Honda in India: New Challenges




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Background Note

Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda (Soichiro), son of a blacksmith, was born in a small Japanese village called Komyo in Iwata County. Soichiro had worked as a mechanic in his early years and showed great interest in automobiles. He later developed a piston design and entered into a contract with Toyota Motor Corporation (Toyota) to make pistons for them.

The factory which Soichiro had built to make the pistons was destroyed in the 1945 earthquake and he was left penniless. During World War II , Japan faced an acute fuel shortage. Soichiro got the idea of manufacturing small motorcycle engines when he attached an engine to his bicycle as he could not find enough fuel to run his car.

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He then established the ‘Honda Technical Research Institute’ (HTRI) in 1946 to develop and sell motorcycle engines. Honda’s first product was an A-type 50cc bicycle engine, produced in 1947. Honda Motor Company Limited (Honda) was incorporated in 1948 and it started to design and sell light weight motorcycles. Honda’s first motorcycle, the two stroke 98 cc, Dream D-type, was introduced in the year 1949. In the early fifties, Honda’s headquarters were shifted to Tokyo and it was listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange........

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