In 1937, TkaiSeikiwas founded by Soichiro Honda, initially producing piston rings to Toyota. After the loss of Toyota's business due to poor quality Soichiro Honda went back to the drawing board, studying engineering and manufacturing processes. When returning to the manufacturing of pistons rings in 1941, Honda began using high quality automated processes capable of being done by low-skill workers. In the beginning of World War II TkaiSeikiwas was placed under controls of Japan's Ministry of Commerce and industry and later a majority share was bought by Toyota. During the war, Seikiwas factories were used to build military aircraft propellers. After a series of attacks and natural disasters leaving much of the plants destroyed, Soichiro Honda sold the remains of the company to Toyota and began Honda Technical Research Institute in 1946. Honda manufactured motorized bicycles and the engines, then began manufacturing of the Honda A-Type in 1949.
Later in 1949 the Honda Technical Research Institute was liquidated and the funds from the sale were used to establish the Honda Motor Company. That same year they completed the first full motorcycle the D-type, they continued with success of their motorcycles sales throughout the 50's and 60's, becoming the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in 1964. In 1963 Honda started production of their first automobile, the T360 a mini pick-up truck followed quickly by the S500 Hondas first sports car. The S500 was powered by chain driven rear wheels paying homage to Honda chain driven racing bike start. Honda spent the following decades implementing and improving car designs. Honda made its break into the American market with the Acura brand in 1986, Acura was Hondas attempt at a luxury vehicle brand. Honda continued make improvements, breaking ground in 1991 with the V6 NSX the first all-aluminum monocoque car.
In the 1990's Honda turned over CEO management of the company several time following the death of its original founder and began to fall behind in the market of Japanese manufactured automobiles. A boom of trucks and SUV put Honda at a disadvantage and was faced with a potential takeover by competitor Mitsubishi Motor in 1993. CEO Nobuhiko Kawamoto moves quickly to change the culture of the company from top to bottom, with production of the first Honda Odyssey and CR-V away from the not so popular sedans of the time. The most shocking change came when Kawamoto discontinued Honda participation in Formula One racing despite its success, to cut costs and improve the company's image among environmentalists. The company also opened it aircraft division in 1995, with desires to produced jets with the Honda name. Honda continued its success into the 2000's expanding on foreign markets, marketing Honda as an affordable and reliable option to consumers.
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