||Honda Vietnam Co., Ltd.|
A Super Cub Paradise with Three Motorcycle Factories
Vietnam has a long history of being a paradise for Super Cubs. Honda’s first exports of 20,000 Super Cubs to Vietnam took place in 1967. Since then, the people of Vietnam have had a long love affair with the Super Cub in all its many variations. From the latter part of the 20th century until well into the 21st century, its status has continued to grow, making the Super Cub a de facto part of life for the Vietnamese people as it reliably travels all sorts of roads, from big city streets to small village paths.
At one time, Super Cubs accounted for nearly 90% of all the motorcycles used in Vietnam, providing a dependable source of mobility for people of all walks of life extending to rustic households. The end result of this remarkable popularity is that the people of Vietnam have come to refer to any motorcycle they see as a ‘Honda.’ Be it a motorcycle, scooter, or moped, and no matter what the actual manufacturer might be, they’re all called Hondas.
Honda Vietnam’s headquarters are located in Vinh Phuc, approximately an hour’s drive north of the capital, Hanoi. The facility’s spacious grounds encompass two motorcycle factories, one car factory, a test course, and a driving safety education center.
Vietnam has a population of about 95.54 million people, with a land area of 331,000 square kilometers, making it slightly smaller than Japan.
Over 48 million motorcycles are owned in this nation. Statistically, this means there’s one motorcycle for every two people. However, when you take into account the numbers of children and elderly people in the overall population, that figure rises to nearly one per adult. Statistics for 2017 to 2018 indicated that 3.28 million motorcycles are sold in Vietnam each year. Of these, 73% (2.38 million) are Hondas, including 902,000 from the Super Cub series.
Honda Vietnam both sells and manufactures the Super Cub series in Vietnam. The company is a joint venture established in 1996 between Honda and a state-run Vietnamese corporation. In fact, Honda had been trying since the 1970s to set up such an enterprise to meet the needs of the Vietnamese people, however the political environment prevented this from becoming a reality until 1996, when Honda Vietnam was established.
The company’s headquarters in Vinh Phuc are spread out over a wide area, as befits its position as the main base of operations for the company. The site has three factories on it: No. 1 and No. 2 make motorcycles, while the third assembles cars. The grounds also include a test course and a driving safety education center, and approximately 8,000 employees work here.
From among these three factories, the Super Cub series is produced at Factory No. 1, which began operation in 1998.
Currently, the Super Cub series is produced at Factory No. 1. This factory was the first to go into operation at Honda Vietnam in 1998. Currently it employs 4,160 people, with an annual output of over one million motorcycles and scooters. With a history of over 20 years, the factory is a tidy and well-ordered place that manufactures not only the Super Cub series, but other models as well at a steady, consistent pace.
When Factory No. 1 first started production in 1998, the majority of its annual output of 400,000 vehicles were Super Cubs. However, the incredible pace of motorization in Vietnam led Honda Vietnam to achieve a total production figure of 10 million motorcycles and scooters by 2011, subsequently going on to reach 15 million by 2014, 20 million by 2016, and exceeding 25 million in October of 2018.
Factory No. 3, which opened in 2014 in Hà Nam province, south of Hanoi, is equipped with the latest manufacturing facilities. Its operations have helped bring Honda Vietnam’s annual motorcycle and scooter production capacity up to the 2.5 million mark.
This factory currently employs 4,160 people, and its facilities have an annual capacity of one million vehicles.
Honda Vietnam has emphasized the promotion of traffic safety from its very beginnings. However, in 2018 it began a campaign to donate motorcycle helmets to all new elementary school students nationwide. Approx. two million helmets were given to every first grader entering elementary school in the new school term that began in September.
The Super Cub series still accounts for nearly half of Honda’s annual sales, despite the rising popularity of scooters.
Honda Vietnam’s locally produced Super Cub series features a solid lineup. The Wave Alpha 110 is its lowest priced offering at 17,790,000 dong (approx. 82,500 yen/US $790), while the midsized Blade 110 comes in four variations starting from 21,300,000 dong (approx. 99,000 yen/US $920). The fuel-injected Wave RSX110, which features an under-seat helmet compartment, is priced at 24,490,000 dong (approx. 115,000 yen/US $1,050), while the similarly equipped top-of-the-line Future 125 is 31,190,000 dong (approx. 145,000 yen/US $1,350) (exchange rates as of January, 2019).
The increasing popularity of scooters has brought the percentage of new Super Cubs sold down to below 50% of Honda’s annual sales. Even so, the total number of Super Cub series motorcycles made by Honda Vietnam is over 12 million, with production expected to grow at an annual rate of 700,000 to 800,000 units. Clearly, Vietnam’s love affair with the Super Cub is still as passionate as ever — and this country is still the world’s Super Cub Paradise.
