Honda’s Genesis: To Make People Happy

How easy would riding a bicycle be if it had an engine?

1946, when the most common mode of transportation was the bicycle. On encountering the former Imperial Army’s generator engines to power wireless radios, Soichiro Honda developed the concept of using these engines as auxiliary power for bicycles. Modifying the 500 or so engines, Honda had produced and sold bicycles with auxiliary engines. The new bicycle was an instant hit, with orders coming in and stocks running out, so Honda decided to develop and original engine. In 1947, the A-Type engine, emblazoned with Honda’s name for the very first time, was completed.


1948: The Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is incorporated

34 employees, 1 million yen capital
Honda started as a bicycle auxiliary engine manufacturer in a small factory in Hamamatsu.


1953: Power Products business begins

The H-Type farming engine ushers in a new era, and in 1959 the F150 tiller goes on sale.


1954: Declaring Entry in the Isle of Man TT Races

Despite troubled times, Honda announces its entry into the pinnacle of motorcycle racings. Five years later, Honda enters its first race.


1958: Super Cub goes on sale

The friendly, convenient scooter became an enormous hit.


1959: Expanding into North America

American Honda Motor Co., Inc., Honda’s first overseas subsidiary, is established in Los Angeles.


1960: Honda R & D Co., Ltd. established

Begins as an entity independent from Honda, to freely concentrate on research and development.


1961: First Isle of Man TT race victory

Honda dominates the top 5 spots in the 125cc and 250cc classes.


1962: Honda’s first overseas production begins in Belgium


1962: The Suzuka Circuit is completed

The circuit is born as Japan’s first international-class racing track.


1963: Honda forays into automobile production

Honda releases the T360 mini-truck, followed by the S500 sports car.


1964: Honda’s first appearance in Formula 1 racing

Japan’s first Formula 1 machine, the RA271, debuts at the German Grand Prix.
Honda takes its first Formula 1 victory the following year, in the final round at Mexico


1970: Driving Safety Promotion Center established

Honda begins a motorcycle/automobile industry-first effort to promote driving safety.


1972: Low-emission CVCC engine announced

Honda becomes the first manufacturer in the world to fully comply with the most stringent emission regulations at the time, the U.S. Clean Air Act In 1970, or the so-called “Muskie Law.”


1981: Honda develops the world’s first car navigation system

Honda released the first car navigation system, Honda Electro Gyrocator that displayed the current location on a map.


1982: Japan’s first Franz System vehicle

Honda realized Japan’s first automobile equipped with the Franz System, supporting drivers with leg of arm disabilities.


1982: Honda becomes the first Japanese manufacturer to produce vehicles in North America


1986: Honda begins research of compact aircraft and aircraft jet engines


1988: Record-setting 15 out of 16 wins in Formula 1 racing

Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost dominate the season driving McLaren-Honda MP4/4s.


1997: Twin Ring Motegi opens

Japan’s first combined oval and road courses


2000: Honda announces ASIMO, the humanoid robot

Honda realized a new lightweight humanoid robot that can walk in a similar manner to humans.


2002: World’s first lease-sales of the FCX fuel cell vehicle

FCX became the first vehicle to receive U.S. government certification as a fuel cell vehicle, and went on lease-sale in the U.S. and Japan.


2012: Honda’s power products reach 100 million accumulated production milestone


2014: Honda’s motorcycles reach 300 million accumulated production milestone


2015: Honda wins 700th World Grand Prix race

Honda achieves an unprecedented number of motorcycle road racing grand prix victories.


2015: Honda rejoins Formula 1

Honda rejoins Formula 1 racing for the first time in 7 years as a power unit supplier, to pursue new technological challenges.


2015: HondaJet deliveries begin

HondaJet achieves United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) type certification, and delivery to customers begins.


2016: Honda announces Clarity Fuel Cell

Clarity Fuel Cell achieves top-class fuel cell vehicle driving range of 750km.


2016: Honda’s worldwide cumulative automobile production reaches 100 million milestone

Super Cub Anniversary

2017: Honda celebrates 100 Miilion-unit global production milestone for Super Cub series