On this day in 1948, the Honda Motor Company was incorporated in Hamamatsu, Japan. Though the company first started out developing and producing small two-cycle motorbike engines, Honda today has grown into an international automobile, motorcycle and power equipment manufacturer.
Soichiro Honda, founder the Honda Motor Co., had established the Honda Technical Research Institute two years prior, working to develop internal combustion engines and machine tools. In 1949, a year after Honda Motor Company was incorporated, they introduced the two-stroke Dream D-type, their first original motorcycle.
A decade after introducing its first original motorcycle, the company established its first overseas subsidiary in America. In 1968, just two decades after Honda Motor Co. was founded, American Honda had already sold its one-millionth motorcycle in the states.
Honda, known popularly as an eco-friendly company, debuted the fuel-efficient Civic hatchback during America's first energy crisis in 1973. The Civic cost about $2,200. Four years later, the Civic CVCC (Compoud Vortex Controlled Combustion) engine was ranked first in the Environmental Protection Agency's first-ever fuel economy ranking.
Today, Honda continues to be an industry leader. In March this year, Honda set all-time fiscal year automobile production records in North America, Asia and China.
Check out this Honda television ad from the 1960s: