Honda Cars Are A Bit Overpriced But Are Worth Your Money
Honda cars are produced by the Honda Motor Company or simply called Honda, a Japanese
multinational corporation, engine manufacturer and engineering corporation. The company is perhaps most notable for its automobiles and motorcycles, having passed Nissan to become the second largest seller of autos in Japan.
With more than 14 million internal combustion engines built each year, Honda is the largest engine-maker in the world. In 2004 , the company began to produce diesel motors, which were very quiet while not requiring particulate filters to pass pollution standards. It is arguable, however, that the foundation of Honda's success is the motorcycle division.
Honda is headquartered in Tokyo. American Honda Motor Co. is based in Torrance, California. Other countries where Honda is headquartered are Canada and India.
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Soichiro Honda founded Honda. His humbled beginning as a mechanic did not prevent him in developing his own design for piston rings in 1938. He introduced his design to Toyota and built a new facility to supply the company but World War II almost completely destroyed that facility.
Soichiro Honda created a new company with what he had left in the Japanese market that was decimated by World War II; his country was starved of money and fuel, but still in need of basic transportation. Honda, utilizing his manufacturing facilities, attached an engine to a bicycle which created a cheap and efficient transport.
Honda began to produce a range of scooters and motorcycles and Soichiro Honda quickly recovered from the losses incurred during the war. Honda's first motorcycle to be put on sale was the 1947 A-Type (one year before the company was officially founded). However, Honda's first full-fledged motorcycle on the market was the 1949 Dream D-Type. It was equipped with a 98cc engine producing around 3 horsepower. This was followed by a number of successful launches of highly popular scooters throughout the 1950s.
In 1958, the American Honda Company was founded and only one year later, Honda introduced its first model in the United States, the 1959 Honda C100 Super Cub. These Honda cars holds the title of being the best-selling vehicle in history, with around 50 million units sold around the world. By the 1970s, Honda was the largest producer of motorcycles in the world, a title it has never relinquished.
Honda began developing prototypes for Honda cars in the early 1960s, mostly intended for the Japanese market. The first production vehicle by Honda was the 1963 T360, a tiny pickup truck featuring 4 different body styles (including a traditional truck bed and a panel van) and a 360cc, 30hp engine. This was followed two months later by Honda's first production automobile, the S500. The S500 was a 2 door roadster featuring a 492cc engine capable of 44 hp with a high 9,500 RPM redline. It was fitted to a 4-speed transmission with the rear wheels being chain driven. Mr. Honda took his extensive knowledge of motorcycles and applied it to making his car, of which the chain drive and high redline are evidence.
Honda had difficulty selling Honda cars in the United States. Built for Japanese buyers, Honda's small
cars had failed to gain the interest of American buyers. Honda's first automobile imported to the United States was the N600, sold in Hawaii in 1969. In 1970 , the car was imported to California and beyond, but its tiny 600 cc engine and minuscule dimensions made it very unpopular with the American public who loved big, luxury cars or muscle cars that produced big power unfettered by gas price restraints.
Honda finally established a foothold in the American market in 1972 with the introduction of the Civic—larger than their previous models, but still small compared to the typical American car—just as the 1973 energy crisis was impacting worldwide economies. New emissions laws in the US requiring American car makers
to add expensive smog pumps and catalytic converters to engines increased car prices. However, Honda introduced an innovative variation on the stratified charge engine, the CVCC (Compound Vortex-Controlled Combustion) in the 1975 Civic, this allowed the Civic to meet emission standards without a smog pump or a catalytic converter. Due to its more complete combustion it also obtained the lowest fuel consumption rating of any vehicle available on the American market for four years during its production. American companies were slow to begin producing small, fuel efficient cars, which gave the Honda cars a chance to sell well, as well as prove Honda's reputation for reliability and further expand its customer loyalty.
In 1976 , the new, larger-than-the-Civic Accord was immediately popular because of its value, economy, and fun-to-drive nature. The Accord has since consistently been one of the best selling cars in the United States, not just Honda cars but for all brands and evolved into a large mid-size for the North American market with V6 and hybrid versions.
In 1982 , Honda was the first Japanese car manufacturer to build car plants in the US, starting with an Accord plant in Marysville, Ohio.
Honda was the first Japanese automaker to introduce a separate luxury line of vehicles. Created in 1986 and known as Acura, the line is made up of modified versions of Honda cars usually with more power and sportiness than their Honda counterparts. The very first model was the Acura Legend, with a 2.5 liter engine producing 151 horsepower. European luxury-car manufacturers initially scoffed at the thought of a luxury company from Japan, with criticism coming mostly from Mercedes Benz .
1987 was an important year for new safety and technology at Honda. The 1987 Honda Prelude was the first passenger vehicle in the world equipped with four-wheel steering (4WS) technology. This also marked the year the first of the Honda cars were equipped with an SRS airbag, the Honda (Acura) Legend.
In 1989 Honda launched their VTEC variable valve timing system in its production car engines, which gave improved efficiency and performance across a broader range of engine speeds. One of the first of its kind in passenger vehicles, it worked on the premise of tuning one engine to operate at two different 'settings' depending on load. Normal driving would use a "shorter" camshaft lobe that resulted in more efficient operation. A more aggressive, longer duration, cam engages when engine RPM reaches a set point resulting in more power during hard acceleration.
In 1999 Honda began selling the Insight which is a small two-seat hybrid vehicle. Power is derived from a combination of a 1.0L 3-cylinder gasoline engine, and a large NiMH battery pack providing power-assist during acceleration. This computer-controlled combination provided acceptable performance with exceptionally low fuel consumption and emissions. Honda's hybrid power train in now an available option for the Civic and Accord.
For the 2007 model year, Honda plans to improve the safety of Honda cars by providing front-seat mounted side airbags, side-curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes as standard equipment in all automobiles available in North America (except the Insight and S2000, which will not have side-curtain airbags). By 2008, Honda plans to have standard traction with vehicle stability control with rollover sensors in all light trucks, which include the CR-V, Odyssey, Pilot, and Acura MDX. Honda also plans to make Honda cars safer for pedestrians, with more safely-designed hoods, hinges, frame constructs, and breakaway wiper pivots.
Its first entrance into the pickup segment, the lightduty Ridgeline, won Truck of the Year from Motor Trend magazine in 2006 (also in 2006, the redesigned Civic won Car of the Year from the magazine, giving Honda a rare double win of Motor Trend honors).
Although a relatively small manufacturer compared to the other Japanese automakers, Honda is the largest engine maker in the world. Honda has a number of firsts in many categories, including the first engine to meet the 1970 US Clean Air Act (1975 CVCC), the first luxury Japanese car (1987 Legend) and motorcycle (2006 Gold Wing bikes) equipped with an airbag, as well as the first mid-size pickup truck with independent rear suspension (2006 Ridgeline).
The 2006 Ridgeline was a reintroduction of the concept of a Uni-Body truck. Earlier examples of this concept are the Subaru Brat, Volkswagen Rabbit pick-up, and Dodge Rampage/Plymouth Scamp.
Honda has also pioneered new technology in its HA-420 HondaJet that allows new levels of reduced drag, increased aerodynamics and fuel efficiency thus reducing operating costs which wll prove as a boon to Honda cars.