On today in 2005, at a car expo in Geneva, Switzerland, Honda debuts the Civic Concept, a five-door hatchback. The Japan-based automaker launched the 1st Civic in the first 1970s and the compact, affordably priced auto continued to turn right into a best-seller in the U.S. auto industry.
Soichiro Honda founded the Honda Motor Company in 1948 in Hamamatsu, Japan, positioned close to the village where he was created in 1906. The son of a blacksmith who also repaired bicycles, Honda was raised in humble situations so when a teen visited Tokyo to apprentice being an auto mechanic. He later ran their own auto shop and drove race vehicles before a personal injury sidelined him. During World War II, Honda constructed engines for the Japanese military. After the war, he and a companion formed the Honda Motor Company, which grew right into a productive motorcycle manufacturer. In 1957, Honda launched its initial vehicle in Japan, the N360. (According to The New York Times, this choice “infuriated the bureaucrats of Japan’s powerful Ministry of International Trade and Industry, who ordered [Honda] to keep making motorcycles because they had drawn up plans for Japan to have only a handful of automakers.”) Two years later, the business enterprise begun to sell its motorcycles from the storefront in Los Angeles-its first American retail store.
The Honda Civic continued sale in Japan in the summertime season of 1973. The following year, the business launched a Civic with a fuel-effective CVCC (Controlled Cortex Combustion Chamber) engine. Starting with the 1975 model year, Civic/CVCC vehicles were available in the U.S. According to the Times: “The engine used a startling new design, one that burned a leaner mix of gasoline and passed emissions tests–the main barrier to the American market–without using a catalytic converter.” The Civic, together with the Honda Accord (launched in 1976), attained a period when Americans, who had experienced soaring gas prices as a upshot of the 1973 Arab oil embargo, have been searching for a choice to the large, gas-guzzlers rolling off the assembly lines in Detroit. The little, fuel-effective Hondas quickly had a foothold in the U.S. auto industry.
In 1989, Honda began making Civics at a plant in East Liberty, Ohio. Seven years earlier, in 1982, Honda had grow to be the original Japanese automaker to build up cars in America (using domestic and globally sourced components) when it started producing Accords in Marysville, Ohio. By 1995, a complete of 10 million Civics have been developed worldwide. Another milestone in the car’s history came in 2001, when Honda introduced a gas-electric hybrid version of the Civic.
Soichiro Honda died of liver failure at age 84 on August 5, 1991. At enough time of the outspoken auto maverick’s death, the business he founded was Japan’s third-most significant carmaker, after Toyota and Nissan.