Is Mazda JDM? Explained

JDM, or the Japanese Domestic Market, refers to cars and vehicle parts that are manufactured and sold in Japan.

As a result, only cars that were assembled and sold in Japan are considered true ‘JDM’. Over time, the term has loosened to include the brands and vehicles that have Japanese heritage, too.

So is Mazda JDM? We’ll cover a brief history of the brand, and how you can own a JDM-approved Mazda vehicle of your own.

Is Mazda JDM?

Yes and no. The Mazda Motor Corporation was founded in Hiroshima, Japan, so it is considered JDM. However, if you want a Mazda car with true JDM heritage, you’ll need to find an imported model or import one from Japan yourself.

Mazda’s roots are actually in cork-making. In 1931, the company expanded and began producing auto-rickshaws (or tuk-tuks) for the Japanese market. The company enjoyed many years of prosperous growth and eventually came to produce the iconic vehicles that we see on the road today.

The majority of Mazda’s vehicles (66%) are produced in its Japan plants and shipped across the globe for new owners to enjoy. If you own an MX-5 Miata, it’s highly likely that it began its life in the city of Hiroshima, Japan.

For more information on where Mazda builds its vehicles, see our article on where Mazda cars are made.

Mazda has used a number of different marques in Japan over the years: Autozam became synonymous with Kei cars, and Eunos found its place with the fun-loving MX-5 Miata (named the Eunos Roadster in Japan). 

Why should I buy a JDM Mazda?

There are a number of reasons why Japanese-made Mazda vehicles are so popular abroad. They tend to be in superior condition with better specifications from the factory. They’re also more sought-after, and a big deal in pop culture.

Less rust. More power. Enhanced reliability. Fendor mirrors. The list of benefits goes on and on. You’re also sure to capture the hearts of fellow enthusiasts by bringing a one-of-a-kind JDM vehicle to your local street.

Of course, there can be downsides to purchasing a JDM import. For example, more power means more fuel consumption, which will put a squeeze on your wallet. It’s also likely that you will need to insure your imported vehicle with a specialist insurer.

Negatives aside, you still get all of the usual benefits associated with the Japanese automotive industry: cheap, widely-available parts and maximum reliability.

While the Mazda brand is steeped in Japanese history, finding a true JDM vehicle means finding a vehicle that was sold in Japan – with the spec to match. So how can you snap up a JDM Mazda model?

Finding a JDM Mazda

You can either purchase a Mazda vehicle that has previously been imported from Japan or go through the import process yourself. Always remember to do your research – so that you understand the costs and regulations involved in importing or owning a JDM vehicle.

If you want to import a JDM-spec Mazda, you can browse popular online marketplaces (like Goo-net Exchange). These websites allow you to filter cars based on your exact requirements and specify a destination port in your country for delivery.

If you’re looking for a specialist importing experience, do a Google search for Japanese car importing companies in your area (like Japanese Classics). They will be able to assist with the entire import process and ensure that you’re set up for the optimal ownership experience.


There are so many reasons for wanting to own a JDM Mazda. Whether it’s for street cred or sentimental reasons, it has never been easier to own a piece of JDM history.

Whatever your reason for wanting one, know that there are plenty of options available if you’re willing to spend a bit of cash.

We hope that this article helped you. Got a question? Let us know below!

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