As one of the most successful Japanese vehicle manufacturers, Honda has found success in a wide range of products. With the company celebrating its 70th birthday this year, it would not be fair to let brand go unacknowledged. Here is everything you need to know about Honda’s history!
Who founded Honda?
The Honda Motor Company was founded by Soichiro Honda who had developed a keen interest in mechanical engineering. Originally, Soichiro Honda had founded Tokai Seiki, a company which produced piston rings for Toyota.
However, after suffering a wartime bombing and an earthquake, Honda sold the salvageable parts of the business to Toyota and used that money to develop his own company.
When was Honda founded?
In 1948, Honda founded his own company and hired the help of Takeo Fujisawa. He developed his plan to make post-war Japan mobile by using surplus stocks of generator motors on bicycles. By 1949, the first Honda ‘Dream’ D-type motorcycle was developed and produced.
To this day, Honda’s vehicles are renowned for their reliability and innovation. Just ten years after the production of the D-type, Honda began selling its vehicles overseas. The American Honda Co. was established in 1959 in Los Angeles.
On top of this, Honda found itself garnering recognition in the motorbike racing scene. As the first Japanese team to enter the Isle of Man TT in 1959, Honda did extremely well – securing 6th, 7th, 8th and 11th.
In just two years, Honda won its first Grand Prix in Spain with a 125cc motorcycle, followed by another victory in the German Grand Prix with a 250cc Honda motorcycle win. By 1961, Honda finally won first place in the Isle of Man TT.
All the while, Honda motorcycles came to dominate international markets due to their affordable and dependable vehicles, making them a highly regarded and much-loved brand at home and beyond.
The earliest models of Honda cars emerged in 1963. After over ten years as one of the leading manufacturers of motorcycles, it was a struggle to develop its cars with technologies which differed from their motorbikes.
A decade later, the innovative company unleashed their very first Honda Civic. Its fuel efficiency made it a hugely popular choice for Americans when the energy crisis hit.
From here, Honda found great success with their future cars. The Honda Civic becoming one of its most famous models, and the Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) engine was a huge hit.
Honda F1 racing
From the niche Japanese street racing scene to the internationally popular Formula One, Honda has gained fame worldwide for their powerful engines and innovative technology.
One of Soichiro’s dreams was to become a racing champion in a car he built himself. This was a dream he achieved not very long after developing the first car. Honda found victory at the F1 in 1965 with racing driver Ritchie Ginther.
From this point on, Honda saw itself becoming a front runner in races and competitions worldwide.
The future of Honda
With the tagline “The Power of Dreams”, it is no surprise that Honda pushes for innovation. After public struggles with carbon emissions, Honda is pushing for more efficient vehicles. Their best selling SUV, the Honda CR-V, will contain advanced hybrid powertrain technology which they say will be available from early next year.
Whether it’s the Jazz family car, the speedier Civic or the SUV CR-V, we are sure that Honda will continue the long trend of innovation and reliability that has helped the brand develop deep-rooted loyalty with so many of its customers.