In October of 1931, the first Mazda vehicle, a three-wheeled truck, rolled out of its factory floor in Hiroshima. 86 years on, and Mazda is now celebrating a milestone of having produced 50 million vehicles since production began in 1931. To commemorate this achievement, the Hiroshima-based automaker recently held a ceremony at its Hofu Plant in the Yamaguchi prefecture with Representative Director, President and CEO Masamichi Kogai, executive officers and union representatives in attendance.

“Mazda began making cars 86 years ago, and now we've reached 50 million units of production in Japan. Even making 1 million cars a year, it would take 50 years to reach this milestone, showing just how long Mazda's history is,” said Kogai at the ceremony.

While Mazda did begin with three-wheeled trucks, it wasn't until 1960 that the automaker commenced production of its first passenger vehicle, the R360 Coupe. Since then, the company has continued to churn out multiple passenger vehicles, some of which becoming icons such as the RX-7 and the MX-5 Roadster. To increase production capacity, Mazda opened the Hofu plant in 1982. It has since been sharing domestic production duties with the Hiroshima Plant.

For this fiscal year, Mazda aims to sell 1,660,000 cars globally. Furthermore, it plans to establish a global production framework which is capable of producing two million units annually by the fiscal year ending March 2024. Mass production of vehicles with next-generation technologies are slated for 2019.

“Moving forward, Mazda will continue to build a strong brand through a variety of initiatives. Our plants in Hofu and Hiroshima will continue to evolve and act as parent factories, rapidly deploying their technologies and skills to our overseas plants. I'd like us all to work together to ensure these plants continue to embody the kind of technical prowess that does justice to Japan's proud history of Monotsukuri,” added Kogai.