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Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda, was greatly interested in automobiles from a very young age. He worked as a mechanic at a Japanese tuning shop, Art Shokai, where he tuned cars and entered them in races. He then started the Honda Technical Research Institute in Hamamatsu, Japan, to develop and produce small 2-cycle motorbike engines.
Calling upon 18,000 bicycle shop owners across Japan Soichiro received enough capital to engineer his first motorcycle, the Honda Cub. This noted the inception of Honda Motor Company, which went on to be the world's largest producer of motorcycles by 1964. Fascinatingly, ''Honda'' in Japanese, literally means ''root field'' or ''original field.''
The first production automobile from Honda was the T360 mini truck. S500 sports car was the first manufactured car from Honda. Today, Honda Automobiles is one of the Big Asian Four (with Toyota, Nissan, and Hyundai). Honda is headquartered in Minato, Tokyo, Japan. Their shares trade on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange.
The company has assembly plants around the globe. These plants are located in China, United States, Pakistan, Canada, England, Japan, Belgium, Brazil, New Zealand, Indonesia, India, Thailand, and Turkey. In the year 2001, Honda exceeded Nissan, to become the second-largest Japanese automobile producer.
In August 2008, Honda excelled Chrysler as the fourth largest automobile producer in the United States. It has turned out to be sixth largest automobile manufacturer in the world.
Honda's worldwide structure is inherited of the Fit, Civic, Accord, Insight, CR-V, and Odyssey. An advance upholder of evolving vehicles to serve to various needs and markets globally, Honda's lineup varies by country and attributes vehicles entirely to that region. Apart from their fundamental automobile and motorcycle businesses, Honda also fabricates garden articles, marine engines, personal watercraft and power generators, etc.
Honda also produces the Insight, a hybrid electric vehicle that competes with Toyota Prius. This car was launched just one month before the introduction of the Toyota Prius. The first-generation Insight was produced from 2000 to 2006 and had a fuel economy of 70 miles per US gallon (3.4 L/100 km; 84 mpg) the most fuel-efficient mass-produced car at the time. 18,000 vehicles amounted to total worldwide sales.