It may not get a letter from the queen, but automaker Mazda celebrated its 100th anniversary in typical Japanese style with an understated gathering at its headquarters in Hiroshima. Adorning the lobby were two cars from Mazda’s past and two from the present, alongside hundreds of white moth orchids.
The flower is a traditional Japanese gift in business celebrations, usually to commemorate the establishment of a company or when a milestone is reached. It’s a carry-over from the ’80s bubble era that became popular as the flowers grow in the same shape and size year round. The practice is so ingrained in the country’s business culture that people joke that the health of the economy can be measured by white moth orchid sales.
The orchids were donated by companies and people wishing Mazda well, and a message above them read: “Thank you, everyone. Mazda has reached its 100th anniversary on January 30, 2020, thanks to you. It has been a long journey, but we were able to reach this great milestone with the support of many. With this deep appreciation in our hearts, we enter Mazda’s next 100 years.”
CEO Akira Marumoto gave a speech to 500 employees, mentioning the company’s 100-year span and a few notable achievements, while acknowledging the Mazda R360 and long-wheelbase Cosmo Sport on display, alongside a new Mazda3 and CX-30.
Mazda plans to hold a global celebration at the Geneva International Motor Show in March, and will then host a public Mazda Open Day at the Hiroshima headquarters 22–24 May.