Tom Matano on the philosophy of the Miata

This document was shared with us by Tom Matano. He has given us permission to make it public.

He talked about this philosophy in the Miata Fathers Q&A at Miata Reunion 2023. You can watch the whole thing here

In 1984, I created this story to express our philosophy……….

A car starts to draw more attention than another, either it passes you on a freeway, or you see it for a split second on a TV screen. It makes you want to find out what it is.

You start to develop some expectations about how it feels to drive, how you look in it, or the lifestyle you may lead with it. After a while, you discover that it was a Miata.

Then you may want to go to the dealership for a closer look. Upon closer inspection, you are satisfied that your expectations and excitement were justified.
You open the door, and the sight of the interior is so inviting, that you can’t help but sit in it. From the first turn of the key, the engine starts with sounds and feels exactly how you imagined it would.

The first turn of the wheel….how it corners, and the way it stops. The car goes beyond initial expectations.

By the end of the test drive, we would like you to become a Mazda owner………
In the past, our product development efforts ended at that very moment. However, our new philosophy really begins here. We went on describing the type of life our customer would lead after the purchase.

The customer takes the car home, and, of course, takes the family for a ride, shows it to their neighbors and friends. Just before retiring to bed, you stop for one last look, and even say “goodnight” to the car, or maybe even sit in the car one last time.

On your daily route, you start to think more challenging roads…. Or new routes in order to spend more time with the car.

On your first out-of-town trip, you discover other aspects of the car’s personality that you didn’t realize from your daily routine. You discover the depth of the car more and more, as days, months, and years go by.

Of course, even with the most prolonged drive-car relationship, there comes time when the owner has to part with the car. You part with fond memories, which you will treasure for a long, long time.

And further down the road, the customer seeks out and finds the same model, buys it again and restores it.

Miata was the first product developed under this philosophy, and all the other Mazda cars that followed were products of this philosophy.

Tom Matano