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Who Owns Mazda, And How Much Is It Worth?

2022 Mazda MX-30

Who Owns Mazda, And How Much Is It Worth?

Key Points

  • Mazda is primarily owned by the Mazda Motor Corporation, a publicly traded company with stock listings in multiple markets.
  • Toyota owns 5.05% of Mazda’s shares and has a partnership with Mazda for technology and research exchange.
  • Mazda has a market value of $6.9 billion and has seen good profits in recent years, with the North American market driving sales.
  • Mazda was originally founded in 1920 as a cork manufacturer.
  • Ford owned a significant stake in Mazda from 1974 to 2015, but divested its ownership due to the 2008 recession.
  • Mazda now has manufacturing plants in Japan, Mexico, and the United States, with the North American market being its largest focus.

Who owns Mazda? The Japanese automotive manufacturer has a long and storied history dating back to the early 20th century. Mazda’s humble beginnings have led to a modern era where the company is among the largest automotive manufacturers the world over.

This profile goes over who actually owns Mazda, their current market value, a brief overview of the company’s 100-year history, and much more.

Who Owns Mazda?

Mazda’s primary ownership is currently held by the Mazda Motor Corporation. It is a publicly traded company, with stock listings the world over in multiple markets. As such, any potential investment is easily done with the right purchases.

While Mazda is the primary owner, the 2008 economic downturn actually saw additional companies buying larger stakes in the company. As such, ownership and leadership duties are handled by a variety of investors and shareholders, as you’d expect from any publicly traded company.

Mazda’s board of directors is currently in Japan and has been since the 2008 recession.

Major Stockholders

Beyond the Mazda Motor Corporation, the largest controlling stake in the business comes from competitor Toyota. Toyota owns 5.05% of the company’s shares and has an active partnership with Mazda for the exchange of technology and research.

Nomura Asset Management, an investment firm based out of Tokyo, is the next largest shareholder with 4.14% stock ownership. Other investing partners include BlackRock Fund Advisors and The Vanguard Group, who also have sizable stakes in the business.

who owns mazda
Mazda has a diverse portfolio of projects, with EVs, hybrids, and traditional combustion engines in its product line.

Of its current investors, the most fruitful partnership is with Toyota. Toyota’s stake in the company and stellar knowledge of hydrogen fuel cells has seen expanded manufacturing capacity and Mazda’s entry into alternative fuels.

How Much Is Mazda Worth?

Mazda has a market value of $6.9 billion. Cash flow is going great for the company, with the North American market being the largest driver of sales. 2022 saw roughly 1.2 million vehicles sold in North America alone.

Other larger markets include Japan, which saw a little over 800,000 vehicles sold in 2022, and Europe which accounted for around 500,000 vehicles sold. The 2023 fiscal year has been good for the company, with a 3.84% profit margin over the year.

A Brief Business History of Mazda

Founding

The company was originally founded in 1920 under the name Toyo Cork Kogyo Co. While known for automobiles today, the company actually started out making cork. It pivoted to tricycle trucks, which still remain fairly popular in Asian markets.

The manufacturer’s early years were not profitable, with the company being saved from oblivion by leading bank figures in its home of Hiroshima by 1927. 1930 would see it swing fully into automotive manufacturing, with the aforementioned tricycle trucks.

Mazda, like many Japanese manufacturers, served as a provider of material during the Second World War. Mazda’s manufacturing capacity would be partnered with Mitsubishi, and munitions and military vehicles would serve as its primary output for the course of the war.

However, its auto manufacturing would gain renown in the late 60s and early 70s, when it broke into the North American market. The 1973 oil embargo would further establish this foothold — all of this happening before its controlling stake was purchased by Ford.

Honestly, it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. The North American market was looking for fuel-efficient vehicles, which the rotary engine Mazda line more than provided.

Ford’s Investment

1974 saw financial woes hit Mazda once again. As such, leading American automotive company Ford bought a large number of shares, beginning a long and fruitful partnership. At one point, Ford owned roughly 33% of all total shares publicly traded.

