Leaving the restaurant after celebrating my dad’s birthday my sister noticed a new Fiat 124 Spider in the parking lot and commented: “Hey, that’s a nice Miata!”
I explained the concept of Fiata to her and thought it would be an excellent topic to research and share in this blog. I like Mazda’s. I like their badge engineering efforts with other major companies. And having lived in Australia, New Zealand and Southeast Asia I’ve been exposed to some of their other popular OEM agreements with Ford primarily, but also Suzuki, Nissan and most currently Toyota.
So here’s my attempt at explaining some of the “shared” platforms between Mazda and others.
Mazda & Fiat
Mazda Roadster / Mazda MX-5 – Fiat 124 Spider / Abarth 124 Spider
This is my favorite tie up because obviously the MX-5 started my relationship with Mazda and at some point I would love to buy a Fiat just for variety’s sake.
Mazda & Ford
Mazda Tribute – Ford Escape
I almost bought a Ford Escape once to replace our family’s aging Ford Explorer. Tribute would have been an option before I decided to focus my search on CX-7 & CX-5
Ford owned a big chunk of Mazda so there were lots of badge engineered vehicles. They go so far back I can’t even find pretty pictures to display here, so I’ll just list them all:
- Ford Escape – Mazda Tribute
- Ford Explorer – Mazda Navajo
- Ford Courier – Mazda B-series
- Ford Ranger – Mazda BT-50
- Ford Probe – Mazda MX-6
- Ford Fiesta – Mazda Soho (Africa)
- Ford Fiesta – Mazda 121 (Europe)
- Ford Fiesta – Mazda 2
- Ford Fiesta – Mazda Demio
- Ford i-MAX – Mazda 5
- Ford i-MAX – Mazda Premacy
- Ford Ixion – Mazda Premacy
- Ford MAV – Mazda Premacy
Mazda Premacy – Mazda5 – Ford i-MAX
It’s worth noting that Mazda uses different model names based on the market. Therefore a Demio is also Mazda2 which replaced Mazda 121 of the past.
Mazda & Toyota
Mazda Demio – Mazda2 – Scion iA – Toyota Yaris iA
This is the most recent relationship with the world’s largest car manufacturer which started off as a Scion brand that Toyota decided to fold into the parent company and now it’s the Yaris replacement. An odd scenario considering how many Yaris & Echo’s Toyota sold on it’s own over the past many years of making the little cars. Why outsource this production to Mazda now?
Mazda & Suzuki
Mazda AZ-1 / Autozam AZ-1 / Suzuki Cara
The Suzuki – Mazda relationship stretches back many generations. Including their famous AZ-1 / Cara project which was marketed under Mazda’s Autozam nameplate. Besides Autozam Mazda also launched Eunos which was originally one to market the Roadster in Japan known as MX-5 Miata everywhere else. Amati and efini brands which were meant to be the luxury divisions of Mazda much like Lexus was to Toyota, Acura to Honda or Infiniti to Nissan. Ford had it’s Lincoln brand and Cadillac did the trick for GM long before.
The list of Mazda – Suzuki mini-micro kei car collaborations:
- Suzuki Every Wagon – Autozam Scrum – Mazda Scrum
- Suzuki Carry – Autozam Scrum – Mazda Scrum
- Suzuki Wagon R – Autozam AZ Wagon – Mazda AZ Wagon
- Suzuki Kei – Mazda Laputa
- Suzuki Alto – Mazda Carol
- Suzuki Lapin – Mazda Spiano
- Suzuki Jimmy – Mazda AZ Offroad
- Suzuki Vitara – Mazda Proceed Levante
- Suzuki Ertiga – Proton Ertiga – Mazda VX-1
Autozam AZ Wagon – Mazda AZ Wagon – Suzuki Wagon R
Mazda VX-1 ~ Suzuki Ertiga ~ Proton Ertiga
I could be wrong but it seems to me that Mazda rebadged every Suzuki made on the Japanese market. Which is interesting…
Mazda & Nissan
Mazda Familia Van – Nissan AD Expert
The Mazda Nissan relationship seems very interesting in that Mazda builds the Lafesta minivan for Nissan, along with the commercial Bongo rebadged to Nissan’s Vanette models. But Nissan provides the rebadged AD Expert marketed by Mazda as a Familia Van… Mazda’s Familia in Japan is marketed as Mazda 323, Mazda Protegé and more recently Mazda3 or Mazda Axela and none of the Mazda models look anything like the Nissan version… but, whatever works!
Mazda & Kia
Mazda Sentia – Kia Enterprise
This luxobarge was a rebadged Mazda for the Korean market before Kia/Huyndai started getting all fancy with their own big car designs.
Besides this product there was also Kia Pride which was a rebadged Ford Festiva just like Mazda 121 and Mazda Soho.
Mazda & Holden
This is going way back but Mazda used to sell Australian Holden’s in Japan as Mazda Roadpacer – rebadged from Holden Premier. Apparently Holden shipped the whole car minus an engine where Mazda shoved a rotary under the hood and put it on the market. It was not terribly successful.
Mazda & Isuzu
The next Mazda pick-up truck will be a rebadged Isuzu. Currently Isuzu and GM have a partnership where Isuzu’s rebadged D-Max trucks sell as Chevy Colorado and GMC Canyon.
I will update this page as I find more Mazda collaborations out there.