the Miller cycle. Some of the more recent technologies by Mazda cars include the SkyActiv Technologies, allowing ICE cars to reach fuel efficiency numbers normally attainable just via hybrid drives. Some of the models using the technology include the Mazda2 and Mazda6, as well as the CX-5 crossover.
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