Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese based multinational corporation popular for producing automobiles and motorbikes. Honda is certainly a big name in automobile industry for the fact that it is not only world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer but also internal combustion engines. According to estimates, Honda manufactures over 14 million internal combustion engines per year. In 2001, Honda outdid the Nissan to become the second largest Japanese automobile manufacturer. In August 2008, Honda outdid the Chrysler to become the fourth largest automobile manufacturer in the US. Overall Honda is known to be the sixth largest automobile manufacturer all across the world.
Honda has not limited itself to the manufacturing of motorcycles and automobiles rather Honda also produces garden equipment, marine engines, power generators, personal watercraft and more. Also, Honda is also taken as the first automobile company who designed a luxury brand, Acura. In 2000, Honda announced its first ASIMO robot which is a clear indication that how Honda is going to expand its business in several fields. Honda also has its role to play in aerospace as well where it has established GE Honda Aero Engines. The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is set to release somewhere this year.
The headquarters of Honda are located in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Honda Motor Company Ltd gets its name form its founder Soichiro Honda. He was very much interested in automobiles since his childhood. He started his career as a mechanic at a Japanese tuning shop named Art Shokai. His job was to tune the cars and made them ready for the races. Honda was indeed a self-taught engineer and his major aim was to design a piston so that he could sell it to Toyota. The initial blueprints of his designs were rejected and he began working on his design more seriously. For this purpose, he even went to school by mortgaging his wife’s jewelry as security deposit. Finally, he was given the contract by Toyota and he constructed a factory so as to manufacture piston for them. Unluckily, the factory was demolished as a result of earthquake and his hopes shattered.
During the World War II, there arose the shortage of gasoline and hence Soichiro given up the idea of using his car and hit upon a unique idea of connecting a small engine to his bicycle. Later, he laid the basis of Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan with a view to design and manufacture 2-cycle motorbike engines. He was able to manufacture his first motorcycle, the Honda Cub which is often associated with the beginning of Honda Motor Company. Within a short span of time, this became the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer company.
T360 mini pick-up truck was known to be the first production automobile from Honda that went on world sale in August 1963. The T360 got 356cc straight-4 gasoline engine. In October 1963, Honda released its first production car, the S500 sports car. The chain driven rear wheels of this car refer to the Honda’s motorcycle beginnings.