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The Power of Dreams

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Japanese: 本田技研工業株式会社 Hepburn: Honda Giken Kōgyō KK, IPA: [honda] ( listen); /ˈhɒndə/) is a Japanese public, multi-national conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and power equipment.

Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. Honda became the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in 2001. Honda was the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world behind Toyota, the Volkswagen Group, the Hyundai Motor Group, General Motors, Ford, Nissan, and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in 2015. Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand, the Acura, in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, and other products. Since 1986, Honda has been involved in artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000. They have also ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, which began production in 2012. Honda has three joint ventures in China (Honda China, Dongfeng Honda, and Guangqi Honda). In 2013, Honda invested about 5.7% (US $6.8 billion) of its revenues in research and development. Also in 2013, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to be a net exporter from the United States, exporting 108,705 Honda and Acura models, while importing only 88,357.

Honda has a Long and Storied History

Drivers are sure to recognize Honda automobiles as among the highest quality vehicles on the road today. However, the history of Honda started long before the company made its first automobile. Company founder, Soichiro Honda, had always had an interest in automobiles and got his start at the Art Shokai garage as a mechanic working on race cars.

The Early Years

Using funding offered by a friend (Kato Shichiro), Honda started Tokai Seiki in 1937. This company crafted piston rings for the Toyota Company for a short period of time. In time, Honda learned to mass-produce engine rings for Toyota. During World War Two, this company was placed under the control of the War Ministry. Following the destruction of one factory during the war and one more in 1945, due to the Mikawa earthquake, a new era in the history of Honda began with the construction of a motorized bicycle under the auspices of the name Honda Technical Research Institute. The Honda Technical Research Institute was liquidated in 1949 and the resulting funds were used to found the Honda Motor Co. Ltd., a name that has become very well known on streets across America. During this early period the company focused on building motorcycles and by 1964 was one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers. Those early car models were introduced in October of 1963. By that time, Honda had been the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturer for more than a decade. It was natural that the early car and truck models featured rear-wheel chain drives, similar to the motorcycles Honda had been producing since the end of the Second World War. It would be another decade – a decade of many advances – before the first Hondas would be shipped to the United States and other international markets. During the ensuing years, Honda would continue to develop new lines of vehicles and expand their horizons. In 1973 Honda was ready to export its cars to the United States as the first Honda Civic was offered to buyers in the Denton, Frisco, and Lewisville areas. These highly fuel-efficient cars were exactly what the American public needed as the energy crisis hit full swing and gas prices soared. In 1974, the Honda CVCC four-stroke engine was not only incredibly fuel efficient but the Civic became the first car to meet the new EPA Clean Air Act standards without the need for a catalytic converter. By 1979, a new stage in the history of Honda was underway as they became the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to open a production facility in the U.S.. 1982 saw the Accord being built at the brand new Marysville, Ohio manufacturing facility. In 1984, the Honda CRX-HF would be the first car in the world to reach an EPA rating of 50 mpg.

Moving On Up

In 1986, Honda launched its Acura luxury car line, offering the sporty Integra and flagship Legend. These models were offered through 60 different dealerships across the U.S.. Not satisfied with this, in 1988 Honda became the first American-built automobile to be exported to Japan. The Honda Accord has the distinction of being the first car built by an international car maker to earn the distinction of being the best-selling car in the U.S. Not content to rest on its laurels, in 1990 Honda launched the Acura NSX. This was the world’s first all-aluminum-bodied automobile. It would also be the first to be fitted with the Variable Timing and Lift Electronic Control (VTEC) engine. The following year, the Accord wagon would become the first vehicle in the history of Honda to be completely designed and built in the U.S. Mid-decade, the Civic became the first car to meet California’s Low-Emission Vehicle standards. Two years later, the Accord met California’s Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle standards.

A New Century and New Ideas

In 2001, the U.S. manufactured Civic Coupe became the first compact car to be given a full 5-star safety rating by the NTHSA (National Traffic Highway Safety Administration), making them one of the safest cars on the roads of Denton. 2002 saw the first Honda Civic Hybrid, a combination gas/electric car that achieved 70 mpg. In this same year, the FCX was introduced as the first fuel cell-powered vehicle to be certified for everyday use in the U.S. by the EPA. Honda continues to be on the cutting edge, leading the way into the future in many fields. In October 2000, roughly 37 years after introducing their first cars, Honda introduced the ASIMO – Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility. The ASIMO is a humanoid robot designed to help people with mobility-related disabilities. Since its introduction, ASIMO has been widely used to promote math and science education and research.

The Honda Motor Company was founded by Soichiro Honda in October 1946. He was very interested in automobiles from a young age so he used to tune cars and enter them into races using his friend’s garage. As he grew up, he decided to be in the automobile industry. Soon his efforts paid off and he got a contract for supplying piston rings to major car maker Toyota. But unfortunately, he lost the contract as his products did not match the required quality. So he went to various factories in Japan looking for ways to improve the quality of the engines by making efficient piston rings.

Soon he was able to find a highly automated process that could use unskilled workers to produce high-quality piston rings. Toyota was impressed by his product and bought it in 1941. Next, he started a company called Tokai Seiki in order to produce his products on a larger scale. Soon Toyota bought 40% of the company and thus Soichiro and the officials at Toyota could build a lasting business relationship. But a series of calamities damaged large portions of his company and this forced Soichiro to sell the remaining parts of his company to Toyota. In 1946, he founded the Honda Technical Research Institute to sell customized bicycles with attached motors. He had only 12 employees who worked in a 170 sq ft. area.

In 1949, after years of persistence, Honda and his team were able to release the Model D which was the first complete motorcycle they had made with their own parts. Soon the demand for this low-priced vehicle increased and by 1964 the Honda Company was the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. They did not stop there but tried different possibilities in that time period. In 1963, they were able to release their first-ever four-wheel vehicle in the form of the T360 mini pick-up truck.

Soon they went on to expand their range of vehicles and produced their first car called the S500 Sports Car. In 1986, they ventured into the luxury car segment and released the very successful Acura. In 1991, they released the Honda NSX Supercar which was the first vehicle to incorporate a V6 engine with the latest variable-valve timing. Their success had no limits thereafter as they kept innovating and started producing scooters, engines, generators, motors, and pumps successfully.

2030 Vision Statement

We first clarified the two key elements of the Vision – the “Universal Passion of Honda” and the “Strengths of Honda.”

The Universal Passion of Honda

・Value proposition:

To provide products and services that expand people’s dreams and potential.

・Corporate attitude:

Our approach to taking on new challenges while being driven by a strong passion to realize our value proposition.

Strengths of Honda

・ Existing strengths of Honda:

Strength in manufacturing a broad range of products including motorcycles, automobiles, and power products

Strength in earning 28 million customers per year in markets around the world


・ New strengths:

Our ability to create solutions, which includes both Mono-zukuri, the art of making things, and Koto-zukuri – which is creating new experiences through brand storytelling about the art of making things.

Business Viewpoint to Focus on

Toward the fulfillment of this vision, we will transform and evolve our existing businesses and also create new value through the efficient use of finite corporate resources. To this end, we have identified three areas we will focus on, and we will utilize our corporate resources effectively and strengthen our business foundation.

Inter-regional coordination and collaboration

We will further enhance our inter-regional coordination and collaboration and increase the efficiency of our operations from a global perspective.

To this end, we will grow our global models strong, so that they will be well-received anywhere in the world. As for regional models, with consideration to customers’ needs in each region, multiple regions with similar customer needs will work together to realize common regional models with a high level of product strength. Through this initiative, we will strive to achieve more efficient business operations in each region.