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Mazda Motor Corporation is a Japanese automotive manufacturer based in Hiroshima, Japan.
During 2007, Mazda produced almost 1.3 million vehicles for global sales. The majority of these (nearly 1 million) were produced in the company's Japanese plants, with the remainder coming from a variety of other plants worldwide.
The name of the company is supposedly derived from Ahura Mazda, the transcendental god of Zoroastrianism. It is also said that Mazda coincides with the anglicized pronunciation of the founder's name, Jujiro Matsuda, who was interested in spirituality, and chose to rename the firm in honor of both his family and the Zoroastrians.The word mazda means "great wisdom" in the Iranian Avestan language.
In Japanese, the company's name has always been pronounced and spelled as "Matsuda", the name of the founder. Television ads for Mazda automobiles in the United States use a pronunciation where the initial vowel sound is similar to the word "art", while Canadian Mazda advertisements pronounce the company's name with the initial "a" sound of the word "has". The initial vowel sounds (in the American and Canadian advertisements) are references to the first and last A sounds in the original Persian pronunciation.