Mazda’s Triple-Play at the German Design Council’s Automotive Brand Contest

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Over the last decade, Mazda has quietly reinvented itself, delivering thoughtful, performance-oriented cars and crossovers. This year, it paid off as Mazda took three awards in the Automotive Brand Contest, for Team of the Year, the Mazda CX-3 and the Bike by KODO concept.

The Automotive Brand Contest is sponsored by the German Design Council. The Contest is presented annually, with 15 regular and four special award categories. Winners are selected by a panel consisting of journalists and experts in design and communications. The awards ceremony is held at the Staedel Museum in Frankfurt, this year on September 15.

Mazda took honors for the Team of the Year, for the company’s global design team. The award is presented for “innovative and consistent brand design.” Mazda has design studios not only in Japan, but in the United States and Germany, and its KODO design theme is a consistent through-line that appears in each and every product, from the Miata up to the CX-5.

A member of the German Design Council said, “Unlike other companies’ design strategy [KODO design] is not supposed to define a form language, and so Maeda always encourages his designers to propose something that would exceed his expectations. That is why each of current generation Mazda cars can have its own character while consistently expressing lively motion.”

Mazda Design Contest CX-3The all-new Mazda CX-3 compact crossover SUV won the award from Best of the Best in the Exterior Volume Brand category, and the Bike by KODO Concept track racer (below) that Mazda showed during Milan Design Week in April was recognized in the Parts & Accessories category.

Mazda Design Contest bike by Kodo
“We are very excited about the awards presented to the CX-3, the Bike by KODO Concept and especially our Global Design Team,” said Ikuo Maeda, Executive Officer and Design Chief of Mazda’s Design Division. “The entire team will continue to work to create dynamic and energetic designs that will excite our customers.”

Craig Fitzgerald

Craig Fitzgerald

Writer, editor, lousy guitar player, dad. Content Marketing and Publication Manager at