WAVE Alpha 110
●Engine Type: Air-cooled 4-stroke OHC single-cylinder ●Displacement: 109cc
●Fuel System: Carburetor ●Transmission: 4-speed centrifugal clutch
●Dimensions (L×W×H): 1,075 × 688 × 1,914mm ●Vehicle Weight: 97kg
●Engine Type: Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder ●Displacement: 109.1cc
●Fuel System: Carburetor ●Transmission: 4-speed centrifugal clutch
●Dimensions (L×W×H): 1,075 × 702 (690) × 1,920mm ●Vehicle Weight: 98/99kg
●Engine Type: Air-cooled 4-stroke OHC single-cylinder ●Displacement: 109.1cc
●Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection ●Transmission: 4-speed centrifugal clutch
●Dimensions (L×W×H): 1,080 × 709 × 1,919mm ●Vehicle Weight: 99/102kg
●Engine Type: Air-cooled 4-stroke single-cylinder ●Displacement: 124.9cc
●Fuel System: Electronic fuel injection ●Transmission: 4-speed centrifugal clutch
●Dimensions (L×W×H): 1,083 × 711 × 1,931mm ●Vehicle Weight: 105/106kg
“The Wave Alpha is really well built!”
— Trần Đức Thường (Company employee; age 29, from Hanoi)
“I’ve been riding my Wave Alpha for about ten years now. I bought it to commute to work, but since then I got married and had kids, so now it’s even more important to us as a vehicle for the whole family. The Wave Alpha is really well built. It’s only had minor repairs in the ten years I’ve used it. I’ve had the tires and brakes replaced in annual inspections, but it still runs as fine as ever. When my kids get older, I hope to be able to take them around to various places, so I might want a scooter with a bigger carrying compartment under the seat. Of course, if I do get one it’ll be a Honda Vision or Lead.”
“It was a present from my parents for entering college.”
— Nguyễn Đình Thế Anh (College student; age 19, from Hanoi)
“I’m in my first year of studying marketing at a business college. This Wave WSX was a present from my parents for entering college. It’s hard to travel to the college by bus, so all my classmates come on motorbikes. The Wave WSX is really cool and fun to ride. I usually take it for a ride instead of walking. I prefer traveling at a more comfortable pace than at fast speeds. I get it cleaned at a car wash in town for 20,000 dong (approx. 100 yen/US $1).”
“I want to keep riding my Cub as long as I can.”
— Nguyễn Văn Vượng (Retiree; age 57, from Hanoi)
“My first ever motorcycle was a Honda Cub 81 with a 90cc engine. It was a used import from Japan. I used almost all my savings to buy it in 1992 when I was 31, so it was certainly a major purchase. At the time only around two people in ten owned a motorcycle in Hanoi. But if your family had a Cub it made life so much easier, so I really had to have it. I’ve owned six motorcycles in all since then, always Hondas. My latest is a Blade that I bought new. Hondas are tough, and you can ride them a long time. Plus replacement parts are available at affordable prices. I ride at slow speeds, so I’ve never had an accident. I want to keep riding my Cub as long as I can, however old I get. I borrowed my daughter’s Wave to come here today.”
“This Future is my 10th Honda!”
— Nguyễn Duy Tiến(Retiree; age 68, from Hanoi)
“I’ve been riding motorcycles for 50 years, ever since my parents got me a German-made Scrambler when I was 18 years old and still in high school. I bought my first Honda 50 in 1975. Honda was so popular back then, it was like nothing else but Honda was sold anywhere. But I understood why it was so popular once I rode one. The Honda was simply excellent. This Future is my 10th Honda. My old Future was stolen in February last year, so my kids said they would get me a Honda scooter as a present. But I just love the Future, it suits me best, so that’s what I asked them for!”
“I’m going to pass on to my son my father’s Super Dream”
— Trần Hùng (Company employee; age 40, from Hanoi)
“My Super Dream is a Thai model made in 1994. It used to be my father’s. Since he passed away 12 years ago, I’ve kept it in good condition and use it daily to go to work. My son’s 17 now, and he’s going to do the university entrance exams soon. I’m thinking of passing this Super Dream on to him. So, I ride it safely to avoid getting it damaged, and take care to make sure it’s not stolen. I’ve had it regularly inspected and repaired at a trustworthy dealer if it ever needs fixing. I’m just hoping that Honda will continue to supply parts so that my son can keep riding this same Super Dream for years to come!”
“I haven’t had a major breakdown in 20 years!”
