Starting in 1948, Soichiro Honda filled an important niche in post-World War II Japan by building motorized bicycles, and his Honda Motor Company quickly grew to become one of the world's largest and most successful motorcycle manufacturers. This success allowed Honda to expand into building small cars in 1960. The energy crisis of the 1970s made Honda's efficient Civic, with its low-emission CVCC engine, a best-seller in many markets. The mid-size Honda Accord, introduced in 1976, also added to Honda's worldwide reputation. In the 1980s, the company started building cars in the U.S. and Canada. Soichiro Honda had always been interested in motorsports, and by 1961, his motorcycles were international winners. He sought the same success in automobile racing at the highest level— in Formula One and Indy Car racing. From 1964-1968, Honda campaigned its own cars in the Formula One World Championship, and since 1983 has supplied engines to other constructors. In 1988, Honda-powered F1 cars won 15 of 16 races. In 2006, Honda once again began running its own cars in the world-famous championship.

Read MoreRead Less