HIROSHIMA: The year 2020 coincides with the 100th anniversary of Mazda.
The Japanese manufacturer is planning on celebrating this centenary at the Geneva Motor Show, which runs March 5-15, with a display of iconic models from decades past.
Initially a cork manufacturer and then a manufacturer of machine tools and commercial vehicles, it was not until the 1960s with the launch of the R360 that Mazda really started producing passenger cars. The light automobile was followed by sedans, station wagons and family coupés.
The Geneva Motor Show will also be an opportunity for Mazda to celebrate half a century of its presence in Europe. The manufacturer first made a major splash on the continent in 1967 with the launch of the innovative Mazda Luce, which was designed in collaboration with the Italian company Bertone.
Since then, Mazda has often been dubbed "the most European of Japanese car brands." In the 1990s, the company opened a state-of-the-art research and development centre near Frankfurt, Germany, with a design studio that has since developed several award-winning concepts.
Mazda also has a long history of innovation, such as the 1967 introduction of the Cosmo Sport/110S, which was the first production model in the world to be equipped with a Wankel engine, or its 1991 triumph in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, when it became the first Japanese manufacturer to win the race outright, and with a unique engine to boot.
In Geneva, Mazda will also be exhibiting its most recent creations, including its brand new all-electric SUV, the MX-30.