Mazda Motor Corporation began life as the Toyo Cork Kogyo Co, and formally adopted the Mazda name in 1984. After encountering financial problems, Mazda embarked on a relationship with the Ford Motor Company, which took a seven per cent stake in 1979, rising to 33.3 per cent by 1996. However, under the leadership of Ford CEO Alan Mulally, Ford divested its stake in Mazda, and cut production and development ties.
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Mazda Motor of America has been accused by 14 states of running misleading advertisements that promised customers no-money-down leases.
In separate lawsuits, the states allege Mazda's advertising campaign is deceptive because consumers must pay up to US$900 in up-front fees on the Mazda leases advertised as 'zero down' or 'penny down'.
'You don't have to be a financial genius to know that zero down and $900 down have different implications for family budgets,' said Minnesota Attorney-General Hubert Humphrey, whose office led the investigation.