Honda has produced its 100-millionth unit since starting automobile production 53 years ago

Article by Christian A., on February 1, 2017

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.

Press Release

Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that the company has reached the 100 million-unit milestone in cumulative global automobile production.

Honda began automobile production in 1963 with the production of the T360 mini-truck and the S500 sports car. A year later Honda employed all of the company’s production technologies and know-how and constructed the first Honda plant dedicated to automobile production in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture. The new plant began production of a further model, the iconic S600 roadster.

Since that time, Honda has increased its annual production volume, enhancing its line up and exporting the brand to an ever wider range of countries. Honda’s current line-up in the UK focuses on global models such as the Jazz small hatchback and Civic family hatchback and estate. These cars are supplemented by the HR-V and CR-V SUVs, both global best-sellers in their respective segments along with the latest incarnation of Honda’s supercar, the NSX. In 2016, Honda has 34 automobile production facilities on five continents.

Takahiro Hachigo, President and CEO of Honda Motor, commented, “Thanks to the support from our customers around the world, Honda was able to deliver 100 million automobiles. The passion of our company founder who wanted to help people in their daily lives and pursue the joy of driving has been inherited by Honda associates as the original starting point of Honda automobile manufacturing. Striving to meet the next 100 million customers, Honda will continue delivering increasingly attractive products.”

Honda timeline

1948 Honda Motor Co., Ltd. established
1963 Production of the T360 mini-truck started at Saitama Factory
1969 Production of N600 and TN360 by component parts sets started in Taiwan. (Honda's first overseas auto production)
Production of N360 started in Malaysia

1975 Production of Civic and other models started in Indonesia
1978 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 5 million units

1982 Production of Accord started in the U.S.
1983 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 10 million units
1984 Production of Accord started in Thailand
1986 Production of Accord started in Canada
1990 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 20 million units
1992 Production of Accord started in the U.K.
1994 Production of Civic started in Pakistan
1995 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 30 million units
Production of Accord started in Mexico

1997 Production of Civic started in Brazil and Turkey
Production of City started in India

1999 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 40 million units
Production of Accord started in China

2003 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 50 million units
2015 Production of Accord started in Nigeria
2016 Cumulative worldwide production of automobiles reached 100 million units

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