Honda Motor Co., Ltd. is a Japanese public multinational conglomerate corporation primarily known as a manufacturer of automobiles, aircraft, motorcycles, and power equipment.
Honda has been the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959, as well as the world's largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines measured by volume, producing more than 14 million internal combustion engines each year. Honda became the second-largest Japanese automobile manufacturer in 2001. Honda was the eighth largest automobile manufacturer in the world behind General Motors, Volkswagen Group, Toyota, Hyundai Motor Group, Ford, Nissan, and PSA Peugeot Citroën in 2011.
Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer to release a dedicated luxury brand, Acura, in 1986. Aside from their core automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, and other products. Since 1986, Honda has been involved with artificial intelligence/robotics research and released their ASIMOrobot in 2000. They have also ventured into aerospace with the establishment of GE Honda Aero Engines in 2004 and the Honda HA-420 HondaJet, which began production in 2012. Honda has three joint-ventures in China (Honda China, Dongfeng Honda, and Guangqi Honda).
In 2013, Honda invested about 5.7% (US$6.8 billion) of its revenues in research and development. Also in 2013, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to be a net exporter to the United States, exporting 108,705 Honda and Acura models, while importing only 88,357.
|Romanizedname||Honda Giken Kogyo Kabushiki-gaisha|
|Traded as||TYO: 7267
|Founded||Hamamatsu, Japan (October 1946, incorporated 24 September 1948; 67 years ago)|
|Headquarters||Minato, Tokyo, Japan|
|Key people||Fumihiko Ike
(President and CEO)
|Products||4,110,000 vehicles (2012)
Lawn and garden equipments
Thin-film solar cells
|Owner||Japan Trustee Services Bank(Trust) (6.46%)
The Master Trust Bank of Japan (Trust) (4.71%)
Meiji Yasuda Life (2.83%)
Tokio Marine Nichido (2.35%)
|Number of employees||198,561 (2014)|
Throughout his life, Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda had an interest in automobiles. He worked as a mechanic at the Art Shokai garage, where he tuned cars and entered them in races. In 1937, with financing from his acquaintance Kato Shichirō, Honda founded Tōkai Seiki (Eastern Sea Precision Machine Company) to make piston rings working out of the Art Shokai garage. After initial failures, Tōkai Seiki won a contract to supply piston rings to Toyota, but lost the contract due to the poor quality of their products. After attending engineering school without graduating, and visiting factories around Japan to better understand Toyota's quality control processes, by 1941 Honda was able to mass-produce piston rings acceptable to Toyota, using an automated process that could employ even unskilled wartime laborers.
Tōkai Seiki was placed under control of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (called the Ministry of Munitions after 1943) at the start of World War II, and Soichiro Honda was demoted from president to senior managing director after Toyota took a 40% stake in the company. Honda also aided the war effort by assisting other companies in automating the production of military aircraft propellers. The relationships Honda cultivated with personnel at Toyota, Nakajima Aircraft Company and the Imperial Japanese Navy would be instrumental in the postwar period. A US B-29 bomber attack destroyed Tōkai Seiki's Yamashita plant in 1944, and the Itawa plant collapsed in the 13 January 1945 Mikawa earthquake, and Soichiro Honda sold the salvageable remains of the company to Toyota after the war for ¥450,000, and used the proceeds to found the Honda Technical Research Institute in October 1946.
With a staff of 12 men working in a 16 m2 (170 sq ft) shack, they built and sold improvised motorized bicycles, using a supply of 500 two-stroke 50 cc Tohatsu war surplus radio generator engines. When the engines ran out, Honda began building their own copy of the Tohatsu engine, and supplying these to customers to attach to their bicycles. This was the Honda A-Type, nicknamed the Bata Bata for the sound the engine made. In 1949, the Honda Technical Research Institute was liquidated for ¥1,000,000, or about US$5,000 today; these funds were used to incorporate Honda Motor Co., Ltd. At about the same time Honda hired engineer Kihachiro Kawashima, and Takeo Fujisawa who provided indispensable business and marketing expertise to complement Soichiro Honda's technical bent. The close partnership between Soichiro Honda and Fujisawa lasted until they stepped down together in October 1973.
The first complete motorcycle, with both the frame and engine made by Honda, was the 1949 D-Type, the first Honda to go by the name Dream. Honda Motor Company grew in a short time to become the world's largest manufacturer of motorcycles by 1964.
The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini pick-up truck, which went on sale in August 1963. Powered by a small 356-cc straight-4 gasoline engine, it was classified under the cheaper Kei car tax bracket. The first production car from Honda was the S500 sports car, which followed the T360 into production in October 1963. Its chain-driven rear wheels pointed to Honda's motorcycle origins.
