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Honda History

Honda Motor Co, Ltd. was established on September 24, 1948 by Sochiro Honda in Japan with hopes of being the world's top motorcycle maker. 67 years later, Honda makes great motorcycles, but is also one of the top automotive manufacturers in the world.


Honda officially entered the automotive industry in 1963 with their first sports car, the S500, and their light truck, the T360. 10 years after their first arrival in Los Angeles in 1959 to sell motorcycles, Honda sold their first car in America, the Honda N600. The N600 was just the first in a long line of Honda automobiles to be sold in the states. In 1973, the Honda Civic debuted in America, just as America’s first energy crisis began. In 1976, the Honda Accord arrived as a hatchback and was later introduced as a sedan in 1979.


"1977 Honda Civic Front" by Crwpitman - Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.
"1977-1982 Honda Accord 01" by Original uploader was Geographer at en.wikipedia - Transferred from en.wikipedia; transfered to Commons by User:OSX using CommonsHelper. Licensed under CC BY 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.
1979 also marked the beginning of Honda’s manufacturing in America. At the Marysville, OH plant Honda became the first Japanese automaker to make products in America*. A few years later, at the same plant, Honda became the first Japanese automaker to build cars in America*. Since then, Honda has been building and designing cars in multiple locations across the country, including right here in Indiana. On April 8, 2015, the Honda Indiana plant produced its 1 millionth vehicle. In total, Honda has 4 plants in the United States. Their plant located in Alabama, which opened in 2001, was the first auto plant in America to operate as a zero waste-to-landfill facility.
Honda has been focused on green technology for many years, and the Alabama plant is only one of many things they’ve done. In 1984, the Honda CRX-HF was the first car to get an EPA fuel economy rating of more than 50 mpg. In the 1990s, the Honda Civic and Honda Accord were the first cars to meet California’s Low Emission Vehicle exhaust standards and Ultra Low Emission Vehicle exhaust standards, respectively.

Honda was also the first automotive maker to create a four-passenger battery electric vehicle, the Honda EV Plus, which was available for the first time in 1997. In 2000, Honda introduced America’s first gasoline-electric hybrid, the Honda Insight. The Insight had a record setting EPA rating of 70 mpg.



Since the Honda Insight, Honda has introduced many hybrid vehicles to the market, as well as an alternative fuel cell vehicle, the Honda FCX Clarity. Currently Honda offers three hybrids for the 2015 model year including the Accord Hybrid, the CR-Z, and the Civic Hybrid. Honda also offers the Civic Natural Gas which debuted in 2001 and is the cleanest internal-combustion engine to ever be tested by the US EPA. Honda's Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle, the FCX Clarity, will be relaunching in 2016 and is a zero-emission hydrogen powered car. Honda was named the “Greenest Automaker” by the Union of Concerned Scientists for five consecutive reports done from 2000-2010 .

On top of green technology, Honda has been focused on automotive safety. In 2001, the Civic Coupe was the first compact car in America to earn a 5-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in both frontal and side impact testing. Two years later, American Honda launched its industry-leading “Safety for Everyone” campaign to apply a suite of advanced safety features to all Honda automobiles, regardless of vehicle size or price.


2015 is set to be an exciting year for Honda, which they’ve dubbed “The Year of Honda.” The 2016 Honda HR-V is set to roll out in the spring, followed by the redesigned 2016 Honda Pilot in the summer, and in the fall dealerships will begin receiving the tenth-generation 2016 Honda Civic. It truly will be “The Year of Honda,” and we’re excited to be a part of it at Terry Lee Honda in beautiful Avon, IN.
*Using domestic and globally sourced parts
- + Disclaimers