Honda is one of the major motor vehicle manufacturers in the world. It started off as a small 12-man company manufacturing motorised bikes in 1964.
Today, the Japanese multinational produces and sells more than 20 million vehicles across the globe. It’s also the largest manufacturer of engines in the world, and is a pioneer in both robotics and space systems.
At Masterparts, we admire Honda for its rise from humble beginnings to huge global success.
Things you might not know about Honda
You might own a Honda and know little about your vehicle manufacturer’s history and innovations. Here are 12 fascinating facts that will make you admire the brand even more, and the people behind it.
1. The founder of the brand, Soichiro Honda, started off as an uneducated motor mechanic in Tokyo at the age of 15.
2. The Honda Technical Research Institute was founded in 1964 with a little over R54,000. In 2016, the net income of the Honda Motor Company was almost R41 billion. Total assets were valued at R2.2 trillion.
3. The world’s first 4-wheel drive car was the Honda Prelude, while the Honda Accord was the first car to have a navigation system on board.
4. Apart from developing the VWT, or vortex fuel injection system engineered to burn fuel more cleanly, Honda produced the Hyper VTEC gas distribution technology to create the high powered, zero-turbocharge Honda engine.
5. Honda entered Formula One in 1964 as a constructor, and today it supplies engines to the McLaren team.
6. In 2004, Honda claimed the Indy Car Series Manufacturers’ Championship, Driver’s Championship and Rookie of the Year titles.
7. The company produces a range of vehicles and engines, from lawnmowers and the fabled Honda motorcycle, to power boats and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, a sleek twin-engine business jet launched in 2005.
8. Honda builds conventional motor cars, and more recently, natural gas, flexible-fuel, hybrid electric and plug-in electric vehicles for the consumer market.
9. The company is at the cutting edge of robotics. It recently launched the bi-pedal Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility (ASIMO), a humanoid multi-functional robotic assistant. The original model is 130 cm in height and weighs 48 kg. The latest model can walk at a speed of up to 12 km per hour.
10. In 2016, Honda sold more than 1,6 million vehicles in the United States alone. It’s the first Japanese car manufacturer to become a net exporter to the United States.
11. Honda has claimed six Motocross World Championships, eight Enduro World Championship titles and multiple wins at the Grand Prix World Championship and Isle of Man TT.
12. In 1995, the Honda CR-V spawned a new class of vehicle, the “crossover”. Built for the recreational market, the crossover blends features of a conventional motor car and an SUV.