Learn the Fascinating History of Honda

Honda is a firm believer in the potential of dreams and determination. Honda is motivated by the power of the dream to develop smart products that improve mobility and uplift people’s spirits. This way of thinking directs the business in its efforts to aid people’s advancement and safeguard the future we all share. Soichiro Honda founded a business because of his dreams, and he continues influencing and challenging others around him. He recognized the immense power of freedom of movement and applied his creativity to transform the world. These aspirations still drive Honda Motor Company, a publicly traded international company with its headquarters in Japan and a reputation for producing cars, motorcycles, and electrical and power tools.

Brief Description of Honda

A publicly traded Japanese multinational conglomerate company, Honda Motor Company, Ltd., is best known for producing cars, motorcycles, and power tools. The fundamental tenets of “Respect for the Individual” and “The Three Joys,” also known as The Joy of Buying, The Joy of Selling, and The Joy of Creating, guide the operations of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. It is the eighth-largest firm in the world and the second-largest automaker in Japan. Additionally, it was the first Japanese automaker to introduce Acura’s luxury brand in 1986.

Since 1959, Honda has produced the most motorcycles in the world, with 400 million expected to be produced by the end of 2019. It also produces the most internal combustion engines worldwide, with more than 14 million produced yearly. In 2001, Honda overtook Toyota as the second-largest producer of automobiles in Japan. In 2015, Honda ranked as the eighth-largest automaker in the world. They work on aircraft development as well. Honda China, Dongfeng Honda, and Guangqi Honda are the company’s three joint ventures in China.

The Story of Soichiro Honda’s Life

In 1906, on November 17, Soichiro Honda was born. As Steve Jobs was to Apple, he was to Honda what a visionary, trailblazer, and dreamer were. From the moment he founded Honda in 1948 until his retirement in 1973, he shaped and advanced the company. When Soichiro Honda was ten years old and living in Japan, he saw a Ford Model T driving through his hamlet. He hurried after the automobile, stooping to smell the oil it had left on the road, having never seen anything like it before. That incident profoundly altered his life.

In his father’s blacksmith business as a young boy, Soichiro Honda spent a lot of time repairing bicycles. Honda valued experiential learning and practical knowledge over academic knowledge. He dropped out of school in 1922 without receiving a diploma, at which point he joined Art Shokai. This company specializes in fixing cars and motorcycles, regarded as one of the best in Japan. Soichiro Honda got access to cars that would not have been available to him otherwise because, at the time, automobiles were still the exclusive property of the very affluent. His job sated his hunger for knowledge, and he quickly rose to the position of star apprentice in the company. Then, at the age of 17, Honda worked on the creation of a race car that won competitions and set records for speed and acceleration. Naturally, that led to a chance to launch a business that produced piston rings. 

After completing his apprenticeship in 1928 and receiving approval to establish a branch of Art Shokai in Hamamatsu, Japan, Soichiro Honda was deemed medically ineligible for military service. He was known as “the Edison of Hamamatsu” because of his enthusiasm for creation and advancement. Because he believed that an individual should not have to crawl underneath a car while working on it, so he created a lift-style repair station.

The design of a wheel with cast-iron spokes was Honda’s biggest innovation. Wheels used wooden spokes until the late 1920s, which frequently broke on rough roads. His idea, a significant advancement in-car comfort, and safety was inspired by his earlier bicycle work. Honda had already established a track record for innovation. He established the Art Piston Ring Institute in 1936 after becoming convinced that he could create a piston ring better than anybody else.

Toyota gave him a contract, but he ultimately lost it due to subpar parts. Unfazed, he spent two years in engineering school and diligently observed the industry’s finest practices, where he discovered firsthand the significance of quality control. He established the Tokai Seiki Heavy Industry business, eventually employing 2,000 people before Honda sold it to Toyota in 1945 for $5,000. 

He then moved on to the following stage of his spectacular career by accident. The creation of the first Honda product, known as the Honda A-Type, was entirely original. Honda initially made the Honda A-Type out of scratch as a promise to his wife that he would construct a motorized bicycle. The bike was a manually driven belt gearbox, and the crankcase design made it a breakthrough machine. A new engine plant was added in February 1948 after it began production in November 1947. And eventually, Honda Motor Company began operations in September 1948. 

