The automobile giant Honda has its headoffice in Minami-Aoyama in Japan. Headed by President Takanobu Ito, it’s 86 billion yen company. Its consolidated sales for 2010 totaled 8,579,174 million yen and unconsolidated sales stood at 2,717,736 million yen. The total number of consolidated employees stand at 1,76,815 and unconsolidated at 26,121 as of 2010. Honda produces motorcycles, automobiles and power products.
Honda has been the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer since 1959 as well as the world’s largest manufacturer of internal combustion engines, producing 14 million engines per year. While Nissan was the largest automobile manufacturer, Honda surpassed Nissan in 2001. Honda also surpassed Chrysler in 2008 to become the fourth largest automaker in the United States.
Honda also manufactures garden equipment, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators. It is involved in research of robots. Honda spends 5% of its revenues on R&D.
Soichiro Honda dreamed of giving people motorcycles and so he started the Honda Motor company. He was mostly a dreamer. His company built two, four, five, and six-cylinder race bikes. Honda’s first motorcycle was produced when it was demanded in Japan after the World War, where transportation was really overcrowded.
Honda picked up a lot of war surplus 500 two-stroke motors which nobody wanted, to power generators. He made motorbikes in October 1946 in his small factory in Hamamatsu and used turpentine in the bikes because gasoline was in short supply. Turpentine was not the best thing for powering motorbikes and required a lot of pedaling to warm the engine.
Honda’s first bikes were very successful. In 1947, the ½ horsepower A-Type Honda was being manufactured and sold by the company, though the bike gave out a lot of smoke and was thus called the “Chimney.”
Honda then produced the D-Type. Honda was involved in all steps of the manufacture of the product. Honda called this “The Dream.”
Soichiro Honda was the son of Gihei Honda and Mika. He was born on 17 November 1906 at the Komyo Village in Tenryu City. The family was poor but Gihei was particular about discipline and education.
When Soichuro was fifteen years old, he saw an ad in the newspaper which was by a company that repaired automobiles and motorcycles. Fascinated by the company, Shoichiro decided to send the company a letter asking if he could become an apprentice. He was fortunate enough to get a positive reply.
Soichiro worked in April 1922 at Art Shokai in the Yushima area of Hongo, Tokyo. Instead of a real salary, he received boarding, lodging and some pocket money. He has many times in his autobiography cited that his boss Sakakibara was his mentor. Not only did he learn the theoretical aspects from him, but he also learned the practical aspects of repairing bikes and automobiles and how to talk to customers. He also learned how to take pride in his own work.
Honda has three basic principles: buying, selling and creating. The mission statement of the company is to provide great quality products at reasonable prices. The main agenda of the management of the company is to proceed with ambition and youthfulness, develop fresh ideas and make the most of time.
The company wants to create products that benefit society. They also have manufacturing facilities, dealerships and showrooms all over the world to meet the demands of the customers in different parts of the world. Honda is also an environmentally responsible company.
Mr. Takanobu Ito is the Chief Executive Officer of Honda Japan. He has been the Managing Director of Honda Motor Company since June 2007. He is the President of the Honda Motor Company since 2009. He started his career in Honda in 1978.
Mr Koicho Kondo is the Compliance Officer of Government and Industrial Affairs officer of Honda since June 2010. He is currently the Vice President of Honda and was the Executive Vice President in the past. He is the Chairman of Honda since April 2011.
Mr. Nobuyuki Sanui is the Head of the Manufacturing Plant of Honda Canada since 2009. He was the Chief Executive Officer and the President of Honda Manufacturing of Alabama from April 2009. He was the President of Honda Transmission Manufacturing of America in Ohio before holding the current office.
Mr. Michimasa Fujino is the Operation Officer of Honda. He was the CEO of Honda Aircraft and served as the Chief Engineer of Honda Aircraft.
Mr. Satoshi Aoki is the Chief Financial Officer and Executive Vice President of Honda since 1995. He is the Chief Operating Officer of Hondo since 1998 and the Compliance Officer since 2004. He joined Honda in 1969.
