Honda Motor Company, Ltd. is a Japanese multinational conglomerate that manufactures a variety of vehicle types including cars, motorcycles, and aircrafts. Headquartered in Tokyo, the organization has been in the industry of making motorized vehicles for the past 70 years. It is one of the first car makers to have forayed into producing vehicles targeted at different market segments worldwide. Today, Honda presents the global marketplace with a wide range of cars, sports utility vehicles (SUVs)/multipurpose utility vehicles (MUVs), vans, and motorcycle products.
The Honda group of companies include 440 affiliates and has over 215,638 employees worldwide on a consolidated basis as of early 2018. It has assembly plants in several countries, including Japan, the United States, Canada, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, Belgium, England, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Turkey, and Pakistan.
Unlike other car manufacturing firms that came about through evolutions of organizations that predated them, Honda Motor Company., Ltd. had a rather a rather straightforward roots. It was founded by Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa in Sept. 24, 1948, and, in the following year, it launched its first very first product called the Dream D-Type motorcycle. This model was widely recognized as a game changer because it eliminated the need for a manual clutch operation.
However, it was the Dream E-Type, a four-stroke motorcycle launched in 1951, that jumpstarted Honda's journey to becoming a prominent name in automotive manufacturing. To keep its momentum, the organization introduced in 1952 the Cub F-Type, a small and lightweight motorcycle that was marketed as a motorcycle that women could ride as well. Another notable early product from Honda was the Cub F-Type, which was considered one of the most advanced scooters at the time. By 1964, Honda was the world's largest motorcycle manufacturer.
Honda then ventured into manufacturing automobiles, launching its first mini pickup truck called the T360, which became available to customers in 1963. Within the same year, the organization produced its first car, the S500 sports car.
Before the 1960s had ended, Honda brought its first vehicle to the U.S. market – the N600. In 1973, the company launched the Civic in the United States, where it was well-received as a more fuel-efficient alternative to American brands. The next few decades saw Honda relentlessly expanding its operations not only in Japan but also overseas and diversifying its product portfolio. It also entered the luxury vehicle segment with the launch of the Acura brand in 1986. It also launched a supercar called the Honda NSX, which used a mid-engine V6 with variable-valve timing, in 1991.
The 1990s saw consumer preference shifting to trucks and sports utility vehicles (SUVs), blindsiding Honda which was then mainly producing sedans and coupes. Amid declining profitability, Honda implemented a major change in its corporate culture, driving focus to market-driven product development. Two brands that are still popular today – the Odyssey and the CR-V – then came about.
In 1995, the organization established its wholly-owned subsidiary Honda Aircraft Company to manufacture jets.
Honda Cars Philippines, Inc. (HCPI) was established in October 1990. It is 74.2%-owned by Honda Motor Co. Ltd, 12.9% by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation, and 12.9% by Ayala Automotive Holdings Corporation.
The company started manufacturing completely knocked down (CKD) units in 1992. CKD units are high-end cars whose parts are manufactured in one country and assembled in the selling country. In November 1997, HCPI was awarded an ISO 9002 certification for its arduous quality testing, which indicates that Honda has set a high bar for the quality of its automobiles.
HCPI currently has 32 dealerships in the Philippines, with 12 of them situated in Metro Manila and 20 are in the provinces. It also has four service centers. Locally, the organization maintains manufacturing facilities that occupy a land area of 172,000 square meters and have a production capacity of 15,000 units per year. It directly employees approximately 700 employees and close to 2,000 through its car dealers. Honda has been manufacturing the City for several years now and the BR-V starting October 2018.
Together with Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI) and Honda Manufacturing Parts Corporation (HMPC), HCPI makes up the Honda group of companies. HPI is the largest motorcycle manufacturers in the Philippines, while HMPC produces engine parts and transmissions.
Honda has an expansive product lineup, including sedans, hatchbacks, SUVs, multi-purpose vehicles (MPVs), and VANs. All Honda car models available in the Philippines boasts of Euro-4 compliance, which reduces harmful emissions by up to 56%. The government has set Euro-2 level as the standard. Car offerings include the Brio, the Brio Amaze, the City, the Jazz, the Civic, the Civic Type-R, and the Accord. In the big car segment, it offers the Mobilio, the BR-V, the HR-V, the CR-V, and the Odyssey.
