Honda is a relatively newer car model since it traces its history back to the early 40s. The founding of the company is traced back to Soichiro Honda, who always had an interest in technology and automobile innovations. He worked at a garage where he acquired all the necessary skills in the creation of automobiles. It wasn’t until 1937, that Soichiro decided to create his own company. His first company, the Tokai Seiki made piston rings. He got a contract to supply Toyota with piston rings but the contract was terminated a short while later due to poor quality products.
But Soichiro did not give up. In 1941, he attended engineering school to understand Toyota’s quality control processes and a year later, he was mass producing pistons that met Toyota’s standards. That year, Toyota acquired 40% of his company. In 1944, the Tokai Seiki plant was destroyed following a B-29 incident and he sold what was left to Toyota for ¥450,000. With the money, he started what was to become the Honda Company.
In the beginning, Soichiro invested the funds in the establishment of the Honda Technical Research Institute in 1946. The goal was to build motorcycle engines and a year later, the company introduced the new A-Type bicycle engine. In 1948, he established the Honda Motor Company Ltd. The company was an overnight success, even opening its first US store in 1959 in Los Angeles. Three years later, the company released its first sports car, the S500.
Honda 1967- 1975
By 1965, the company was already the most popular motorcycle manufacturer in the world. In 1976, it announced the release of its first front-wheel drive mini-car, the N360 which was particularly popular in the Japanese Market. The N series of Mini Honda vehicles released in 1968, also went on to top the sales in Japan and soon the company was setting its sights in Taiwan where it built its first overseas production facilities.
The company’s most popular vehicle of all time, the Honda Civic was first released in 1972. It was the first vehicle to comply with the 1970 US Clean Air act and would quickly gain recognition around the world. In 1975, the company began production in Indonesia.
The Honda Accord, another very popular brand was released in 1976 and has proved to be a very efficient and reliable model. Just like the Civic, the Accord would also bring a lot of the world’s attention to the Japanese automobile industry.
In 1982, Honda began production in the United States, becoming the first Japanese Automobile manufacturer to do so. A few years later, the company released the Acura brand which was Japan’s first luxury manufacturer. The 80s were perhaps the most successful decade for the Honda Company.
Honda 1985- Present Day
When the Acura brand was launched in the United States in 1988, Honda’s total sales surpasses 15 million units. A year later, the Honda Accord was the best-selling car in the US and by the early nineties, Honda was producing more than 20 million units.
In 1995, Honda Civic sales alone topped 10 million units. A few years later, the company introduced the Civic Ferio which was a low emission vehicle. In 1999, the company also released its now famous Honda EV plus which was perhaps the first fully functional hybrid.
By 2000, the Honda Fit was the top selling vehicle in the US and in 2003, the company released new versions of the Accord and Civic and the company exceeded more than 50 million units sold worldwide. Today, Honda is the world leader in the manufacture of internal combustion engines. It is also still the world’s top manufacturer of Motorbikes.
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