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Honda Motor Company is a Japanese multi-national corporation, engine manufacturer and engineering corporation.
The company is perhaps most notable for its automobiles and motorcycles, having passed Nissan to become the second largest seller of autos in Japan]. Honda also produces a long list of other products: trucks, scooters, robots, jets and jet engines, ATV, water craft, electrical generators, marine engines, lawn and garden equipment, and aeronautical and other mobile technologies.
With more than 14 million internal combustion engines built each year, Honda is the largest engine-maker in the world. In 2004 , the company began to produce diesel motors, which were very quiet whilst not requiring particulate filters to pass pollution standards. It is arguable, however, that the foundation of Honda's success is the motorcycle division.
Soichiro Honda was a mechanic who, after working at Art Shokai, developed his own design for piston rings in 1938. He constructed a new facility to supply Toyota, but soon after, during World War II, the Honda piston manufacturing facilities were almost completely destroyed.
Soichiro Honda created a new company with what he had left in the Japanese market that was decimated by World War II; his country was starved of money and fuel, but still in need of basic transportation. Honda, utilizing his manufacturing facilities, attached an engine to a bicycle which created a cheap and efficient transport. He gave his company the name Honda Giken Kōgyō Kabushiki Kaisha which translates to Honda Research Institute Company Ltd. Despite its grandiose name, the first facility bearing that name was a simple wooden shack where Mr. Honda and his associates would fit the engines to bicycles. The official Japanese name for Honda Motor Company Ltd. remains the same in honor of Soichiro Honda's efforts. On 24 September 1948 the Honda Motor Co. was officially founded in Japan.
Honda began to produce a range of scooters and motorcycles and Soichiro Honda quickly recovered from the losses incurred during the war. Honda's first motorcycle to be put on sale was the 1947 A-Type (one year before the company was officially founded). However, Honda's first full-fledged motorcycle on the market was the 1949 Dream D-Type. It was equipped with a 98cc engine producing around 3 horsepower. This was followed by a number of successful launches of highly popular scooters throughout the 1950s.