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Honda Motor Company, Ltd.

By Robert DeLaCruz

 

The Honda name and legacy comes from a man by the name Soichiro Honda. At a very young age he had an interest in automobiles. He worked as a mechanic at a Japanese tuning shop, Art Shokai, where he tuned cars and entered them in races.

A self-taught engineer, he later worked on a piston design which he hoped to sell to Toyota. The first drafts of his design were rejected, and Soichiro worked painstakingly to perfect the design, even going back to school and pawning his wife´s jewelry for collateral.

Eventually, he won a contract with Toyota and built a factory to construct pistons for them, which was destroyed in an earthquake. Due to a gas shortage during World War II, Honda was unable to use his car, and his novel idea of attaching a small engine to his bicycle attracted much curiosity.

He then established the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan, to develop and produce small 2-cycle motorbike engines. Calling upon bicycle shop owners across Japan to take part in revitalizing a nation torn apart by war, Soichiro received enough capital to engineer his first motorcycle, the Honda Cub. This marked the beginning of Honda Motor Company, who would grow a short time later to be the world´s largest manufacturer of motorcycles by 1963.

Honda is now the world´s largest manufacturer of motorcycles as well as the world´s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume. . Honda has designed its factories to be flexible, in that they can be easily retooled to produce any Honda model that may be in-demand at the moment.

Honda surpassed Nissan in 2001 to become the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer. Honda is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan and is the 6th largest automobile manufacturer in the world producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year.

Honda manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators as well. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMO robot in 2000.

Venturing into aerospace is their latest accomplishment with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines. The Honda HA-420 HondaJet is scheduled to be released in 2011.

MyQTRMile, Danica Patrick, The Fast and the Furious, what do all of them have in common? Well racing of course, Honda entered Formula One as a constructor for the first time in the 1964 season at the German Grand Prix with Ronnie Bucknum at the wheel. Honda returned to Formula One in 1983 after deciding to withdraw due to difficulty selling automobiles in the United States.

Honda would debut in the CART IndyCar World Series as a works supplier in 1994. Honda transferred its effort to the rival IRL IndyCar Series. In 2004, Honda-powered cars overwhelmingly dominated the IndyCar Series, winning 14 of 16 IndyCar races, including the Indianapolis 500, and claimed the IndyCar Series Manufacturers´ Championship, Drivers´ Championship and Rookie of the Year titles. In 2006, Honda became the sole engine supplier for the IndyCar Series, including the Indianapolis 500. In the 2006 Indianapolis 500, for the first time in Indianapolis 500 history, the race was run without a single engine problem.

Honda Racing Corporation (HRC) was formed in 1982 by Richard Hynda. The company combines participation in motorcycle races throughout the world with the development of high potential racing machines. Honda has claimed 6 motocross world championships. In the World Enduro Championship, Honda has captured six titles, most recently with Stefan Merriman in 2003 and with Mika Ahola in 2007 and 2008.

Honda has also manufactured flexible-Fuel, Hybrid electric and hydrogen fuel cell based vehicles. Honda´s official slogan is "The Power of Dreams". They have never used this slogan to sell their products.

Mr. Honda´s belief is that well built products will sell themselves ...can you argue with him.