Remember when Honda meant motorcycle? Yeah, you’re right, that was a long time ago; maybe too long. Honda certainly doesn’t mean motorcycle to very many people anymore, although they do still make great bikes…and jet aircraft, and jet engines and generators and outboard motors and, and a whole lot of other things. But when most people here the word “Honda” today it means car to them. And cars are what Honda does very well.
Honda started making motorcycles back in the 1950s and by the mid-1960s was the recognized leader in motorcycle manufacturing. 1963 saw Honda’s first car produced and within twenty years the company became a prominent automaker throughout the world. Honda was the first Japanese carmaker to introduce a luxury car for export to America. The Acura was a big hit and drew millions of new customers to Honda, the automobile manufacturer. Honda now holds the lofty position of eighth largest car maker in the world, behind GM, VW, Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, Nissan and PSA.
Hondas can be seen everywhere nowadays at deales like Honda of Tiffany Springs. Honda cars, SUVs, Trucks, Minivans and yes, even motorcycles. We see the name Honda so much that we have forgotten that it is originally from Japan. All of its products seem so American that it’s difficult to separate the name from the familiar piece of metal on wheels we look at every day. Even though the name Honda is Japanese, there are manufacturing plants in the United States in Ohio, Alabama and Indiana. So, Honda may sound Japanese but the cars are made right here in the U.S. of A.
Honda is also in to motorcycle racing, (of course), and car racing. Honda has official race teams in both sports and does quite well worldwide. The company is concerned about the environment and it spends millions on research and development of hybrid and hydrogen fuel cell cars. It also is especially interested in robotics. The company’s engineers built ASIMO, a small robot that looks like an astronaut who can walk upright on two legs just like humans – or pretty close to it. The robot even dances, in its own manner, and it is guided by a user who connects with ASIMO via a helmet that reads and sends electronic brain impulses to the robot.
Honda does continue to make motorcycles, very good motorcycles, but this company is always reaching toward the future. It has built a working, standing, walking, dancing robot and is in the middle of manufacturing exquisite corporate jets for the future of travel. Where will Honda be in five years if it is working on all these incredible things now?