As reported by Dealer News, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has produced its 300-millionth motorcycle, a Gold Wing made at the company’s Kumamoto Factory in Japan.
“This incredible milestone is the result of the millions of customers who have placed their trust in Honda,” said Bob Gurga, vice president and manager of Motorcycle Division for American Honda. “Now, we are focused on the future and the ways that we can harness the challenging spirit of Honda associates to create new joy for Honda customers.”
Honda began mass production of motorcycles in Japan in 1949 when it built the Honda 98cc Dream Type-D (pictured). Today, Honda produces motorcycles, ATV’s and side-by-sides at 32 plants in 22 countries, including two plants in North America. Overall, Honda has 16 plants in North America.
In 1958, Honda introduced the Honda 50, known globally as the Super Cub, which would go on to revolutionize the industry. This iconic bike paved the way for Honda’s expansion into the United States in 1959 and Canada in 1969. The Super Cub, which has sold nearly 90 million units globally since its inception, was the focus of a mid-1960s advertising campaign, ‘You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda,’ that played a major role in the transformation and growth of the U.S. motorcycle market.
In the 1960s, Honda became the best-selling motorcycle brand in the U.S. and the world, leading to the establishment of Honda of America Mfg. and the company’s first U.S. production facility, the Marysville Motorcycle Plant. The plant, which opened Sept. 10, 1979, in Marysville, Ohio, produced both motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) until 2009. Production of ATVs has since shifted to Honda of South Carolina Mfg. (HSC) in Timmonsville, South Carolina. Auto production started in Marysville in 1982.
Since the start of production in 1979, Honda has manufactured more than five million power sports products in North America using global and domestically sourced parts. Today, HSC manufactures FourTrax ATVs and Pioneer side-by-sides and engines, while the Honda plant in El Salto, Jalisco, Mexico, produces motorcycles.
The research and development of Honda ATVs and side-by-side vehicles for both local and global markets is now being led by a team of engineers at Honda R&D Americas – with Powersports R&D operations in Los Angeles, Ohio and South Carolina. MC