Honda has built a brand renown for making durable and high-end products. The level of engineering innovations is always ahead of the competition, as are the sales the company makes year in year out. Honda automobile and machinery won’t just give up on you, much the same way Soichiro Honda, the founder of Honda Motor Company Ltd, didn’t quit despite coming up against many obstacles. How can one persevere so much in the face of failure after failure? My guess, Automobiles wasn’t a job to Soichiro, rather a passion, a calling. As they say, if you do what you love, you won’t have to work a day in your life. The following facts offer a glimpse into the moving story behind Honda Motor Company Ltd.
The origin of Honda – a lesson on perseverance
Honda Motor Company was founded in October 1946 by Soichiro Honda after a couple of false starts on other companies. As a kid, Soichiro had a huge interest in automobiles, and it was no surprise that he ended up in the automobile industry when he grew up. His first company won a tender to supply engine piston rings to Toyota, a tender he soon lost due to the poor quality of his products. Instead of being discouraged, Soichiro took it as a sign that he needed to have more knowledge and embarked on a journey across Japanese industries. Before long, he was making high-quality piston rings using a highly automated process thanks to his newly acquired knowledge.
His piston rings soon got the attention of Toyota and they began working together again. It wasn’t meant to be, however, as a series of calamities destroyed his companies, leaving him with little. From the little money he salvaged from the wreckages, he started the Honda technical research in 1946 with the aim of making motorized customized bicycles. That was the father of the present day Honda motor company as we know it today.
A plethora of product lines
What gives Honda the edge over competitors is its diversification of products. The original Honda Company was all about building motorized bicycles, and by the 1960’s, Honda Motor Company was the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. Honda moved on to automobiles, producing their first car in 1963, the T360. Currently, Honda is the largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines in the world as well as the second largest automobile company in Japan.
Additional products have seen the establishment of Honda Aircraft Company tasked with aircraft manufacturing, while other products recently added to the production line are marine engines, garden equipment, generators, and personal watercraft among others.
Honda’s involvement in racing in both automobile and motorcycle events is extensive. The company entered the racing world in 1964 as a constructor before adapting to the game and dominating both F1 and F2 competitions. Despite the successes, Honda exited the F1 in 1992 citing financial problems. Plans to go back into the competition are however very rife.
The company is also very adept in motorcycle racing competitions. The Honda Racing Corporation takes care of the business on that end.
The present and the future
The lads at Honda are all about development, growth, and diversification of products. Honda has been making unprecedented strides in the robotics industry with their ASIMO robot. Plans to couple the ASIMO robot with a machine capable of reading human minds and using that to control the robot are underway.
The future is bright for Honda, and I wouldn’t bet against them making more history in the future.