Honda has a production plant in Rajasthan which is spread over 600 acres. This facility was launched with an investment of Rs. 1,000 crore and employs 1,000 people. The facility has produced over 60,000 units and rolled out its first car in 2009. The plant was developed as a MoU between Honda and the Rajasthan Government. The plant has the ISO 9001 certificate.
Honda also has a production plant in Manesar in Haryana with a capacity of 1.55 million units per annum and a plant in Tapukara in Rajasthan with a capacity of 6 lakh units. This plant has an investment of Rs. 500 crore. They opened a Rs. 1,000 crore plant in Andhra Pradesh in the Medak and Nalgonda districts which is 100 acres large.
Honda has technology in automotive and in motorcycles. Within automotive they have seven different technologies that we are going to discuss.
The first is VCM. VCM stands for Variable Cylinder Management and is the technology that manages the Honda cylinders.
The second is VTEC. VTEC is for Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control and it is a technology of the engine.
The third is CVT - Continuously Variable Transmission which helps in acceleration.
The fourth is Crash compatibility body that presents the Honda from causing safety hazards.
The fifth is the Honda Integrated Motor Assist. This is an electric motor and helps in fuel efficiency.
The sixth is the Intelligent Variable Valve Timing and Life Electronic Control whose short form is i-VTEC. This is the environmentally responsible technology. At low engine speeds, one of the two valves is left idle. This improves combustion efficiency.
The seventh and final technology is the SH-AWD. The SH-AWD handles the driving wheel. This technology distributes torque to the four wheels.
Honda is present in different countries all across the world. Honda’s advanced technologies are produced in Japan. In South America Honda is expanding to the regional market and promoting ecology. In Asia and Australia Honda is providing new and improved products. In China, Honda is participating in environmental initiatives. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, it’s trying to improve its reputation. In North America, Honda is expanding production.
In Asia in particular, the primary mode of transportation is motorcycles and Honda has thus established motorcycle manufacturing plants in eight countries. The cumulative production capacity of the motorcycles was 30 million motorcycles in India in 2009, 25 million in Indonesia and a total of 17 million in Thailand. Honda provides bikes in Asia with the popular Programmed Fuel Injection System.
Along with motorcycles the market for automobiles is also growing rapidly in Asia. In India the Honda Jazz was launched while in Indonesia and other countries the Freed was introduced.
Honda exports both motorcycles and automobiles.
Honda Thailand is exporting bikes to ASEAN countries and global models all over the world. Honda in Asia is exporting parts to Honda in other parts of the world to meet the growing needs of Asia and the rest of the world.
Honda Brio will be manufactured in India at the Uttar Pradesh plant with 80% localized components. This car will be exported to Burma, Bangaldesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka from India. The Honda Brio is designed specially for the Indian customers and India is targeting other Asian countries for exports. The Joint Venture between Honda and the Siel group in India is responsible for the export of cars like the Honda Jazz and the Honda City to these markets.
The Honda Brio Indian version was launched in Bangkok in 2010 at a price tag of Rs. 4-Rs.5 lakhs.
In 2010, Honda India exported 1, 11,000 units of motorcycles and scooters. They export motorcycles and scooters to over 50 destinations - these include the developing countries and the developed nations of Europe.
Honda plans to roll out a car every five years and trucks and vans every seven years. Honda has announced that it will introduce a battery-electric prototype of its car by 2015. The Civic will also be redesigned. The car is based on a global platform. A new model of the hybrid Accord will be launched in 2011 and in 2013 it will go for a re-design.
The fuel cell hydrogen powered Honda vehicle has already been showcased and a new model is expected to be out in 2018. The Element will be redesigned in 2011. The CR-V is expected to be freshened for 2011 and is expected to be redesigned in 2013.
The company is developing its plug-in hybrid system for mid-large size vehicles which will go on sale in 2012. Honda will also introduce a new and more powerful diesel engine in 2012.