Subsequently, this had a massive impact on Mazda’s fortunes, as Ford was able to handle distribution and sales for the likes of the European market. Ford was instrumental in establishing footholds in the Oceania market, as well.

While Mazda’s most profitable years were seen under the guiding hand of Ford, things would change quickly in the 2000s.

The 2008 Recession

The 2008 economic recession saw massive changes across all markets. Consequently, this sowed the seeds for Ford’s divestment of Mazda. Ford itself had to streamline assets, lest it suffer more severe financial losses in the coming years.

Ford sold 20% of its controlling stake in Mazda in 2008. Consequently, this saw Mazda resume leadership and control of the company for the first time since the mid-90s. The next seven years saw Ford reduce its ownership little by little until it was fully divested by 2015.

Ford’s divestment actually led to Mazda’s leadership resuming control in Japan once more. The company bought its own stocks at incremental rates before assuming control. Mazda’s current leadership is headquartered in Hiroshima, where the company started over a century ago.

Current Day

who owns mazda
In a fun twist, contemporary Mazda vehicles sometimes use cork as interior material. This harkens back to the company’s origins of cork manufacturing.

2011 saw an independent Mazda begin establishing its own footholds across the globe. A new manufacturing plant opened in Salamanca, Mexico, that was meant to service the North American market.

As Ford fully divested itself in 2015, Mazda saw a new partnership arise. Oddly, this would prove to be rival manufacturer Toyota. Toyota and Mazda’s partnership has been mutually beneficial, with technologies and manufacturing techniques shared.

Toyota itself has been instrumental in providing the knowledge to manufacture hydrogen fuel cells, which serve as the basis for Mazda’s line of hybrid vehicles. Mazda’s fortunes are far more solid these days. An additional plant in Huntsville, Alabama, now joins its North American wing.

Where Does Mazda Manufacture Cars?

So, where does Mazda actually build its vehicles? Mazda’s primary manufacturing wings reside in its native Japan. Additionally, Mazda has manufacturing plants in Salamanca, Mexico, and Huntsville, Alabama, in the United States.

The Huntsville plant serves as a joint venture between Toyota and Mazda and is the most recent addition to its manufacturing capacity. These plants service all markets Mazda operates in, with the Salamanca and Huntsville plants mainly intended for the North American market.

As North America remains the largest market for vehicles, it only makes sense that Mazda would establish a stronger foothold in the region.

Closing Thoughts

Mazda’s humble beginnings and troubled history have made it an international powerhouse in the automotive industry. While the company has taken its fair share of licks over the last century, it has endured where many other manufacturers have folded and been lost to the flow of time.

Mazda’s future looks bright, and the company is arguably doing just as well now as it did when under Ford’s guiding hand. Toyota’s partnership has been fruitful, and hopefully results in more innovation as it grows stronger.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Mazda manufacture EVs?

Currently, it has just one EV to its name — the MX-30. Current manufacturing priorities for Mazda seem to lie in traditional combustion engines and hybrid vehicles.

Does Toyota manufacture any Mazda-branded vehicles?

No, Toyota and Mazda’s partnership is intended for the exchange of technology rather than being similar in capacity to Ford’s leadership.

Where is Mazda's board of directors currently located?

Mazda’s leadership resides in Japan. The switch in leadership came about in 2008 after Ford divested itself of majority control in the company. Prior to that, Mazda’s leadership was under Ford’s umbrella, with headquarters being centered in the United States.

Is Mazda doing better financially?

Yes, while the 2008 recession had severe impacts across a wide variety of industries, Mazda seems to have been able to bounce back quite ably. Ford’s divestment of the company led to Mazda purchasing a controlling stake in itself once again.

Is Mazda publicly traded?

Yes, Mazda operates in multiple stock exchanges. You can find it listed under the US OTC markets with the name MZDAF. Current stock prices cost around $11 at the time of this writing, but that is always subject to change and depends on trends.

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