Torrance, California – Honda has marked its first 50 years in America, commemorating the establishment of American Honda Motor Company Inc. in a small Los Angeles storefront on June 11, 1959. The company marked the occasion with a small ceremony at its headquarters in Torrance, California.
“On behalf of the tens of thousands of Honda associates in America, past and present, we offer our deepest thanks to our customers for placing their trust in Honda over the past 50 years,” said Tetsuo Iwamura, American Honda president and CEO. “Today, in the face of new challenges, including the preservation of our environment, we renew our commitment to exceed the expectations of our customers and society.”
Honda began in the U.S. in 1959 with its Honda 50 motorcycle, began selling cars in 1973, and went on to record such milestones as the first automaker to meet the U.S. Clean Air Act without a catalytic converter in 1974, the first Japanese automaker to build motorcycles and automobiles in America, in 1979 and 1982 respectively in Ohio, the first Japanese automaker to establish a luxury automobile brand with Acura in 1986, and in 1999, the first company to market a mass-produced gasoline-electric hybrid car in the U.S. with the Insight. In May 2009, it reached the 15 million unit milestone in U.S. automobile production.
Today, Honda operates 10 U.S. manufacturing plants, with two new plants under construction, 14 research and development facilities and more than 12 regional sales, parts and service, and finance offices around the country, and employs more than 27,000 U.S. workers.