When you think of Honda, the first thing that might pop in your head is the Civic. Or, on the other hand, it can be one of its famous motorcycles, or the Asimo humanoid robot, or even Formula One. Regardless of what you think when you hear the word “Honda,” one thing is for sure—this Japanese manufacturer has a rich heritage that’s guided by the power of dreams. As such, here is the history of Honda.
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is formally established on September 24, 1948 by co-founders Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa. A year later, in August 1949, Honda introduces its first original designed and engineered product dubbed as the Dream D-Type motorcycle.
The Dream D-Type is regarded by Honda as a revolutionary motorcycle since it is designed to eliminate the manual clutch operation. In other words, the Dream D-Type has no manual clutch lever on the handle bar. The rider needs to press down and forward on the change pedal to operate the clutch.
In October 1951, Honda introduces the Dream E-Type, which is the company’s first four-stroke motorcycle. The Dream E-Type is well-received in the market and allows Honda to have a positive momentum.
Honda wants to maintain its momentum as the company launches a new motorcycle in 1952, the Cub F-Type. It is a small, lightweight motorcycle that’s powered by a 50cc 2-stroke engine. The Cub F-Type is also known as a bike that women as well as men could ride.
In January 1954, Honda debuts the Juno K-Type, which is said to be the most advanced scooter during this time. Four years later, American Honda Motor Co., Inc. is established in Los Angeles, California in June 11, 1959.
Honda’s first automobiles debut in October 1962 at the 9th Japan National Auto Show. The cars on display are the T360 mini truck, S360 sportscar, and S500 sportscar.
After seven years, the N600 is the first Honda vehicle offered in the United States.
In 1973, Honda introduces the Civic in the United States. This car is received positively since it is more fuel efficient compared to American cars.
In 1979, Honda is the first Japanese automaker to manufacture products in the US using domestic and globally-sourced parts. Honda assembles the CR250M Elsinore motorcycle in Marysville, Ohio.
Then, in 1982, the Accord enters production at Honda’s Ohio manufacturing plant.
Four years later, Honda launches the Acura brand, which is the company’s luxury car segment. Honda offers the Integra and the Legend under the Acura brand.
In 1990, Honda introduces the Acura NSX, the first Honda car to be equipped with the Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) engine.
After a decade, Honda unveils its first fuel-cell electric vehicle—the FCX-V3.
Honda debuts the ASIMO humanoid robot in November 2000. ASIMO stands for Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility. This robot is used to promote math and science education.
Honda launches the Civic Coupe in 2001. The US National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NTHSA) gives the Civic Coupe a five-star safety rating.
In August 2002, Honda develops the Side Curtain Airbag system. This safety feature helps reduce head or neck injury during a side impact. Honda’s Side Curtain Airbag system is first equipped in the Accord.
In April 2005, Honda reaches the milestone of 100,000 hybrid vehicles sold worldwide.
Honda improves the safety of its cars as the company introduces the “Honda Sensing” advanced driver-assistance system.
In December 2016, Honda reaches its 100 million worldwide automobile production milestone.
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