As 2016 comes to a close, Honda ramped up celebrations to commemorate the production of its 100,000,000th (that’s 100 millionth) automobile 53 years after its first production vehicle, the T360 mini-truck (top of page), rolled down the production line.
In its first year (1963) Honda also introduced the S500 sports coupe with both models sharing production facility space with Honda’s motorcycle range.
In 1964 Honda introduced the iconic S600 roadster starting a long tradition of engaging sports cars branded with an H on the nose. The S600 was also the first of Honda’s models to be built at a dedicated automobile production facility in Sayama City.
By 1969, Honda began overseas production, with assembly of the N360 kei car beginning in Taiwan, followed by Malaysia. 1972 saw the introduction of the Civic, followed by the Accord in 1976, with both nameplates remaining in production to this day, accounting for much of the brand’s success outside of Japan.
In 1978, Honda celebrated the production of five million automobiles, and in 1982 Honda began production in the United States.
Worldwide production milestones were ticked off with 10 million units by 1983, 20 million by 1990 and 30 million by 1995.
Honda was also one of the first vehicle manufacturers to introduce a hybrid petrol-electric vehicle with the Insight in 1999, hot on the heels of the Toyota Prius. Honda has also pioneered the hydrogen fuel cell, with a series of FCX prototypes starting in 1999 culminating in its first production model, the FCX Clarity in 2008.
Production in the UK kicked off in 1992, while Chinese production started in 1999, the same year Honda hit 40 million units. By 2003 Honda had amassed 50 million automobiles.
As of 2016 Honda has a total of 34 automobile production facilities on five continents around the world.
“Thanks to the support from our customers around the world, Honda was able to deliver 100 million automobiles, Honda Motor President and CEO, Takahiro Hachigo said. “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. Striving to meet the next 100 million customers, Honda will continue delivering increasingly attractive products.”