— Trần Thị Thúy (Elementary school teacher; age 48, from Hanoi)
“I ride a Japanese-made Honda 70 (Super Cub 70 Custom) that I bought in 1998. At the time I was riding a Vietnam-made Super Dream, but when I happened to go to a dealer, I saw this brand new Honda 70 there that was still unsold. So I bought it on the spot. The Honda 70 is a size smaller than the Super Dream. The seat’s lower and it’s around 10kg lighter, so it’s easier for me to handle. I also liked the styling, as I’m familiar with it from my childhood. I’ve used it for 20 years since then, riding it 10 kilometers to work and back every day. It’s never had a major breakdown. It’s also light and compact, as well as fuel efficient, which makes it really economical. This Honda 70 is very precious to me, so I intend to keep on using it and keeping it running for as long as it can go.”
“All ten members of my family ride Hondas!”
— Nguyễn Đăng Kim (Retiree; age 77, from Hanoi)
“I absolutely love my Japanese-made 1982 Super Cub. It was imported here used from Japan in 1998. I take special care of this Cub because I like it so much. It runs well and looks good too, plus it doesn’t use much gas. I used to be a road design engineer, and I had to travel all over for my job. So when I was young the company would give me motorcycles made in Czechoslovakia or East Germany. But once I rode a Honda, I was amazed at how much better it was to ride, and they never break down. The design’s good too! I really came to love those bikes. Honda’s engineers’ emphasis on Quality First matches my own thinking precisely.
I have ten members in my family, including children and grandchildren, and every one of them rides a Honda. I like to take trips with my wife riding behind me. While I’m still in good health I’m going to keep riding!”
“Now I know why everyone loves Hondas so much.”
— Đặng Thị Lệ (Company employee; age 24, from Hanoi)
“I bought a Wave RSX three years ago as my first motorcycle. I chose Honda because I thought the style and price suited me. I’d saved up some money, but not quite enough. So my parents loaned me a little so I could pay in cash. I’d heard that Hondas don’t break down and offer good mileage, and that’s exactly what I’ve found. Now I know why everyone loves Hondas so much. A lot of my girlfriends who are about my age like scooters, but women with strong personalities prefer Hondas with gears. I also like the elegant styling of scooters, and if I ever do change to a scooter, of course I’ll choose Honda. Having a motorcycle lets you live a full life. I’ll definitely stick with Honda in the future.”
“I love this motorcycle because it’s the first one I ever bought myself.”
— Bùi Anh Tú (Company employee; age 22, from Hanoi)
“I bought my Blade on December 15, 2017, at around 10 in the morning. I’ll never forget that date and time, because it was the day I bought my first motorcycle with money I’d earned myself. That’s one of my biggest personal achievements so far. Up till then I went to work by bus, so I had to get up early to make sure I wasn’t late, and sometimes I couldn’t even eat breakfast. Now I can make better use of my time. I got a girlfriend recently, so when we go on a date, I pick her up and ride around with her on the back. I ride around 1,000 kilometers a month for my job, so I really appreciate that the Blade is so tough and economical.
For my next motorcycle, I’m thinking of buying a Winner sports bike or a PCX scooter.”
“My husband also rides a Future, and my two children ride Wave Alphas.”
— Trần Ngọc Tuyết (Self-employed; age 48, from Hanoi)
“Ever since I bought my first Wave when I was 23 and started riding around on it, I’ve loved riding motorcycles. For my second bike I changed up to a Future, and rode it for 18 years. This year I sold that Future for 10 million dong (approx. 46,000 yen/US $430) and bought a brand new Future as my third motorcycle. I understand why a lot of women like scooters, but I really love changing gears. And the ride is so smooth and speedy. Also, since the Future has a 125cc engine, you can really enjoy that speed. In our family of four everyone rides a Honda. My husband also has a Future, and my two children ride Wave Alphas.”
“I came here to buy a Future.”
— Nguyễn Đức Bảo (Retiree; age 64, from Hanoi)
“I rode here on my wife’s Super Dream. My old Dream, which I took good care of for over 20 years, was stolen two weeks ago. When I went to city hall to get new identification papers, I left it in the parking lot. But I was in such a hurry, I forgot to get a ticket, and it got stolen. Recently older Dreams have become quite popular, so I think they specifically targeted my bike. So, today I came to the dealer to look into buying a new Future. Of course, once I saw the Future I liked it straightaway. I’ve already completed the paperwork to buy it.”
“I only ride Hondas!”
— Nguyễn Đình Ánh (Company employee; age 43, from Hanoi)
“My first Honda was a used Japanese-made Honda 82 that my parents bought me to celebrate me getting my first job. It had a square headlight. That Honda 82 had a great ride, and was tough and durable, and economical too. It made me a dedicated Honda fan. Since then I’ve had two new Dreams and a new Wave as my fourth bike. Then last year I bought my fifth Honda, a new Blade. I saved up and paid for it in cash, and gave my old motorcycle to relatives living in the country. Hondas last a long time as long as you give them regular checkups and keep them repaired. They’re perfect for money-conscious people in Vietnam. My wife rides a scooter made by another company; but as for me, I only ride Hondas.”