Like most automakers, Honda started off small and modest. Established in 1948, the company didn’t start building vehicles until 1963 when they released its first major model, the T360 mini-truck. Now, 54 years later, the Japanese manufacturer has surpassed a major milestone: 100 million global units produced.
“Thanks to the support from our customers around the world, Honda was able to deliver 100 million automobiles. The passion of our company founder who wanted to help people in their daily lives and pursue the joy of driving has been inherited by Honda associates as the original starting point of Honda automobile manufacturing,” said Takahiro Hachigo, Honda Motor Co. president and CEO.
Following the mini-truck, Honda came out with the S500 sports car, a segment it would become well known for — people might remember about three years back when a modern concept version, the S660, was shown at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show.
Unsatisfied simply dipping a toe in the industry, in 1964 resources and expertise were pooled in the construction of a new plant dedicated solely to vehicle production. The debut car to roll off the assembly line was another roadster, the S600. In 1967, the Mini-Cooper-esque N360 arrived, and then in 1969, the first Honda to be built outside of Japan happened in Taiwan thanks to a collaboration agreement signed with a local company based there.
It would be another few years before the iconic Civic would be made. Since then, hit after hit has been released, including the Accord, CR-V and Fit. Current-day models are built in facilities all over the world — 34 locations in 18 countries, to be exact — including right here in Canada at the Alliston plant in Ontario.
“Striving to meet the next 100 million customers, Honda will continue delivering increasingly attractive products,” said Hachigo.
Here’s a concise timeline: