Honda has its beginning in the world of motorcycles. Founder Soichiro Honda rebuilt a ruined factory in October 1946 and established the Honda Technical Research Institute, which he used to create a surplus of two-stroke motors; he adapted these motorbike engines to run on turpentine and mated them to Hamamatsu cycle frames. The experiment came to be a success, as the motorbikes sold out almost immediately, providing Honda with the financial backing he needed to continue developing his brand. The name “Honda Motor Company, Ltd.” was incorporated by 1948.
Honda continued to develop different models of motorcycles throughout the 50s and 60s, becoming successful enough to expand and establish a Los Angeles storefront. In ‘68, Honda sold its millionth motorcycle, but it was not until 1969, that the Honda N600 - an automobile - becomes the first-ever Honda car sold in the United States.
The energy crisis of the 70s became a setback for many automakers in the industry, but Honda responded with innovation. In 1973, Honda unveiled the Civic, which continues to be a reliable favorite in the industry today. The first Honda Civic was a hatchback advertised for its incredible fuel economy, and it became the first vehicle in the world to meet the U.S. Clean Air Act’s strict emissions standards. Production of the Honda Accord followed in 1979.
Through the 70s and 80s, Honda establishes organizations and divisions such as research facilities and the American Honda Foundation, committed to giving back to communities all across the nation. Honda established its own luxury brand, Acura, and innovations like the Honda Insight hybrid and the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle represent the brand’s commitment to progress and clean fuel alternatives.
In the modern day and age, Honda is a brand name associated with clean efficiency, family-friendly safety, and long-term reliability. The brand continues to research and develop new and innovative improvements in the automobile industry.