Keeping track of things in this changing world is not easy, particularly in the auto industry. We have seen brands come and go, change hands, split up, and collaborate. Mazda and Ford have shared history but is Mazda owned by Ford? Let’s find out.
The Story Behind Mazda
Mazda, founded by Jujiro Matsuda in the 1920s, started as a cork manufacturing factory in Hiroshima, Japan. It was only in 1931 that the company, formerly Toyo Cork Kogyo, renamed itself Toyo Kogyo Co. Ltd and started manufacturing vehicles. The first model was the Mazda Go auto rickshaw. Although the motor business went down during World War II, Mazda managed to manufacture weapons for the Japanese military.
Later, in the 1960s, Mazda launched passenger cars and commercial vehicles and sold them separately through Mazda Auto Store and Mazda Store. Though Mazda was very much part of all motors produced from the beginning, in 1984, the motor manufacturing company adopted the name Mazda and made it official.
In 1970, Mazda entered the US market and proved to be successful and went on to create the Mazda Rotary Pickup. To this day, Mazda is the only automaker to have produced a Wankel-powered pickup truck. Since then, Mazda has overcome many hurdles and managed to be a part of the lives of motor enthusiasts in the US and around the globe.
The Mazda and Ford Collaboration
Ford, in 1979, bought 25% shares of Mazda and, in 1990, took a controlling stake to save Mazda from bankruptcy. Ford later changed Mazda’s name to Auto-Alliance International, but Mazda was the name that the audience recognized. The companies shared their manufacturing facilities, platforms, and other resources during their collaboration.
During this partnership, Ford produced flexible fuel vehicles and sold the first taxis that used natural gas. But the year 2005 was a difficult year for Ford. It lost shares even after settling the tire crisis and releasing the new gas-electric hybrid SUV.
The Mazda and Ford Split
After 40 long years of strong collaboration, in 2008, Ford finally sold most of its shares in Mazda to save itself from bankruptcy. Retaining only 11% of shares, Ford had to step down from its authoritative position. The economic crisis at the time had dropped auto sales and left Ford no other option than selling its shares. However, Ford was the only major automotive company that avoided bankruptcy during the recession.
The Mazda and Ford Today
After the split from Ford, Mazda was able to design a new engine that enhanced its fuel efficiency in 2018. In 2020, Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary. It also collaborated with Toyota on some projects. On the other hand, Ford acquired the first position for vehicle sales of Ford F-series trucks in the US and Canada. Their shares went up by 16% in 2019, which was something when compared to other automakers in the US.
In a nutshell,
Is Mazda owned by Ford? The answer is a simple no. As described in the post, Mazda and Ford were partners for almost 40 years. It is only fair that people misunderstood this collaboration with ownership. Also, while learning about the automaker, why not check out the best available car insurance rates for your Mazda car? Way.com can help you compare different policies and choose the right one.
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Who makes Mazda Cars?
Mazda models are produced predominantly in Japan. However, production plants are set up in Mexico, Malaysia, Russia, China, Thailand, Vietnam, and Malaysia. Post 1992, for the first time, Mazda cars production was set in the United States in 2021. A production plant is set in Huntsville, Alabama, in collaboration with Toyota. Over 300,000 vehicles are produced at this site annually.
Who owns Mazda?
Mazda Motor Corporation, Japan, owns Mazda.
What’s Mazda’s country of origin?
Mazda was founded in 1920 in Japan.