It has been more than half a century – 53 years to be exact – since Japanese carmaker Honda Motor Co., Ltd. commenced its production of automobiles. Since 1963, Honda has been expanding its production capabilities without taking quality for granted. Now, Honda has reached a new milestone by having produced and delivered 100 million vehicles.
While Honda was formally established in 1948, it wasn’t until 1963 that it commenced automobile production. Since its foundation until 1963, Honda has concentrated its production efforts on the motorcycle. In fact, Honda was the largest motorcycle maker in the world by 1964. At that time, Honda was already shifting some of its focus to auto production.
It all started with the Honda T360 mini-truck, which commenced production at Honda’s manufacturing facility in Saitama, Japan. Prior to the T360, Honda unveiled the S360 sports car during the 11th Nation Honda Meeting General Assembly held at the Suzuka Circuit in 1962. However, the S360 sports roadster never saw production, and its engine was shared with the T360 mini-truck. Four months after Honda commenced manufacturing the T360 mini-truck, the Japanese carmaker revived its sports car by starting production of the more powerful S500 roadster. In effect, the S500 is Honda’s first production car. In 1964, Honda built its first facility solely dedicated to automobile production, and this plant became home to the iconic S600 roadster.
It wasn’t five years later – in 1969 – that Honda commenced its first auto production operations outside Japan. That year, Honda began production of N600 and TN360 by component parts. In the same year, Honda commenced production of the N360 in Malaysia. Since then, Honda has been expanding its manufacturing operations both in Japan and in other countries. Production commenced in Malaysia and in the United States. By 1983, Honda’s total cumulative global production has already reached 10 million units.
Further expansions continued across the world. Since reaching 10 million produced units, Honda has expended in the United Kingdom, Pakistan, Mexico, Brazil, Turkey, India and China. When 2003 arrived, the Japanese carmaker has already manufactured 50 million automobiles. While it took Honda around 40 years to produce a total of 50 million units, it only took 13 more years to manufacture another 50 million vehicles. Now, Honda has surpassed the 100 millionth unit mark.
Takahiro Hachigo, president and chief executive of Honda Motor, attributed the 100-millionth unit milestone to its customers around the world. Hachigo remarked that the brand will continue to deliver increasingly attractive products, and reach its next 100 million customers.
At the current pace Honda is at, it shouldn’t be impossible for the Japanese carmaker to reach the 200-millionth production milestone within the next two decades. For now, let us congratulate Honda for a job well done in its more than 53 years of production.