Mazda made a name for itself as a cork manufacturer back in 1920, under the Toyo Kogyo Co. name.
The name Mazda appeared later on in 1931 when the company launched the Mazda-Go tricycle truck, but the company says "Mazda" comes from Ahura Mazda, the god of harmony, intelligence, and wisdom from the earliest civilization in West Asia. Toyo Kogyo's portfolio also included the Type 99 rifle (30 through 35 Series).
Come the 1960s, Mazda was trying to make a name for itself, and the efforts paid off as the carmaker started to export piston- and rotary-powered models led by the R100 and RX-Series: RX-2, RX-3, and RX-4.
In 1970, Mazda officially caught a grip of the American market under the Mazda North American Operations moniker and opened the account with the Mazda Rotary Pickup, securing a still-lasting status as the first carmaker to build a Wankel-animated pickup truck.
The rotary craze suffered a knockback in 1973 during the oil crisis, as customers were looking for more economical engines. Despite heavy losses, Mazda never got over the rotary and kept it on performance-oriented models, like the 1978 RX-7 and the modern RX-8.
Moreover, the strategy shift and the '"jinba ittai" concept gave birth of what we know today as the Mazda MX-5, through the Mazda Roadster.
In 1975 Mazda signed a partnership with Ford, which by 1996 owned 33.3 percent of Mazda. This was Mazda's attempt to overcome financial difficulties, as the brand's Familia architecture went under models like Ford Laser and Escort in the early 1980s.
Things started to look rosy in 2011 when Mazda secured 150 billion yen (roughly $1.9 billion) generated by a share sale.
In 2015, the collabo with Ford dissolved, but Mazda joined forced with Toyota, with the central goal of exchanging SkyActiv gasoline/diesel engine technology and hydrogen fuel systems.