Mazda has been an industry leader that offers stylish, performance-oriented vehicles and high-grade car parts in a variety of segments. Founded in Hiroshima, Japan in 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Company, the automaker started out manufacturing tools used for machinery before switching over to automobiles. After the brand changed its name to Toyo Kogyo, Ltd. in 1927. the first model, the Mazda, a uniquely designed open wagon that combined elements of a motorcycle and small pickup truck using three wheels was developed. Founder Jujiro Matsuda chose the term “Mazda” in honor of the Zoroastrian god of good and light. Further production of a fleet of vehicles followed, but Mazda instead had to redirect its efforts towards Japan’s participation in World War II, essentially halting the emerging brand’s momentum.
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