History

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 Emperial 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

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

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

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

1958: Super Cub goes on sale

The friendly, convenient scooter became an enormous hit.

1954

1959: Expanding into North America

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


1960

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

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

1961

1961: First Isle of Man TT race vistory

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

1962

1962: Honda’s first overseas production begins in Belgium

1962

1962: The Suzuka Circuit is completed

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

1963

1963: Honda forays into automobile production

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

1964

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

1970: Driving Safety Promotion Center established

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

1972

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

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

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

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

1986

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

1988

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

1997: Twin Ring Motegi opens

Japan’s first combined oval and road courses


2000

2000: Honda announces ASIMO, the humanoid robot

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

2002

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

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

2014

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

2015

2015: Honda wins 700th World Grand Prix race

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

2015

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

2015: HondaJet deliveries begin

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

2016

2016: Honda announces Clarity Fuel Cell

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

2016

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