The Honda Motor company has had a long and storied history as a leader of innovation in the automotive industry. In this blog, we are going to explore the history of Honda and learn more about the philosophy that led this small company to become a global powerhouse.
It Was All A Dream
After spending their early years manufacturing parts for other automakers including Toyota, co-founders Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa founded the Honda Motor company in 1948. The company introduced its first product, the “Dream” D-type two-stroke single-cylinder motorcycle later that year. The model was designed and built in the company’s Hamamatsu production facility and quickly became popular in Japan.
Sky’s The Limit
On June 11, 1959, Honda opened its first overseas facility in Los Angeles, California. Within the previous decade, Honda had sold their millionth motorcycle and completely changed the market with their innovative designs and engineering.
The Tipping Point
By 1964, Honda had become the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. When they introduced the CB750 in 1969, it marked a tipping point for the manufacturer. The bike was a permanent fixture in the Honda line-up for over a decade with a total production of over 400,000. The CB750 was named the “Greatest Motorbike Ever” by the Discovery Channel.
Evolution To Car Production
In August of 1963, Honda developed its first automobile, the T360 mini pick-up truck. The automaker began expanding their product line, increasing production and exports to foreign countries. Honda sold its first car, the N600 in the US starting in 1969.
Filling The Gap
Honda began developing an environmentally friendly CVCC engine in 1974. With the emergence of the US Clean Air Act and stricter emissions requirements, Honda was well-positioned to fill a huge market need with the Honda Civic.
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Future So Bright
From humble beginnings, Honda has emerged as a leading producer of motorcycles, marine engines, aircraft, lawn equipment, automobiles, and even robots. It’s hard to predict exactly what the next chapter holds for Honda, but with the company’s leadership maintaining focus on innovation and forward-thinking, it will be exciting to see what the future brings!