All About Honda

Honda began as a small company in Japan and has become one of the most successful businesses on an international scale.

In 1946 Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu. Two years later the Honda Motor Company was founded at a start up cost of 1 million dollars. Fifty-eight years later a company that began as a regional concept has sprawled across the world, becoming an international giant in the automobile industry. Though Honda's name is associated most closely with cars, its manufacturing range is impressive, from motorcycles, ATVs, generators, and lawn equipment, to marine engines, Honda makes it all.

Though the origins of this now mega-successful company were small, the company's rise to regional, national, and international fame is impressive. After experiencing success within the nation of Japan, the company moved offices from Hamamatsu to Tokyo, the hub of the nation. The financial success accompanied by the release of the first sports car in 1963 along with the first light truck model foreshadowed the triumph Honda would see in the late 1960s with the new N series of minicars. In 1968 the N Series topped the sales chart in Japan. By this time Honda was seeing financial success not only in Japan, but abroad.

Honda's entrance into the American market was done with the motorcycle. The American Honda Motor Company was established in 1959 and saw profits from motorcycle sales almost immediately. By 1962 American Honda was selling more than 40,000 motorcycles annually. Because of the success of the motorcycle in the States Honda decided to unleash its version of the automobile. In 1959 the N600 model was launched in Hawaii and by May the car was being sold on the mainland. While the entrance of the Formula One Model into the racing circuit was applauded by the country in 1964 the Honda Civics' reception was less than welcoming.



The entrance of Honda into the car market was met with some skepticism, as the popular conception at the time was that buying a car through an American dealer was the only way to go. The new Civic, launched in 1973, was out-of-place. Honda's smaller size was a radical departure from the bulky cars that dominated automobile lots in the 1970s. The entrance of the small, more efficient car was met with suspicion and skepticism. Many lots refused to show the Honda Civic because of its radical appearance and because of its foreign name. But gradually the Civic was worked its way into the fibers of the mainstream car industry. Helping the immersion was the 1973 oil crisis. During this time the fuel-efficient Honda Civic became one of the most valued cars in America. American consumers, with their wallets being hit, shed their desire for large gas-guzzlers and the demand for smaller cars shot up. As a result of the Honda's CVCC engine, the first power plant to pass the strict emissions standards of the US Clean Air Act, sales for Honda skyrocketed when the public searched for cars that met the new standards. Since the passage of the Clean Air Act all cars have to conform to specific measures. Still, Honda ranks high among environmental friendly cars.

Today Honda's name can be seen in almost every market. Honda's presence in the marine world is strong, as is its existence in the lawn and home care equipment world. Still, no matter how diverse the company's products are the name Honda will most strongly be associated with automobiles, and after all it was the automobile that made the name, Honda, to start with.

© High Speed Ventures 2011