Honda’s Super Cub Turns 50 Million — AutoWeb News

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Honda Super Cub 50

Honda’s Super Cub Turns 50 Million

22 February, 2006

Honda Motor Co. Ltd. announced earlier this month that total worldwide production of the Super Cub reached 50 million units at the end of last year.

The milestone is unique for a number of reasons, primarily because no other manufacturer be it car or motorcycle — has had such a high degree of success with one model over so many years.

The Super Cub’s popularity is so much so that since its launch in 1958, it has become the first engine powered vehicle to achieve total worldwide production of this magnitude. In the last four years alone, there have been 15 million units produced.

The first-generation Super Cub, developed under the direction of company founder Soichiro Honda, was designed to be a new type of versatile scooter that anyone could ride with ease.

At a time when 2-stroke engines were the norm, the Super Cub was fitted with a revolutionary, high-performance 50cc 4-stroke engine that offered superb economy and durability.


The creative design also featured a low-floor backbone frame for easy mounting and dismounting, large plastic leg shields to protect riders’ legs from dirt and wind, and other innovations.

The Super Cub was first exported to the U.S. in 1959 under the slogan, “You meet the nicest people on a Honda.” It changed the image of motorcycling in the American psyche and bikers were soon sharing the road with students, attorneys and housewives.

Since then, the scooter has undergone many improvements, resulting in remarkable increases in both driving performance and fuel economy. However the basic design and concepts remain unchanged. Its original styling has made it the bike of choice for business use, and in many countries, the name Cub has become synonymous with working scooters.

Though originally produced only at Honda’s Sayama plant in Saitama prefecture north of Tokyo, Honda has now expanded Super Cub production to facilities around the world due to demand.

The bike now rolls off production lines in The Philippines, Thailand, India, Brazil, Taiwan, Vietnam, China, Indonesia, and more. It is currently produced in 13 countries and a popular product in more than 160.

The Cub averages 65 miles/104 kms to the gallon, and is so reliable and economical to operate that the Japanese postal service uses it to deliver the mail.

Many other businesses rely on it to deliver everything from take away to the morning paper.

The history of the Super Cub is another example of Honda’s longevity in a highly competitive world market where technological innovation, influential marketing and meeting the needs of customers are all key ingredients.

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