The Honda Motor Company made a remarkable journey from a small private workshop to a multi-million-dollar corporation. His founder, Soichiro Honda, was a true legend and one of the automotive industry giants who took his company ahead of the curve.
Here are some of the interesting facts about Honda that you might not know:
Official Slogan of the Honda Brand
At first, as Honda was promoting motorcycles, it used the slogan, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda”. Then replacing this slogan, Honda introduced its official slogan of all time, “The power of dreams”.
Soichiro Honda Founded Honda Motors
Soichiro Honda was an engineer and prominent Japanese racing driver who worked with passion and enthusiasm to establish such an incredible motor corporation. His venture was based on development, production, and repair of motorized bicycles and motorcycles. He named this venture, the Honda Technical Research Institute, which two years later started producing its own power units and its name was changed to the Honda Motor Company.
Successful Projects of the 1950s
Honda Motors released two successful projects of scooters and motorcycles. The scooter project was named as scooter Juno k-type, which was the first Honda model to be exported to the United States. The second project of the motorcycle was the one with an engine volume of 98 cubic centimeters and called Dream Type D.
American Honda Motor Company
The Honda Motor Company established the American Honda Motor Company in 1959, which became the world leader in motorcycle production and started running its offices in different parts of the world. In the next ten years, Honda departments were opened in Germany, Belgium, France, Australia, the UK, and Canada.
The Japanese Automaker Debuted with the Honda Accord
This model has always been outstandingly profitable since its release in 1976. The company has sold millions of vehicles in the United States only. It was not only making business everywhere but also winning many automobile awards. Today, Honda is producing the 10th generation of this model.
Compact Recreational Vehicle (CR-V)
The Japanese company transformed the automobile market with its new model, the Honda CR-V. It was manufactured in 1995 and introduced in the North American Market in 1997, which revolutionized the whole concept of automobiles. It was specially developed for recreation and active lifestyle. Currently, the fifth generation of Honda CR-V is being produced in Japan, Canada, United Kingdom, and China.
The Civic Hybrid was Debuted In 2003 And was the First On-Plug Vehicle in Its Class
Honda Civic Hybrid’s batteries were developed and designed to last as long as the car’s useful life. It is also one of the most fuel-efficient non-plug-in cars in the market.
The Honda Civic Was Launched In 1973
The Honda Civic was launched in response to the fuel crisis that year. It became one of the most fuel-efficient cars in the market, being able to reach 40 miles per gallon on the highway.
The Honda ‘Prelude’ Was Initially Used as A Trademark by Toyota
The name “Prelude” was initially used as a trademark by Toyota, but they agreed to give it to Honda. The Prelude was the first of Honda’s series of cars with names that deal anything with music (it was followed by other names like “Quintet,” “Concerto” and “Ballade”).
The Honda S600 Was Honda’s First Mass Marketed Car
The S600 bears a strong resemblance to the earlier model, the Honda S500, being also a two-seater “roadster” (or convertible). It was also available in fastback, which means a car with a continuously sloping back.
‘The Passport’ Built by Isuzu Was the First SUV That Honda Launched
The Honda Passport was actually a “rebadging” of the Isuzu Rodeo. It was released in the US in 1993 by Honda as it made its first entry into the SUV market.
Honda Was the First Car Manufacturer to Put V-Tech in A Production Vehicle
The “V-TEC” or “Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control” was developed by Honda to boost the efficiency and power of its four-stroke internal combustion engine. It uses two camshaft profiles, one for the economy and another for performance. This technology permitted Honda to manufacture a high power engine with a relatively small working volume without using turbocharging.
Honda NSX Sports Car was Honda’s Fastest Sports Car Back in 1990
An outstanding sports car, the Honda NSX with a mid-engine layout was very innovative and novel car for its time. This car had an aluminum body, electronic power steering, and electric gas pedal. Its engine rotated with a frequency of eight thousand revolutions per minute which was considered outstanding performance at that time. In the United States market, NSX competed with Ferrari because of its high speed and extraordinary engine. Currently, the second generation of Honda NSX is available, which is marketed as Acura NSX.
Honda Builds Over 14 Million Combustion Engines Every Year
Honda has been the biggest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959. Today, the company is not only recognized as a motorcycle or car manufacturer, but it is also known for producing special equipment, various engines, and marine equipment. Honda is known for its high ecological safety culture.
Honda Was the First Japanese Car Manufacturer to Launch the Dedicated Luxury Brand – Named Acura
The Acura is Honda’s luxury cars division, first launched in North America in 1986. Japan’s economic difficulties delayed the launch of the Acura, which only occurred in 2008. This division successfully competes with European novel brands.
Honda Became the Second Largest Car Manufacturer in Japan in 2011
In 2011, Honda became the seventh biggest carmaker in the world just behind Volkswagen, Toyota, Nissan, General Motors, Hyundai, and Ford.
S500 Was Honda’s First Car Produced
Actually, the first automobile Honda produced was the T360 pickup truck, launched in June 1963. But the first actual car produced by the company was the S500 sports car, which followed after the T360. It was released the following October (in 1963).
Honda HA-420 HondaJet
Honda surprised its fans during the EAA Air Venture air show in the USA by launching the aircraft production market. The company introduced its very first aircraft, the lightweight, twin-engine business jet named as the Honda HA-420 HondaJet.
Honda Developed ASIMO
Except for automobiles, Honda developed a humanoid robot that was designed primarily to help the people with restricted mobility due to physical hindrance. It recently introduced the bi-pedal Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility (a humanoid multi-functional robotic assistant). Honda marked a significant breakthrough in the department of robotic mobility and also motivated the youngsters to study mathematics and science. The actual model is 130cm in height and 48kg in weight. The most recent robotic model can walk at a speed of up to 12km per hour.
Not Just Automobiles and Auto Parts, Honda Exports Soybeans as well
Besides manufacturing and exporting automobiles, Honda started shipping soybeans from the U.S. to Japan in 1986 because the crop was produced in abundance in Ohio, while Japan had a big market for it, and Honda wanted to invest in the state they were opening their business in.
“Driving Honda: Inside the World’s Most Innovative Car Company” is one of the best books written by Jeffery Rothfeder that discusses how Honda distinguishes from its competitors and what makes it one of the largest automakers and most consistently innovative multinational corporation in the world. Indeed, a good read for automotive and Honda lovers!