Honda's SUVs, the CR-V and the BR-V, have been the company's flagship models. The Honda CR-V has been one of the most popular nameplates in the SUV segment. For the first half of 2018, the CR-V was the bestselling compact SUV, with the Hyundai Tucson and the Subaru Forester trailing behind. The CR-V comes in five-seater or seven-seater variants. The former is powered by a 2.-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that is attached to a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The seven-seater option, on the other hand, is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder turbo diesel workhorse paired with a nine-speed automatic transmission. The CR-V is known for delivering excellent driving experience, great engine performance, luxurious cabin, and attractive exterior design.
Despite being new in the local SUV market landscape, having been introduced only in December 2016, the BR-V has quickly risen to fame. It emerged as the second best-selling subcompact SUV for the first half of 2018, surpassing the Mitsubishi XPANDER and the Toyota Rush. The seven-seater BR-V runs on a 1.5-liter four-cylinder petrol engine that works with an Earth Dreams CVT transmission. Honda offers this model in four trims, with some of the options even sporting paddle shifters. Since its launch, Honda has sold a total of 11,000 units of this model locally. Honda has announced that it will start producing the BR-V in the Philippines, and this could have some impact on the price.
Among the Honda models currently available locally, the Civic is perhaps the most iconic. The Civic has been a flagship Honda car since the 1970s. Today, the Civic has a strong base of enthusiasts as well as aftermarket and customization support especially for cars that were bought in the 1990s. The latest tenth-generation Civic is available in two engine options -- a 1.8-liter and a 1.5-liter machine. The former is mated to a manual transmission while the smaller engine comes in either a five-speed manual gearbox or an automatic CVT.
Another prominent model from Honda is the City, which is aimed at the B-class subcompact market segment. Now on its fourth generation, it is one of the most popular entry-level sedans in the local market. Honda offers this model in is solely available in 1.5-liter inline four-cylinder petrol engine that is paired with either a five-speed manual stick shift or a CVT gearbox. The City is known to offer a premium driving and riding experience at an entry-level price. Those looking to buy a hatchback are likely to consider the Honda Jazz as an option. Many first-time drivers are drawn to this model, mainly because it is very easy to drive. It is also agile, which makes navigating corners a breeze. Offered in four variants, the Jazz comes in a 1.5-liter, four-cylinder engine that is paired with a five-speed manual gearbox for the base trim and a CVT for the rest.
Honda also manufactures and sells motorcycles under the Honda Philippines, Inc. (HPI). Its popular motorcycle offerings include the Honda Click 150i, which is one of the best-selling models in the Philippines, and the Honda CB1100EX, a new superbike. The all-new Click150i is powered by a 150cc, liquid-cooled engine that is equipped with Enhanced Smart Power and an ACG Starter and Idling Stop System. The CBT100EX, on the other hand, runs on a powerful 1,140cc air and oil-cooled, DOHC inline four-cylinder engine.
For its fiscal year ended March 31, 2018, Honda sold 31.04 million units globally, of which 19.5 million were motorcycles, 5.3 million were automobiles, and 6.3 million were power products worldwide. From a geographical perspective, Asia and Oceania (excluding China) was Honda's biggest market, accounting for 60% of global sales. North America was its second largest market, pitching 17%, while China came in third with 10%.
In the Philippines, Honda is one of the most prominent car manufacturers. Based on a consolidated report from Chamber of Automotive Manufacturers of the Philippines, Inc. (CAMPI), Truck Manufacturers Association (TMA), and the Association of Vehicle Importers and Distributors (AVID), for the year 2018, Honda ranked sixth in terms of car sales volume, behind Toyota, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Nissan, and Ford. During the period, the company sold 23,294 units, which translates to a 5.8% market share and a 27% year-on-year decline.
Honda has also been operating the Honda Safety Driving Center (HSDC) for the past 10 years. HSDC offers comprehensive training for both two-wheel and four-wheel vehicles as well as truck certification. The HSDC is the first motorcycle riding school in the Philippines, and it provides training for both two-wheel and four-wheel drives.
In 2017, it launched the One Honda Road Safety program, which aims to unify Honda's approach toward building a community of responsible road users and, hence, ensure the safety and security for all community members.