Honda

Foundation: 1946

Headquarters: Minato Ward, Tokyo

President: Toshihiro Mibe

Website

Executive Summary: Honda is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, motorcycles, and power equipment. The company’s origins can be traced back to when founder Soichiro Honda developed the concept of using Imperial Army generators to supply auxiliary power to bicycles. Honda modified over five hundred engines and his power bicycles became an instant hit. Following the high demand for his bicycles, Honda decided to research and develop his own engines, which ultimately became the A-Type engine completed in 1947. The following year, the Honda Motor Company was incorporated. This newly established company continued to produce auxiliary motors for bicycles out of a small factory in Hamamatsu. It was at this time that the company developed and engineered its first wholly original product, the “Dream” D-Type motorcycle. During the 1950s, Honda Motors ventured into farming machinery, developing the H-Type farming engine and the F150 tiller. Another big hit during this era was the Super Cub, a convenient scooter. Honda ended the decade by establishing the American Honda Motor Company in Los Angeles, California, marking its first overseas venture. The company’s global presence increased further when Honda’s first overseas production plant was established in Belgium. Also at this time the firm entered the world of motorcycle racing, and by 1961, Honda dominated the top five spots in the 125cc and 250cc classes. The following year, the Suzuka Circuit, Japan’s first international racing track, was completed. In 1963, Honda began its venture into the automobile industry, producing the T360 mini-truck and the S500 sports car. With the development of its own car, Honda decided to make its first appearance at Formula One racing in the 1964 German Grand Prix. Its Formula One vehicle, the RA271, would not take its first victory until the following year in Mexico. In the 1970s, Honda debuted both the Honda Accord and the Civic. When more strict emissions regulations were put into place through the US Clean Air Act, Honda became the first manufacturer globally to fully adhere to the legislation. In 1981, Honda developed the first globally available car navigation system called the Electro Gyrocator. This system did not use GPS like most modern navigation devices, but instead was powered by a helium gas gyroscope that detected rotation and movement. The following year, the firm manufactured Japan’s first car equipped with the Franz System, which allowed people with physical handicaps to operate the vehicle. At the same time, Honda became the first Japanese company to manufacture cars in North America. In 1986, it began researching and developing compact aircraft and engines. Honda continued to break records in the racing world. In the 2000s, Honda introduced the Asimo, a humanoid robot. Recently, all major Honda products such as the motorcycle, automobile, and power products have surpassed the hundred million sales milestone. Its annual income is in the range of US$130 billion.

News Timeline

2020

November

-Honda’s Traffic Jam Pilot automated driving equipment receives Level 3 clearance from Japan’s transport ministry. This level allows the driver to legally engage in activities such reading and watching TV behind the wheel during slow traffic.

August

-Toyota Motor Corporation and Honda R&D Co. announce that they will create a mobile power generation and output system called Moving e, consisting of a fuel cell bus that can carry a large amount of hydrogen, portable external power output devices, and portable batteries.

-It is announced that the Honda e, the firm’s new electric minicar, will begin sales in Japan from October 30. The EV was originally unveiled in Europe in early August.

July

-Honda Motor acquires about 1% of the shares of Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), a Chinese company that specializes in battery technologies. This alliance aims to promote the development of Electric Vehicles (EVs).

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