Headquartered in Japan, the Honda Company has had a long and successful history of making quality cars. The Honda Technology Research Institute Company is the 6th largest automobile manufacturer in the world and the largest engine-builder in the world. Each year, Honda builds more than 14 million internal combustion engines. The company builds automobiles, motorcycles, trucks, scooters, robots, jets and jet engines, ATV, water craft, electrical generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment, mountain bikes, and aeronautical technologies.
In October 1946, Soichiro Honda established the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan. The goal was to develop and build small 2-cycle motorbike engines. Two years later, Honda Motor Company, Ltd. was created. Honda's first US storefront opened in 1959 in Los Angeles.
Honda's first production automobile was the T360 mini pick-up truck. The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car.
Chronological highlights of the history of behind Honda cars as reported by world.honda.com include:
1963 Honda's first sports car (S500) and light truck (T360) released. 1966 Sales and export of S800 begin. 1967 Front-wheel-drive minicar, N360, released. 1968 Export of N360 and N600 begin.
1971 Life Minicar released.
1972 Civic released.
1976 Accord CVCC (1600cc) released.
1978 Prelude released.
1981 City released. 1985 Today minicar and Legend released. Quint Integra released.
1986 Honda expanded into the luxury automobile market with the creation of the Acura brand
1989 Accord Inspire released.
1990 NSX sports car released. 1992 Worldwide automobile production reaches 20 million units. 1994 Odyssey released.
1995 Worldwide Civic production reaches 10 million units. CR-V sports utility vehicle released. Worldwide automobile production reaches 30 million units.
1996 Step WGN (Wagon) released. 1999 Honda S2000 sports car released. Lagreat Canadian-made minivan released. Insight hybrid released.
2000 Life Almas, first minicar with features for the physically challenged, released. Stream minivan released.
2001 Fit released. Civic Hybrid released.
2003 Honda becomes the first Japanese automaker to produce 10 million cars in the US New Odyssey released.
2005 Ridgeline next-generation truck released in US American Honda Motor begins sales of Phill, the first home refueling appliance for natural gas vehicles. Leasing of FCX fuel cell vehicle for home use begins. Worldwide sales of Honda hybrid vehicles reached 100,000.
2006 Zest unveiled. Performance of next-generation fuel-cell car FCX Concept demonstrated.
2007 Crossroad released.
In August 2008, Honda surpassed Chrysler as the 4th largest automobile manufacturer in the United States. Currently, Honda is the second largest manufacturer in Japan behind Toyota and ahead of Nissan.
Honda increased global production in September 2008 to meet demand for small cars in the US and emerging markets. Due to the current global crisis, the company is now rearranging US production to keep operations functioning, while building fewer minivans and sport utility vehicles.
Honda introduced the second-generation Insight in its home nation of Japan in February 2009. The US market received the new Insight in April 2009. Honda expects to sell 200,000 of the vehicles each year, with half of those sales in the United States. Since 2002, Honda has been selling the Honda Civic Hybrid (2003 model) in the US market. It was followed by the Honda Accord Hybrid.
The history of Honda Cars has been filled with many achievements. With the current economic slow down, Honda is making necessary adjustments to its business structure to ensure its future success.