This site was designed for the latest version of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer (version 10+). Some features may not work correctly in your browser.OK
SALES: (866) 692-0343 SERVICE: (800) 588-5860 4001 Columbus St Ottawa, IL 61350
History of Honda
Honda was founded in October 1946, by a man named Soichiro Honda. As a prodigy who tuned cars in his friend’s garage, Honda knew from a young age that he wanted to pursue a career in the automotive industry. After a brief time in Japan researching methods for producing quality piston rings, Honda created a machine that could use unskilled workers to produce high-quality rings. This attracted the attention of Toyota, which bought the machine and then invested in Honda’s next business venture, a company called Tokai Seiki, which eventually was purchased by Toyota entirely.
Honda eventually went on to found Honda Motor Company with only 12 employees in 170 square feet of space. That group began with motorcycles, with the success of the Model D bolstering Honda into the spot of #1 motorcycle manufacturer in the industry. By 1963, Honda was successful enough to take its first big risk and release the T360 mini pickup truck, the company’s very first automobile.
Over subsequent decades, Honda found further success in the industry, expanding the range of its model lineup. The T360 was followed by a sports car known as the S500 and by 1986 the brand launched the Acura, its first foray into the luxury car segment. Then, in 1991, Honda pioneered the use of the V6 with variable valve timing with the release of the Honda NSX Supercar. Shortly after, the Honda Insight marked a milestone in the industry, becoming the most efficient non-plugin hybrid for the next 17 years.
2009 marked 50 years of Honda’s U.S. operations, when the first North American Honda dealership with only six employees opened in Los Angeles. Since then, Honda continued to expand its influence and range of vehicles, innovating the industry at every step of the way. Here at Bill Walsh Honda, we’re proud of our impressive Honda history!