Watch Mazda Evolve From Humble Cork Maker Into The Company That Killed The RX-7

Marking major milestones is important, even for car companies, which is why Mazda unveiled this very cool video celebrating 100 years of operation. Mazda has come a long way since its founding on January 30, 1920 as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Corporation by Jujiro Matsuda in Hiroshima, Japan, and you can watch the whole journey right here in one minute.

You might have guessed by the name that the company initially focused on producing cork. It took a decade for the Mazda to eventually get into motors. For some reason this video cites 1927 as the year Mazda, then Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd. (the Mazda name wouldn’t come about until 1971) developed its first motorcycle prototype. Even though this is video is produced by the company, Mazda’s own website cites 1929 as the year the company’s two-stroke engine was first developed and 1930 as the year the first motorcycles were prototyped and sold. It looks like 1930 is the correct year from my research. Weird!


Besides that one nit-picky point the video is very cool, showing off the company’s evolution from a cork manufacturer to a builder of three-wheeled motorcycles to small trucks and cars to finally the cars we know today. There’s a bit of gap in Mazda’s operations, thanks to a little event known as World War II which ended with the destruction of Hiroshima, making life tough for the Mazda factory that was there.

The entire thing is quite a journey and well worth a minute of your time. Happy birthday Mazda! You don’t look a day over 90.

Managing Editor of Jalopnik.



Cheap shot in the headline, especially considering emissions regulations were largely responsible for the demise of the rotary engine.