Over the next few decades, Honda worked to expand its product line and expanded operations and exports to numerous countries around the world. In 1986, Honda introduced the successful Acura brand to the American market in an attempt to gain ground in the luxury vehicle market. The year 1991 saw the introduction of the Honda NSX supercar, the first all-aluminum monocoque vehicle that incorporated a mid-engine V6 with variable-valve timing.
CEO Tadashi Kume was succeeded by Nobuhiko Kawamoto in 1990. Kawamoto was selected over Shoichiro Irimajiri, who oversaw the successful establishment of Honda of America Manufacturing, Inc. in Marysville, Ohio. Both Kawamoto and Irimajiri shared a friendly rivalry within Honda, and Irimajiri would resign in 1992 due to health issues.
Following the death of Soichiro Honda and the departure of Irimajiri, Honda found itself quickly being outpaced in product development by other Japanese automakers and was caught off-guard by the truck and sport utility vehicle boom of the 1990s, all which took a toll on the profitability of the company. Japanese media reported in 1992 and 1993 that Honda was at serious risk of an unwanted and hostile takeover by Mitsubishi Motors, who at the time was a larger automaker by volume and flush with profits from their successful Pajero and Diamante.
Kawamoto acted quickly to change Honda's corporate culture, rushing through market-driven product development that resulted in recreational vehicles such as the first generationOdyssey and the CR-V, and a refocusing away from some of the numerous sedans and coupes that were popular with Honda's engineers but not with the buying public. The most shocking change to Honda came when Kawamoto ended Honda's successful participation in Formula One after the 1992 season, citing costs in light of the takeover threat from Mitsubishi as well as the desire to create a more environmentally-friendly company image.
Later, 1995 gave rise to the Honda Aircraft Company with the goal of producing jet aircraft under Honda's name.
On 23 February 2015, Honda announced that CEO and President Takanobu Ito would step down and be replaced by Takahiro Hachigo by June; additional retirements by senior managers and directors were expected.
Honda is the largest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan and has been since it started production in 1955. At its peak in 1982, Honda manufactured almost three million motorcycles annually. By 2006 this figure had reduced to around 550,000 but was still higher than its three domestic competitors.
During the 1960s, when it was a small manufacturer, Honda broke out of the Japanese motorcycle market and began exporting to the U.S. Working with the advertising agency Grey Advertising, Honda created an innovative marketing campaign, using the slogan "You meet the nicest people on a Honda." In contrast to the prevailing negative stereotypes of motorcyclists in America as tough, antisocial rebels, this campaign suggested that Honda motorcycles were made for the everyman. The campaign was hugely successful; the ads ran for three years, and by the end of 1963 alone, Honda had sold 90,000 motorcycles.
Taking Honda's story as an archetype of the smaller manufacturer entering a new market already occupied by highly dominant competitors, the story of their market entry, and their subsequent huge success in the U.S. and around the world, has been the subject of some academic controversy. Competing explanations have been advanced to explain Honda's strategy and the reasons for their success.
The first of these explanations was put forward when, in 1975, Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was commissioned by the UK government to write a report explaining why and how the British motorcycle industry had been out-competed by its Japanese competitors. The report concluded that the Japanese firms, including Honda, had sought a very high scale of production (they had made a large number of motorbikes) in order to benefit from economies of scale and learning curve effects. It blamed the decline of the British motorcycle industry on the failure of British managers to invest enough in their businesses to profit from economies of scale and scope.
The second explanation was offered in 1984 by Richard Pascale, who had interviewed the Honda executives responsible for the firm's entry into the U.S. market. As opposed to the tightly focused strategy of low cost and high scale that BCG accredited to Honda, Pascale found that their entry into the U.S. market was a story of "miscalculation, serendipity, and organizational learning" – in other words, Honda's success was due to the adaptability and hard work of its staff, rather than any long term strategy. For example, Honda's initial plan on entering the US was to compete in large motorcycles, around 300 cc. Honda's motorcycles in this class suffered performance and reliability problems when ridden the relatively long distances of the US highways.:41–43 When the team found that the scooters they were using to get themselves around their U.S. base of San Francisco attracted positive interest from consumers that they fell back on selling the Super Cub instead.
The most recent school of thought on Honda's strategy was put forward by Gary Hamel and C. K. Prahalad in 1989. Creating the concept of core competencies with Honda as an example, they argued that Honda's success was due to its focus on leadership in the technology of internal combustion engines. For example, the high power-to-weight ratio engines Honda produced for its racing bikes provided technology and expertise which was transferable into mopeds. Honda's entry into the U.S. motorcycle market during the 1960s is used as a case study for teaching introductory strategy at business schools worldwide.
