Soichiro Honda established the brand he names after himself on September 24, 1948. In October the following year, Takeo Fujisawa came on board the Honda Motor Company Ltd. He became the Managing Director and a lifetime partner. The two introduced the first Honda motorcycle, original design and engineered product, the “Dream” D-type motorcycle, in 1949. The two wanted to create the world’s top motorcycle making company. A goal they would reach pretty quickly in three parts – through the sale of the Super Cub C100 in August 1958, then participation in the Isle of Man TT race in June 1959 and finally with the opening of the Suzuka Factory in 1960.
Honda in America
On June 11, 1959, Honda established an American branch. Los Angeles was the first oversees subsidiary for the Honda Motor Company. And less than a decade later, the Honda Motor Co. sold it’s 1 millionth motorcycle in the US. The following year, Honda decided to switch things up with a new motorcycle design. They introduced the 4-cylinder Honda CB750.
1969 was a big year for Honda. It was also the year the first car was sold in the US. It was a Honda N600. And that was just the beginning.
The Honda Motor Company continued to respond to popular opinion when changing designs and releasing new vehicles. In 1979, Honda introduced the groundbreaking CVCC engine. With this new engine, Honda became the first vehicle to meet the strict emissions standards in the new US Clean Air Act without the use of a catalytic converter.
A few years later, in 1976, the Honda Accord came on the scene. The first model was a 2-door hatchback. The sedan version followed shortly after, in 1979. Since it’s launch, the Accord has become the best-selling passenger car in America. Honda has sold more than 12.5 million in the US alone.
The Honda Motor Co. introduced their luxury line, Acura, in 1986. It was the first luxury nameplate from a Japanese Automaker.
The most fuel-efficient non-plugin vehicle showed up from Honda in 1999: The Honda Insight. In December 1999, it became the first hybrid vehicle available in North America.
A few years later, the Civic and Ridgeline were selected as North American Car and Truck of the year.
2014 marked the building of the 10 millionth North American Honda Accord. On March 20, 2014, it rolled off the assembly line at Honda’s Marysville Auto Plant.
And again in 2016, the Civic was named North American car of the year. It joined the 2006 Civic and 2006 Ridgeline on that list.