05.08.

1991: Soichiro Honda – Japanese who Established Honda

1991: Soichiro Honda – Japanese who Established Honda
Photo Credit To flickr.com/ Soichiro Honda with the 1963 Honda RA270F prototype Formula one car by Roderick Eime (https://www.flickr.com/photos/rodeime/7181002616)

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 5 August 1991
  • Honda is the second-largest Japanese manufacturer of automobiles today and the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer already for more than 50 years. Indeed, Honda today produces even robots, jet aircrafts (Honda HA-420 HondaJet) etc.

On this day Japanese businessman Soichiro Honda, the founder of the famous company Honda, died. 

This company is the second-largest Japanese manufacturer of automobiles today (after Toyota) and the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer already for more than 50 years. Indeed, Honda today constructs even robots, jet aircrafts (Honda HA-420 HondaJet) etc.

Soichiro Honda was the son of a blacksmith and already in his childhood he was helping his father with his bicycle repair business. He was only 15 years old when he went to Tokyo to look for work. He was employed in a garage as a mechanic. At the age of 22 he started his own auto repair business and on the eve of World War II he began to produce automotive parts (including piston rings for Toyota).

His factory was destroyed during the war, but after the war he started a new business with humble beginnings. At first he apparently had only a small workshop of 16 square meters where he assembled bicycles with auxiliary motors, improvised from war remnants of engines for radio generators of only 50 cubic centimeters. In time, however, he started making his own engines and then even whole motorcycles.

Eventually, Honda motorcycles became the best-selling in the world. First four-wheel vehicles Honda began to manufacture in 1963 (Honda T360). Soon, sporty model S500, interesting by its chain drive at the rear wheels (apparently the origin of the motorcycle), was launched. Honda was already a highly respected automotive brand at a time when its founder Soichiro Honda died on this day in 1991, at the age of 84 years.

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