Soichiro Honda Biography — life, wife, school, son, information, born…

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Soichiro Honda Biography

An person in a country not known for its to accept nonconformists (those do not cooperate with customs), Honda created an automobile despite the opposition of the Japanese One of his company#x0027;s cars, the Accord, was a model in the American market.


The first son of blacksmith Honda and his wife Mika, Honda was born on November 17, in rural Iwata-gun, Japan. In he graduated from the Futamata Elementary School. Honda had tolerance for formal education and at every opportunity he had to work his true love: motors.

his life Honda never the impression that was made on him he sighted his first automobile.

After leaving school began his career as an apprentice (a who works to gain experience in a auto repairman for Arto in Tokyo. In 1928 he returned to his as a master mechanic and soon a branch shop for the firm in Japan.

Building an empire

this time Honda participated in auto races and interested in cars and motorcycles. he was experimenting with engines, and in he organized the Tohai Seiki to manufacture piston rings, of which were sold to a major Japanese car manufacturer.

first attempts at the personal business came in the mid-1940s he designed and manufactured a small that could be attached to a to create a motorbike. The venture a great success.

Encouraged by his early success, in he organized the Honda Motor The following year Honda a small motorcycle called the D#x0022; and prepared to enter the competitive Japanese market, he did through effective advertising. a decade Honda was the leading manufacturer in the world and had a larger of the American motorcycle market Toyota and Nissan (with its cars) had in automobiles.

Now Soichiro attracted press attention, unlike most Japanese he loved it. A small but talkative he was the opposite of what westerners Japanese businessmen to be. For example, he executives on the basis of performance than age, an unusual at large Japanese firms. continued racing autos and dressed casually, and took in maintaining his independence from the business establishment.

In addition, Honda openly his admiration of American business and way of life.


This was at a when the powerful Ministry of and Industry (MITI) was

trying to several small companies a third large one to compete Toyota and Nissan. MITI and the of Transportation tried to discourage from adding to the number of but he persisted. He won MITI#x0027;s permission by out with a low-priced small the S 500, which was different anything produced by the other

He followed it up with other models. His company was still small, producing only thousand cars in 1966#x2014;half of Toyota was turning out in a week.

Honda introduced the Civic to the market in 1972. It got thirty-nine per gallon (mpg) on the road and mpg in city driving, remarkably for an automobile. The popularity of the Civic throughout the 1970s, and in 1980 sold 375,000 cars in the market#x2014;almost three times as as Subaru and twice as many as but still behind Toyota and

The reasons for this success obvious: Honda combined quality with efficiency and But his small cars still to a limited market.


In the late 1970s and early Honda expanded his car company In 1979 he opened a motorcycle near Columbus, Ohio, and an plant followed soon prompting other Japanese to follow his lead. In the late Toyota and Nissan sold of their cars to the United while Honda sold of his in that market.

Soichiro Honda did not directly these introductions or the development of plants in the United States and He resigned in 1973, but stayed at the as #x0022;supreme adviser.#x0022; In 1988 he the first Japanese carmaker to be into the Automobile Hall of Honda died of liver August 5, 1991, in a Tokyo

Honda#x0027;s rise from beginnings to a powerful and influential is one of twentieth century#x0027;s most stories.

For More Information

Sakiya, Honda Motor: The Man, the and the Machines. New York: Kodansha 1982.

Sanders, Sol. The Man and His Machine. Boston: Little, 1975.

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