Why did I pick Honda? Because Japan is on everybody’s mind right now and I would like to honor Honda. I saw a video of wrecked Honda’s and Toyota’s in a shipping yard. The yard had been hit by the tsunami and earthquake. It was very sad to see thousands of wrecked cars. They were destined for the U.S.
Honda started out in 1959 as a small automaker making even smaller trucks, called the Honda T360. It was designed to be small as to avoid the “chicken tax”. The chicken tax is a government tax on all new cars. The T360 was so small that it couldn’t hold an average dining-room chair! It barely sold in Japan and therefore, never made it to the U.S. Good thing. It would have been too small for Americans. It would be too short for my sister!
Honda has numerous factories in Japan and the U.S. The factories make all of Honda’s motorcycles and cars. Honda has also been a large manufacturer of hybrids since 2000. In 2001, Honda surpassed Nissan as the largest Japanese automaker in the world. In 2008, Honda passed Chrysler to become the fourth largest automaker in the U.S. Today, Honda is the sixth largest automaker in the world.
Honda’s line-up of cars sold world-wide include: Fit, Civic, Accord, CR-V, Pilot and Odyssey.
The Honda Civic was introduced worldwide in 1978 as a small, affordable compact car available to the masses. My uncle owned one of the original Civics! The Civic is no longer sold in Japan- it isn’t popular enough! Americans just keep buying the Civics off the lots. When the next-generation Civic comes out this fall, it will be the 8th generation. It will look very similar to the current Civic, but it will have all-new engines and transmissions.
The Honda Accord came out in 1976 and was produced in Sayama, Japan until 2008. The current Accord plant is in Marysville, Ohio. The Accord has been offered in a large variety of body-styles including hatchbacks, sedans, wagons and coupes. My mom and dad both owned one during college! My grandpa Jack has a 2009 Honda Accord EX-L V6 coupe. The Accord’s newest style is the “Crosstour”. It is almost like a wagon/SUV.
The Honda Insight is a medium-sized hatchback about the size of a current-generation Toyota Prius. It has Honda’s true and tried Integrated Motor Assist. IMA is a simple hybrid system that has an electric motor that is only good for helping out at idle and in parking lots. The Insight is the cheapest hybrid currently on sale in the U.S. The original Insight was nominated for the 2001 North American Car of the Year by J.D. Power and associates.
The Honda CR-V came out in 1995 as a small, affordable SUV meant to be every person’s car. Its sales have amounted up to 1,785,540. You can buy a really big house with that much money. The thing is, it isn’t money, it’s the number of cars sold. Too bad it’s not money! I had my eye on that Bugatti Veyron Super Sport with the clear-coat finish! Darn! The Veyron SS costs as much as all those CR-V sales!
The Honda Fit has been one of Honda’s best-selling hatchbacks. Its sales amount up to 1,363,358 total Fit’s sold! WOW!!!! It has been the recipient of three Car & Driver 10Best awards and is one of the safest compact cars out on the road today. It is called the Honda Aria and Honda Jazz in other markets. Trivia note: the Fit’s windshield is the same size as an average minivan’s!
The Honda Odyssey is Honda’s only minivan, but it is one of their best-sellers. My mom and dad almost got one instead of our Chrysler Town & Country. They didn’t want to wait to get the Odyssey because there was a long waiting list. The Odyssey came out in Japan and was so popular that Honda decided to take the Odyssey to other markets, first the USA and on and on. The Odyssey is part of the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission. It was also badge-engineered by Isuzu as the Isuzu Oasis. The current generation has Honda’s first six-speed automatic. Well, actually it is the second, the first is in the Acura MDX.
My favorite Honda? The 2008 Honda S2000 Club Racer (CR). Yours? I am sure that you have one. I am attaching Honda’s website. http://automobiles.honda.com/ Honda has stopped production on all of its cars that are made in Japan because of the crisis there. You can expect to see very few new Civics and Elements out on the road for the near future. Pity. Honda was also the first Japanese auto-maker to release a dedicated luxury car brand, Acura. Honda’s slogan is “Honda. The power of dreams.” That is very true, as many cars that they have made are well-loved cars that can last a very long time.