The Creation of the Honda Motor Company 

In 1948 Honda Motor Company was officially created, and it started making motorcycles in 1949. Small-engine motorcycles were first released in 1953, and the Honda C-100 became the most popular model worldwide by 1959. Honda’s 50cc 1958 Supercub turned the market—and the world—on its head. To go beyond the conventional base of male riders, he sought something that would appeal to those who wouldn’t often ride a motorcycle. 

They founded the American Honda Motor Company in 1959. Instead of using an existing network, they created a brand-new one to draw in people who previously believed motorcycles to be dangerous. The bicycles were offered for sale in department stores, hardware stores, and hobby shops. 

The Creation of the People’s Car 

Honda Civic

A people’s car was one of Soichiro Honda’s longtime goals, and in 1966, that goal was realized with the N360. The N360, sometimes known as the “little puppy,” was small, simple to operate, and reasonably priced. This resembled the Japanese Mini in many ways. It made its debut at the 1966 Tokyo Motor Show less than a week later. Sales of N-series automobiles had reached 500,000 by April 1969 in Japan, and by 1970, they had reached one million worldwide. Although it was considerably more successful at home than abroad, Honda gained some much-needed expertise that helped mold the Civic.

They entered the auto industry in 1967, fulfilling Honda’s lifelong ambition. Honda created automobiles that complied with The Clean Air Act of 1970. The Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion (CVCC) engine was developed and used in the 1973 Honda Civic instead of just adding a catalytic converter, as American automakers did. We didn’t know that the CVCC engine could run on leaded or unleaded fuel because it needed a catalytic converter. Cats and leaded petrol don’t mix because the components are burned out within a tank. The Civic was a clear success because it was dependable, economical, and inexpensive. 

Honda Joins Formula One

Honda made its Formula One debut in the German Grand Prix in 1964 with the RA271. It was then followed by the RA272 vehicle that subsequently won its first race at the 1965 Mexican Grand Prix. It was known as the first Japanese car to win a Formula One race and was painted in the national racing colors of Japan. In 2008 Honda joined the Brazilian Grand Prix, in the Formula One season, with Jenson Button, Rubens Barrichello, and John Surtees among its notable drivers, and the team won three races. The team was successfully purchased by management in February 2009 under the leadership of team principal Ross Brawn. In 2009, Jenson Button won the world championship driving for the Brawn GP squad.

More of Honda’s Innovation 

Honda Acura

Honda created the first automobile navigation system in the world, the Honda Electro Gyrocator, which was released in 1981 and showed the user’s current location on a map. The first Franz System vehicle to enable drivers with arm or leg limitations was released by Honda in 1982. Honda becomes the first Japanese automaker to produce cars in North America that same year. Honda started researching small aircraft and jet engines in 1986.

Acura, the first premium marque from a Japanese carmaker, was introduced by Honda in 1986 with sales of “precision-made performance.” Acura dealers received four Customer Satisfaction Index (CSI) honors from JD Power and Associates. With the NSX in 1990, Acura made a revolutionary breakthrough in the world of supercars. The NSX is an instant classic and will continue to be a sought-after vehicle for enthusiasts as the first production car with an all-aluminum monocoque body. And in December 1999, the Honda Insight forged new ground to become the first hybrid car offered in North America. For the following 17 years, it continues to be the most fuel-efficient non-plugin vehicle in its category.

Honda’s Plan for the Future

Honda sees electric vehicles as essential to a future with extremely low emissions for transportation. The Clarity series of electrified vehicles spearhead Honda’s initiative to electrify its product line. The company’s goal is for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric, or fuel cell automobiles to make up three-quarters of all the vehicles it sells globally by 2030.

Honda develops manufactured innovations that improve people’s lives while safeguarding and maintaining the environment. To address greenhouse gas emissions contributing to global climate change, the corporation seeks to reduce CO2 emissions from its goods and business operations, including its manufacturing facilities, by 50% by 2050.

Final Thought

Honda has been creating waves in the automobile business for generations. Honda, a Japanese company, continues to wow us with its excellent and cutting-edge approach to automotive manufacture in a market predominantly dominated by the Germans, French, and Americans. It’s surprising that Soichiro Honda, a man without formal education who passionately believes in the power of dreams and has a strong innovative mind, founded Honda and brought it to success.

Not only is Honda the biggest motorbike manufacturer in the world it also manufactures a variety of other items, including jet aircraft, quad bikes, lawnmowers, outboard motors, power tools, and humanoid robots. One of the most sought-after automobile brands in the world, Honda continued to grow and helped pave the path for more environment-friendly innovations such as electric vehicles.