One of the first Mazda's imported in the United States was the R100 coupe in 1970.
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The Mazda car company started in 1920 as a tiny cork manufacturer in Hiroshima, Japan called Tokyo Cork Togyo Co, LTD. In 1927 the company renamed itself to Toyo Kogyo Co., Ltd and then started manufacturing machine tools.
By 1931 they moved to vehicle manufacturing and started producing 3 -wheeled trucks. Company founder Jujiro Matsuda chose the word "Mazda" for their vehicles because it was the name of the Zoroastrian god of good and light.
In 1960 production started on their first Mazda automobile, the R360 coupe. In 1961, the company entered into a technical partnership with NSU and Wankel to develop and produce rotary engines.
In 1970 Mazda Motor of America was started and one of the first cars imported into the United States was the R100 coupe, the first mass-produced rotary-powered car in America.
Soon after they imported a Wankel-powered (rotary) pickup truck and Mazda remains the only automaker to produce one.
In 1977 Mazda introduced the piston-engine GLC and marked Mazda's transition to piston-engines for its non-sports car models. The highly popular GLC also began a compact model line that has its direct descendants in the 323, Protege and MAZDA3.
The R360 was Mazda's first car. It was powered by a rear-mounted air-cooled 356 cc V-twin engine rated at about 16 hp and 16 ft lb of torque.