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Mazda Motor Corporation is based in Hiroshima, Japan and as of 2005, the company was producing approximately 800,000 automobiles per year with sales evenly divided between Japan, Europe, and North America.
Mazda Motor began as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd, starting in Japan in 1920. The Ford Motor Company has owned 25% of Mazda since 1979, and its stake was increased to a 33% controlling interest in 1996 when Mazda fell into financial crisis. Mazda is well known for the Wankel “rotary” engine which outperformed their piston-based competitors by a large margin, and Mazda made the most of the powerplant by putting it in almost every product they sold, from the Rotary Pickup to the RX-7, and even the large Luce sedan. Some of the other models produced by Mazda include the Miata/MX-5 sports car, the Mazda 6/Atenza, RX-8, and Mazda 3/Axela.