List of Honda motorcycles
The following is a list of motorcycles, scooters and mopeds produced by Honda.
|Name||Engine size (cc)|
|Super Cub C100, CA100, C102, C50, Sports C110, C111. C110D, C114||49|
|Elite E (SB50)||49|
|Hunter Cub (CT50)||49|
|Metropolitan Jazz (CHF 50)||49|
|Metropolitan II (CHF50P)||49|
|NCZ50 also known as Motocompo||49|
|Mini Trail (Z50A)||49|
|Mini Trail (Z50M)||49|
|Mini Trail (Z50R)||49|
|Mini Trail (Z50J)||49|
|Moped (P50, P25)||49|
|Moped (PC50, PS50)||49|
|Trail 50 (C100H, C100T, CA100T)||49|
|Super Cub C105, CD105, Honda C115 Sports||54|
|Trail 55 (C105H, C105T, CA105T)||54|
|Super Cub C65, S65||63|
|C70 Passport, CD70||72|
|ST70, CT70 Trail 70||72|
|Aero 80 (NH80)||80|
|Super Cub C90 (12 volt)||86|
|Super Cub CM90, Honda Trail 90 C200||87|
|Trail 90 (CT200)||87|
|Super Cub CM91, C90 (6 volt), CD90||89|
|Trail 90 (CT90)||89|
|S90 CS90, Sport 90, Super 90||90|
|Super Cub C100EX||97|
|Bali also known as SJ 100||100|
|Trail 110 (CT110)||105|
|CB Twister, CB110||109|
|Dream Yuga/Dream Neo/CD 110 Dream||109|
|Super Cub 110||110|
|Benly (C92, CB92)||124|
|Super Sport (CG125)||124|
|NSR125 (JC20, JC21)||124|
|Aero & Lead (NH125)||125|
|Atlas Honda CG125||125|
|Super Sport (CB125)||125|
|Super Sport (SS125)||125|
|Super Sport (CB175)||174|
|Rebel (CMX250C, CMX250CD)||234|
|Big Ruckus (PS250)||249|
|Super Dream (CB250N)||249|
|NSR250R (MC16, MC18, MC21, MC28)||249|
|Spada (VT250L, MC20)||249|
|Dream (C71, C72)||250|
|VTR250 (Interceptor and MC33)||250|
|Dream (C76, C77)||305|
|Super Hawk (CB77)||305|
|CB350 Super Sport||325|
|Sport (CB360, CB360T)||356|
|Hawk (CB400T, CB400T II)||395|
|CB-1 (CB400F, NC27)||399|
|CBR400RR (NC23, NC29)||400|
|Ascot (VT500, VT500FT)||491|
|Magna V30 (VF500C)||500|
|Silver Wing (GL500)||500|
|Sport (CB500 twin)||500|
|Tourist Trophy (GB500)||500|
|CB600F also known as Hornet, and 599||600|
|Shadow (VT600C VLX)||600|
|Silver Wing (GL650)||650|
|Africa Twin (RD03)||650|
|Honda NC700D Integra||700|
|Africa Twin (RD07)||750|
|Interceptor (VF750F, VFR750)||750|
|Magna (VF750C V45)||750|
|Magna Deluxe (VF750CD)||750|
|Nighthawk (CB750, CB750SC)||750|
|Pacific Coast (PC800)||800|
|CBR900RR including CBR954RR||900|
|Super Sport (CB900F) aka 919||900|
|Gold Wing (GL1000)||999|
|Honda VTR1000f (aka Super Hawk aka Firestorm)||1000|
|Super Sport (CBX)||1000|
|VTR1000R (RVT1000) SP1 & SP2 RC51||1000|
|Gold Wing (GL1100)||1085|
|Magna (VF1100C V65)||1100|
|Sabre (VF1100S V65)||1100|
|Super Sport (CB1100F)||1100|
|Racing Modified CB1100F (CB1100R)||1100|
|Gold Wing (GL1200)||1182|
|Gold Wing (GL1500)||1520|
|Gold Wing (GL1800)||1832|
Mopeds and light motorcycles
- Ape series
- Cub series
- CT series
- MB/T/X series two-stroke models
- ST series (Dax)
- Wave series
- Z series Monkey models
- Bros/HawkGT (NT650)
- CB series
- CBR series
- CM series
- CRF series
- CX series
- GL series (Gold Wing)
- ST series
- VF/VFR series
- VT series
- VTX series
- XR/XL series (dirt and dual-sport bikes)
- CR85R Expert
- Big Ruckus
- CN250 (Helix/Fusion/Spazio)
- Express, Express SR
- Metropolitan II
- NH series
- Reflex, Reflex ABS (NSS300 Forza in Europe and Canada)
- PCX 125 and 150
- Silver Wing, Silver Wing ABS
- Honda RC series
Honda RC213V Honda RC214V CBR 1000RR ( FIREBLADE) RS125 RS250
All Terrain Vehicles
- Honda TRX 700XX
- Honda TRX450R
- Honda TRX250R