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Some of the original Honda employees (and their families!) outside the Hamamatsu factory in 1948.
The Honda Motor Company was founded by Soichiro Honda in October 1946. He was very interested in automobiles from a small age so he used to tune cars and enter them into races using his friend’s garage. As he grew up he decided to be in the automobile industry. Soon his efforts paid off and he got a contract for supplying piston rings for major car maker Toyota. But unfortunately he lost the contract as his products did not match the required quality. So he went to various factories in Japan looking for ways to improve the quality of the engines by making efficient piston rings.
Soon he was able to find a highly automated process that could use unskilled workers to produce high quality piston rings. Toyota was impressed by his product and bought it in 1941. Next he started a company called Tokai Seiki in order to produce his products at a larger scale. Soon Toyota bought 40% of the company and thus Soichiro and the officials at Toyota could built a lasting business relation. But a series of calamities damaged large portions of his company and this forced Soichiro to sell the remaining parts of his company to Toyota. In 1946 he founded Honda Technical Research Institute to sell customised bicycles with attached motors. He had only 12 employees who worked in a 170 sq ft. area.
I1949, after years of persistence Honda and his team were able to release the Model D which was the first complete motorcycle they had made with their own parts. Soon the demand for this low priced vehicle increased and by 1964 the Honda Company was the World’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles. They did not stop there but tried out different possibilities in that time period. In 1963, they were able to release their first ever four wheel vehicle in the form of the T360 mini pick-up truck.
* All vehicle images and car descriptions on this site are for illustration and reference purposes only and are not necessarily an accurate representation of the vehicle on offer.
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