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a Honda Civic History

Discussion in '88-91 Honda Civic/CRX' started by JDM lover, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. JDM lover

    JDM lover Member

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    Company History

    The Beginings and Motorcycles
    Soichiro Honda was a gifted mechanic,who after working at Art Shokai, developed his own design for piston rings in 1938, hoping to sell them to Toyota, who rejected his first design, but after two years of work and study, further refined them and earned a contract from Toyota. He constructed a new facility to supply Toyota, but soon after, during World War II, the Honda piston manufacturing facilities were almost completely destroyed.

    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 transport. Honda, utilizing his manufacturing facilities, attached an engine to a bicycle, creating cheap and efficient transport. He gave his company the name "Honda Giken Kôgyô Kabushiki Kaisha" which translates to "Honda Research Institute Co. Ltd." Despite its grandiose name, the first facility bearing that name was a simple wooden shack where Mr. Honda and associates would fit the engines to bicycles. Interestingly, the official Japanese name for Honda Motor Co. Ltd. remains the same, in honor of Soichiro Honda's efforts. In September 24, 1948 the Honda Motor Co. was officially founded Japan.

    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 Honda A-Type (one year before the Honda Motor Co. was officially founded). However, Honda's first full-fledged motorcycle on the market, which put Honda on the map, 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 Co. was founded, and only one year later, Honda introduced its first model in the United States, the 1959 Honda C100 Super Cub. The Honda Cub holds the momentous title of being the best-selling vehicle in history, with around 30 million units sold. By the late 1960s, Honda had very quickly conquered most world markets. The British were especially slow to respond to the Honda introduction of new technologies in motorcycles, particularly electric starters. By the 1970s, Honda was the largest producer of motorcycles in the world, a title it has never relinquished.


    Automobiles and the Future
    Honda began developing prototypes for road cars in the early 1960's, mostly intended for the Japanese market. The first production vehicle by Honda was the 1963 Honda T360, a tiny pickup truck featuring 4 different body styles (including a traditional truck bed, and a panel van), and a 360cc, 30 hp engine. This was followed two months later by Honda's first production automobile, the S500. The S500 was a 2 door, 2 seat convertible featuring a 492cc engine capable of 44 hp with an astoundingly high 9,500rpm redline. It was fitted with a 4-speed transmission, with the rear wheels being driven by chains. Mr. Honda took his extensive knowledge of motorcycles and applied it to making his car, of which the chain drive and high redline are evident.

    At the time, nearly all of the Japanese automakers were associated with the former zaibatsu, or keiretsu - Japanese business conglomerates. These large companies had close ties with the government, who urged them to absorb smaller carmakers into large brands that could be marketed internationally. Since the government had extensive control over the industry, it was unheard of for a small, independent company to mass produce vehicles, thus making Honda's success historical in the history of the Japanese economy.

    Though participating in international motorsport (see Racing), Honda was having difficulty selling its automobiles 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 600cc engine and minuscule dimensions made it very unpopular with the American public.

    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 1970s energy crisis was impacting worldwide economies. New emissions laws in the US, requiring American car makers to affix expensive catalytic converters to exhaust systems, increased car prices. However, Honda's introduction of the 1975 Civic CVCC, CVCC being a variation on the stratified charge engine, allowed the Civic to pass emissions tests without a catalytic converter.

    In 1976, the new, larger-than-the-Civic Accord was immediately popular because of its value, economy and fun-to-drive nature; Honda had found its niche in the United States. In 1982, Honda was the first Japanese car manufacturer to build car plants in the US, starting with an Accord plant in Marysville, Ohio. They now have four plants located in Ohio: two in Marysville (the Marysville Auto Plant and the Marysville Motorcycle Plant), Anna, and East Liberty. They also have plants in Lincoln, Alabama (Honda Manufacturing of Alabama), and Timmonsville, South Carolina, and have recently (2006) opened a new plant in Tallapoosa, Georgia. Honda also has an extensive after market parts operation located in Marysville, Ohio, and a Research and Development facility in Raymond, Ohio. Honda's North American and U.S. headquarters are located in Torrance, California. Honda's Canadian and many US-market Civics are manufactured in their plant in Alliston, Ontario since 1986. On June 27, 2006, Honda announced that another vehicle assembly facility will be opening in North America, this time in Greensburg, Indiana. Its completion is expected in 2008.

    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 vehicles 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 '87 Honda Prelude was the first passenger vehicle in the world equipped with four-wheel steering (4WS) technology. This also marked the year for the first Japanese car equipped with an SRS airbag, the Honda 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" cam 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.

    For the 2007 model year, Honda plans to improve the safety of its vehicles by providing front-seat 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 2006, Honda plans to have as standard equipment Vehicle Safety Assist and rollover sensors in all light trucks, including the CR-V, Odyssey, and Acura MDX. Honda also plans to make its vehicles safer for pedestrians, with more safely-designed hoods, hinges, frame constructs, and breakaway wiper pivots


    Just something Random
    Bold If you dont wanna Read the Whole Thing
     
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  2. jhmed

    jhmed Member

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    Link's not working for me....
     
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  3. CLUTCHONE
    Amazed

    CLUTCHONE Active Member

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    Great Write Up...

    I Corrected you Link...:computerrage:

    Very Impressive Write Up... :woot:
     
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  4. 97-ferio

    97-ferio Active Member

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    ^^ hell yeah! that's what i'm talking about.:) good writeup BTW...i remember seeing pics of those first trucks and panel vans Honda had made when he first started making automobiles...they kinda looked like a mini VW bus', or something like that. neat looking little things.
     
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