Honda motor company is a Japan-based manufacturer of automobiles. It was founded in 1948 by Soichiro Honda. It initially started making motorcycles, their first motorcycle was a bicycle which was mated with an internal combustion engine (ICE). Japan was stranded after world war II, and only demand was of cheap manufacturing, fuel-efficient and easy to operate motorbikes.
In 1949, Honda manufactured a D-type motorcycle which was able to reach 50 mph. Honda had used a new set of front and rear suspension for the very first time in the D-Type. It was able to Steal a small market share of the popular Vespa scooter by launching the Honda Juno scooter in the 1950s. Other launches such as the C100 super cub proved to be more successful as it was easy to operate and with a crossbar free frame it was easy for women for getting on and off the bike. It later became the first honda motorbike which was sold in the U.S in 1959.
After a short successful stint in the US market, Honda quickly evolved from bikes to vehicles with a lot more sophisticated work. Honda entered formula one racing in the 1960s by making Japanese home markets first automobiles. The diminutive N600 was the first car that honda exported to the U.S market.
Initially, Honda had a hard time sparking interest among American buyers until the Civic was launched in 1973. The car was larger than Honda’s previous models but was still very petite compared to compact American cars. The Civic was both fuel-efficient and affordable which made it Honda’s first American market successor.
Accord followed civic’s pedigree and became a favorite with consumers in the U.S market. Honda created the Acura brand focusing more on upscale and luxurious vehicles.
Today, Honda’s lineup runs everything from fuel-sipping hybrids, a spacious minivan, reliable family sedans, practical SUVs and even a pickup. Honda as a brand continues to be one of the most well respected in the industry, with millions of satisfied customers.
In 2013, investment of honda in research and development was accounted to be $6.8 billion which was 5.7% of its revenue. Also in 2013, honda was exporting 108,705 units and importing 88,357 units of both honda and Acura models which made them the first Japanese automaker doing this.
Looking toward the future hondas CEO Takahiro Hachigo said in his new speech that they are working on simplifying the company’s vehicle lineup. This could also include discontinuation of some similar models and combining similar spec cars into one product. Other plans are trim-related, under which honda is planning to cut and merge trims in order to have fewer complications and cost-effective. Trims and options will be slashed by one-third of now as per reports. Honda already has fewer variants and models if compared to other manufacturers and in the past few years, Honda has increased the trim level option in high-end cars providing additional luxury-oriented features. They believe the company is offering too many trim options which decreases production efficiency. Going back to the decision of less trim option is a blind card honda is willing to play.
Talking about future plans honda intends to bring its two-motor hybrid system in the entire lineup. The latest showcased Honda Fit at the Tokyo Motor Show with new hybrid tech for smaller vehicles. The new Architecture vehicle development method plans to increase the part sharing and improve production efficiency. The first global model on this platform is arriving next year. Honda plans to go electric in two-thirds of its lineup by 2030 by starting with hybrids and later moving on to full electric. Honda expects a 10% reduction in global production costs by 2025 which would be invested in research and development of new technology.
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