The History of Honda
As a Honda specialist in Broken Arrow, we love everything there is to know about Honda.
In this post, we have put together a quick overview of the history of this infamous manufacturer. So, if you own a Honda, or are a general car enthusiast, we hope you find this interesting!
Honda is renowned for their unfaltering reliability.
Whether you prefer the sporty Civics, the trusty Accords, the HR-V or CV-V’s, there’s something in their range to suit all tastes and requirements.
Aside from their illustrious heritage, which also includes motorbikes and executive jets, they are also leading the pack when it comes to electric vehicles too.
But where did Honda begin, and what are their plans for the future?
How It All Began
The man behind the brand is Soichiro Honda.
Born in 1906, he started out as an apprentice trainee mechanic.
But before this, he helped his father out from a young age with his bicycle repair business. The first business he started was called Tokai Seiki, and this was a piston manufacturer he opened in 1937.
Following a succession of devastating events, including a War and Earthquake, the remains of the business were sold, and the Honda Technical Research Institute was born!
When was Honda started?
After the war, there was a growing demand for people to get mobile in Japan. After experimenting with the idea to retrofit a generator motor to a bicycle, the first Honda was created.
By 1947, the first motor engine, designed by Honda, was produced.
The very next year, Soichiro decided to partner with Takeo Fujisawa, and it was in this year, they jointly created a new business, which was called The Honda Motor company.
In 1949, the first new honda motorcycle that had been completely designed and developed by the company was released; It was suitably called the Dream D-Type.
By 1955, Honda had become the biggest Motorcycle company in Japan. Just two years later, they started selling internationally.
Opening its first location in the USA, the American Honda Motor Co. Inc. was launched from L.A.
In 1962, Honda decided to set-up a new production facility in Belgium, Europe.
Today, it is the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world.
Honda Cars – The Start of Something Special
In 1963, Honda started producing commercial vehicles and cars.
The S500 sports car was launched, and the rugged T360 mini truck was much admired in the market.
Ambitious as always, just a single year after it started to manufacture cars, Honda decides to enter the world of motor racing. Richie Ginther, just one year later, gave Honda their first taste of Victory in Mexico.
If you’re wondering when the Civic made its first appearance, then look no further than the 1970s.
It’s been around for just over ten generations, and to date, there have been more than 25 million Civics sold globally.
The same decade the civic was launched, also saw the retirement of the companies two founding partners.
The launch of the CVCC engine in North America was a huge success.
Exceeding the robust new clean-air regulations without the need for an exhaust catalyzer made this a huge success.
The well-known and much-loved Accord was also launched in the 70s, around the middle of 1976.
It was initially brought to market as a 3-door hatch and a four-door saloon.
The launch of the Prelude followed.
Honda Launches Worlds-First Map-Based Navigation
Most people don’t actually know this, but it was Honda who first-released a map-based navigation system.
More than a decade before mainstream GPS was introduced, the Honda Electro Gyrocator was offered with all Japanese-market Honda Accords.
Honda Starts Producing Vehicles in America
It wasn’t until the early 1980s that Honda truly made its mark in the U.S by becoming the first Japanese manufacturer to produce cars stateside.
The first plant was located in Ohio, and this later joined by factories in Mexico and Canada.
Honda Dominates F1
In 1988, Honda made history when they dominated a full season of F1.
Although Mercedes and Ferrari have come close, nobody has seen such success since this point!
Team McLaren-Honda won an impressive 15/16 races.
Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost were the two drivers at the team. So iconic was this partnership, that movies have been made about the rivalry between the two Honda drivers and their successes with Honda during this season.
The Roaring 90s
The 1990s was a decade where Honda really started to ramp things up.
They opened two more factories in Europe, the CR-V, HR-V, and S2000 were brought to market. The compact SUV is today, still one of the world’s best-selling SUVs of all time.
Toward the end of the 90s, 1999, the Insight, which was Honda’s first hybrid petrol-electric car was launched.
The Insight was the first petrol-electric car to be offered in the U.S market. Just one month after it launched, the infamous Toyota Prius was launched.
They’ve been breaking records ever since!
Through history, and to-date, Honda has been a record-breaking business.
In 2006, they launched the world’s first hydrogen fuelled vehicle to be available commercially, the FCX Clarity.
By 2014, the total sales of their scooters and bikes reached a phenomenal landmark figure of 300 million.
In 2015, their first-ever executive jet took to the skies.
In 2016, car production reached 100 million globally.
In 2018, the company was officially celebrating 70 successful years in business. So, what does the future hold for Honda?
The Future of Honda
At the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017, Honda revealed a full-electric sports car.
This combines AI technology with an EV power unit.
They also delivered their urban EV concept, which is targeted to the modern city driving market.
The fifth-generation CR-V also makes its entrance as it debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show.
Their innovations in electric vehicles is an exciting arm of their business.
However you feel about electric cars, they’re a growing market, and, as far as many car manufacturers are concerned, it is going to be the driving technology for the future. Honda has already created a revolutionary charging system, with lots of other exciting projects in the works.
Get Ready for NeuV
The NeuV Concept is also worthy of a mention as we bring this article to a close.
It stands for New Electric Urban Vehicle, and its entire concept is based on the fact that most privately owned cars will sit idle for 96% of the time.
Using exciting technology, autonomous driving, and an ‘emotion engine’, this car is a real game changer!
The emotion engine is something completely new. According to Honda,
‘’it functions as a thoughtful and helpful AI assistant utilizing an “emotion engine.”
This is an emerging technology developed by SoftBank and Honda, called HANA, which is short for the Honda Automated Network Assistant.’’
Using the Honda Automated Network Assistant, it can learn about a driver’s lifestyle and preferences over a period of time. This means that over time, it will suggest new activities, new routes, and it creates a form of relationship between the vehicle and its driver!
But that’s not all.
We just mentioned the fact that most privately-owned vehicles sit idle for most of the day.
The NeuV proposes to offer new value for its owner, by operating as an automated ride-share vehicle that will pick-up and drop-off people at local destinations while the owner does not need to use the car.
It will also be able to sell energy back to the grid during periods of peak demand!!
With these capabilities, it has the power to create an exciting business model for owners who are entrepreneurially driven.
It also presents itself to be one of the most sustainable, environmentally conscious, economically viable vehicles, that fully optimizes and monetizes the vehicle’s downtime.
The future of Honda is something the world is watching, as are we, and many other Honda and technology enthusiasts across the globe.