History, Growth and Development
Honda Motor Company, LTD. (HMC), a publically traded company, was founded by Soichiro Honda in October 1946. HMC originated in Hamamatsu, Japan as a technical research institute, and produced the first A-type motorcycle engine. In 1948, the Honda Motor Company, LTD. was established. Demand for Honda motorcycles increased and the HMC established its first overseas subsidiary in the United States (U.S.) with the opening of its first motorcycle dealership in 1959 in Los Angeles, California. Throughout the sixties, HMC gained market share by expanding its motorcycle line, and adding new product lines such as power equipment and namely, vehicles. In 1969, HMC sold its first vehicle in the U.S. market with the fuel-efficient Honda N600. The Honda N600 was much smaller, lighter, and quite foreign to its U.S. counterparts, the heavier and bulkier Ford Pinto and Maverick. Although sales were mild, the Honda N600 positioned HMC’s competitive and comparative advantage in fuel efficient engine innovation and technology that would set the standard in the automobile industry worldwide. In 1973, HMC improved its core competency and growth in engine design and innovation by introducing the fuel efficient Honda Civic Hatchback in the U.S. HMC’s primary competency evolved from the continuous innovation and design of a cleaner and more fuel efficient CVCC vehicle engine. This was a pivotal moment in HMC’s history, growth, and development that drove the company to expand into a very competitive though constantly changing and growing market segment; the U.S. automobile industry. HMC’s expansion into the U.S. automobile market would substantiate its competitive advantage by increasing demand of affordable fuel efficient vehicles and securing long term profits.
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