Soichiro Honda

Inducted 1989

Founded Honda Motor Company in 1948 and led the company to become the world’s leading manufacturer of motorcycles and a world leader in automobile production

Led in the development of the CVCC automobile engine which enabled the Honda Civic to become the first car to meet stringent U. S. emission control standards in the 1970s

Soichiro Honda brought new pride to the phrase “Made in Japan.” Beginning his career as a mechanic at age 15, Honda developed an interest in racing automobiles. He constructed his first race car using a Curtiss-Wright engine but he designed and crafted the balance of the components himself. He continued to build and race cars until 1936 when he was injured in the All-Japan Speed Rally after setting a speed record of 120 kph. In September of 1948, Honda established the Honda Motor Company to manufacture motorcycles, later branching out into automobiles. His longtime business partner, Takeo Fujisawa, joined the company in 1949. Their management style differed from Japanese business traditions by emphasizing individual achievement rather than corporate harmony. By hiring creative thinkers and promoting research, the Honda company fostered new ideas that resulted in technological innovation. Soichiro Honda worked alongside his employees with an enthusiasm that motivated them to higher levels of performance. Soichiro Honda expressed this philosophy: “Honda’s products are known all over the world not simply because they are good in quality but because of the philosophy behind the products…our policy of creating something which will serve the interests of people.”

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Class of 1989

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