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Honda at 50

Honda hits a major milestone and celebrates its half century

Did you ever own any of these Hondas?

By the age of 50 typically life can start to catch up - often resulting in some taking things at a slower pace. Those rules however don’t apply to Honda. This hugely innovative brand, in the UK since 1965, has recently celebrated its half century and since then has been hitting milestone after milestone.

Originally founded in Japan in 1948 by Soichiro Honda with capital of 1 million yen within a year he was joined by Takeo Fujisawa, who became Soichiro Honda's lifetime partner, as managing director.

The two aimed to build the company into the world's top motorcycle maker. That goal was realized through the sale of the Super Cub C100 in August 1958, their participation in the Isle of Man TT Race in June 1959, and the opening of Suzuka Factory in April 1960.

Today this iconic manufacturer is in the top 20 biggest brands in the world and employees over 182,000 employees with 40 manufacturing locations making anything from leaf blowers to business jets.

Philip Crossman, Managing Director at Honda UK, commented: “This year marks our golden anniversary in the UK with fifty years of rich history in trading bikes, power products and cars. While this year has been significant in refreshing the car range in its entirety and launching several important new bikes, the Japanese way is to take a much longer viewpoint than just 12 months.

”Our business has changed radically since it launched in the swinging sixties, adapting and evolving to suit the demands of riders and drivers over the years. I can well imagine that Honda will be a completely different organisation in 2065 – but still selling quality and trusted cars, bikes and power products.”

What Else Was Happening in 1965?

  • The death of Winston Churchill
  • Sir Stanley Matthews played his final First Division game, at the record age of 50 years and 5 days.
  • The Gambia became independent from the United Kingdom
  • The government announced plans for the introduction of a blood alcohol limit for drivers in its clampdown on drink-driving
  • The 700th anniversary of Parliament was celebrated
  • The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" was released in the UK.
  • Corgi Toys introduced the all-time best selling model car, James Bond's Aston Martin DB5 from the film Goldfinger
  • The Post Office Tower opened in London.
  • A 70 mph speed limit was imposed on British roads
  • The motorway network continued to expand with the Preston-Lancaster section of the M6 opening in January, the M4 being expanded from Slough to London in March as well as the first phase of motorway in Scotland with the M8.

By Tracey McBain