In the automobile world it often happens, that a word-famous company comes into being thanks to dreams and visions of one particular person. The Honda Motor Company is definitely one of those companies: its history is connected with the name of Soichiro Honda. Born in 1906, Soichiro Honda was a prominent Japanese racing driver and engineer. Thanks to his passion and experience, the Honda Motor Company made an incredible journey from a small private workshop to a multi-million dollar corporation. His non-standard way of thinking and cheeky demeanor became a legend. Today, the Japanese company, founded by Soichiro Honda, is one of the automotive industry giants and the world’s leader in production of light motor vehicles. Read on to find out more about this amazing company.
1. The history of the Honda brand begins in 1946, in the post-war Japan, when an engineer and ex-racing driver Soichiro Honda founded his first enterprise, the Honda Technical Research Institute. This venture was focused on development, production and repair of motorized bicycles and motorcycles. Two years later, the company started production of its own power units, and its name was changed to the Honda Motor Company.
2. In 1949, the company released the first motorcycle with an engine volume of 98 cubic centimeters. It was called Dream Type D.
3. In 1954, Honda implemented a very successful project of the scooter Juno K-Type. This light motor vehicle was the first Honda model to be exported to the United States.
4. In 1959, the Honda Motor Company opened its American division under the name of America Honda Motor. Honda became the world leader in the motorcycle production, and opened its offices in different parts of the world. Between 1961 and 1969, Honda departments were opened in Germany, France, Belgium, the UK, Australia and Canada.
5. Soichiro Honda had the reputation for being a man of good taste. He enjoyed wearing beautiful things. He paid a great attention to his appearance, and he was always dressed “to the nines”.
6. Interestingly, President Soichiro Honda was nicknamed “Mr. Thunder” by the company’s employees for his legendarily hot temper. However, everyone who knew him would agree, that despite all his strictness, the founder of the Honda Motor Company was always fair to his subordinates.
7. The first iteration of the Honda Civic has brought the real success to the Japanese company. The model presented in 1972, was the first Japanese car that could seriously compete with European cars in Europe. It is largely due to the success of Honda Civic the Japanese car manufacturer was able to become the global automotive giant. Today, Honda is producing the tenth generation of this popular model.
8. The Japanese automaker debuted with the Honda Accord in 1976. Since its release, this model has always been a best seller in its class worldwide. This model turned to be extremely profitable: the company has sold more than 8 million vehicles in the United States only. The word “accord” comes from Latin and literally means “to heart”. It is formed of a prefixes “ad” (“to” in Latin) and a word “cor” (cordis) – heart. In English, the word “accord” means agreement, harmony, mutual understanding. The Honda Accord won many automobile awards. Nowadays, Honda produces the ninth generation of this model.
9. In the mid ’90s, The Japanese company revolutionized the automobile market with its new model, the Honda CR-V. Introduced in 1995, the Honda CR-V founded a whole new class of automobiles. The so-called “crossover” is a class of automobiles, which was developed specifically for recreation and active lifestyle. This intention was reflected in the name of the Honda model: the abbreviation CR-V stands for “Comfortable Recreational Vehicle”. Nowadays, the fourth generation of Honda CR-V is being produced at Honda plants in Japan, United States, Canada, United Kingdom and China.
10. In the early ’90s, Honda released an outstanding sportscar, the Honda NSX. This incredible sportscar with a mid-engine layout was very innovative for its time. During the construction of this model, engineers of Honda implemented many interesting ideas, including all aluminum body and chassis, electronic power steering and electronic gas pedal. An engine of Honda NSX rotated with a frequency of eight thousand revolutions per minute, which was an outstanding result at that time (1990). The Honda NSX competed even with Ferrari itself in the United States market.
11. Today, the Honda Motor Company has more than 120 facilities in 33 countries around the world and sells a little less than 20 million cars and motorcycles per year. Honda ranks first in the world among motorcycle manufacturers.
12. The Honda Motor Company has always actively participated in motorsports throughout its history. The Honda factory team debuted in the Formula One Grand Prix in the distant 1964.
13. The Japanese company has established its luxury vehicle marque under the name of Acura. Created in 1984 for the US market, this division of Honda successfully competes with European luxury brands.
14. Today, Honda is not just cars and motorcycles. The company also produces special equipment, various engines, and marine equipment. Honda is definitely an ecologically aware company: all Honda facilities are known for their high ecological safety culture.
15. By its 50th anniversary, in 1998, Honda developed a new gas distribution system for their engines, which received the designation Hyper VTEC. This technology allowed Honda to create a high-power engine with relatively small working volume without the use of turbocharging.
16. “The power of dreams” is the official slogan of the Honda brand.
17. In the world of motorsports, Honda has the greatest number of victories in all disciplines, a simple listing of which would take more than one article.
18. In 1984, Honda produced its own premium-class model, the Honda Legend. This vehicle was offered with a rich set of standard and optional equipment, but at the same time, was more affordable than European vehicles of the same class. The Honda Legend was particularly popular among the American customers. To this day, the Japanese automaker created four generations of this amazing model.
19. Honda is one of the few modern automakers that vigorously preserves its independence, rejecting the popular idea of uniting into holdings, associations and concerns.
20. In 2005, during the EAA Air Venture airshow in USA, Honda surprised its fans by entering the aircraft production market. The Japanese company presented its very first aircraft, the light twin-engine business jet, named the Honda HA-420 HondaJet.