How BIG is Honda? (They Make Jets!)


[Music] hi welcome to another ColdFusion video Honda for decades this brand has been seen as a friendly face in the auto industry with tag liens like the power of dreams there’s always been a sense that Honda isn’t just a money-making machine there seems to be a curiosity behind their engineering this fits exactly with the attitude of their namesake Soichiro Honda who founded the company in this video we’re going to take a look at the story of Honda and how one small Japanese company became a household name the story starts with Soichiro Honda born in 1906 in the rural village of cono in Japan so each year his father was a blacksmith and the young boy spent much of his time helping him repair bicycles from his experience in his father’s workshop soichiro had an early love for engine mechanics at age 15 without a formal education sweet Shiro left his small village and headed to Tokyo in search of work he soon found himself working as an apprentice in an auto garage at just age 17 he would develop a race car that won trophies and set a new average speed record it was clear that the boy had Talent in 1937 he decided to start his own company mainly focusing on making piston rings that same year his company managed to receive a large order from a brand new car manufacturer named toto unfortunately so Shiro would lose the contract due to the quality of his parts not being up to scratch he chose not to give up though and decided to attend engineering school though without graduating and take a close look and observation at factories around Japan he spent two years painstakingly observing the best engineering practices once he did this he understood the purpose of quality control and by 1941 Honda was able to mass-produce piston rings acceptable to Toyota the orders from Toyota was actually much larger than Honda could manage in his current workshop so he wanted to build a new one but a major issue stood in his way Japan was gearing up for World War two and this meant that a lot of materials were in short supply particularly cement so Honda had to work out how to make his own cement before being able to build a new factory to meet Toyota’s order these new factories did survive the war but Mother Nature who was never one to miss out in a practical joke destroyed the buildings in an earthquake Honda decided to cut his losses and sold the whole business to Toyota allowing him to focus on his first true love the motorbike so while materials had been scarce before the war now that the fighting was over Honda and the people of Japan were faced with a shortage of petrol what people really needed was a way to get around easily while being extremely fuel-efficient Honda saw this gap in the market his plan was to start installing surplus military engines on to traditional bicycles creating a kind of hybrid the first product put to the market was the a type motorbike by 1949 he had a fully designed frame and engine on a bike called the Model D and the D stood for dream at this point he joined forces with Takeo Fujisawa and created the Honda company as we know it today Fujisawa brought capital but more than money he brought business and financial insight on this fascination with mechanics led to an incredible redesign of the four-stroke engine with this new innovation he managed to double the horsepower this redesign helped Honda capture 15% of the Japanese motorcycle market within a few years however sukira didn’t really care about that for him the breakthrough was that this engine could mean a lot for Honda’s performance on the track and soon the racing achievements easily match those of the business by the end of the 1950’s they had won every important prize you can think of all around the globe so Jiro probably would have driven the machines himself if it hadn’t been for a racing accident back in 1936 which seriously injured his left eye so cheero would later describe how he worked so hard in his cars that he would go week without sleep just to perfect their problems he stated that he saw the KY as as child and he as its mother the push for success on the track led to many developments that could be put into future production machines so naturally you would think that Honda would build on this brand of a world-beating speed machine but they did just the opposite the company’s main success was driven by the 1958 50 cc Super Cup which had been specifically designed to be a safe and simple runabout they specifically wanted a product that included woman and other individuals who otherwise wouldn’t ride a motorcycle this was to expand on the typical male customer base of the motorbike the Super Cub bike needed to be easy enough to drive with just one hand so customers could carry their shopping or deliver a package it was basically a bike for running errands and it’s sold in huge numbers within just two years of its release the Super Cub made Honda the biggest motorcycle manufacturer in Japan and surprisingly the Super Cub itself is still in production over 100 million have now been manufactured making it the most produced motor vehicle in history Honda riding high in the supercups popularity thought it was time to look across the seas they set up American Honda company in 1959 interestingly Honda didn’t rely on established distributors because they knew that they weren’t going after the existing motorcycle market they were going to create an entirely new one for people who previously thought motorcycles were dangerous it was a complete reversal of the big macho image in the United States thanks in part to celebrities like James Dean and Elvis so to highlight this different approach by Honda they sold their bikes in sporting goods stores hobby shops and even hardware stores instead of existing bike retailers and their tagline really hit the point home it was you meet the nicest people on a Honda and it worked within a year almost 50% of the bikes sold in American soil were from Honda maybe this shows the enduring power of advertising but if were honest it probably has more to do with the fact that they were selling a lighter bike would double the horsepower at well under a quarter of the price of american-made machines from 1960 to 1965 the revenue of Honda’s American branch went from $500,000 to almost 80 million during this period the firm was producing a hundred bikes per month while other major bike manufacturers were only managing 15,000 a year Honda were far and away the largest motor by producer and still aren’t till this day in 1967 the time had come for Honda to spread its wings they were going to go from two wheels to four so Chiru Honda himself was excited by the idea of building affordable efficient cars it was his lifelong dream Honda studied small European cars such as the ones developed by Fiat in the late 1960s the new class of ultra compact cars seemed to be the right direction their first attempt was a two-door pickup truck the Honda T 360 but this vehicle didn’t really gain much traction at home or abroad but as fate would have it the mood of the world was changing and changing in Honda’s favor as a result of social change in the 1960s the early 70s saw a growth of the environmental movement those now a growing dissatisfaction in regards to the air quality in major US cities this spawned the Clean Air Act of 1970 where all manufacturers were to comply with new strict regulations on vehicle emissions in a rather telling moment the three largest auto manufacturers in the United States testified to Congress adamant that these new rules were impossible to achieve to the shock of everyone our representative from Honda said that it could be done as a result the Americans didn’t take on the challenge but it was done as more of an afterthought they put something called a catalytic converter in their cars to clean up the air after it had been combusted in the engine Honda on the other hand tried a different approach they built a totally new revolutionary engine from the ground up that passed the emissions tests right off the bat this revolutionary engine was called a compound vortex controlled combustion engine or CVCC for short the very first car to use this engine with be a smash hit it will be launched in 1973 and its name was the Honda Civic some of the new cars tend to be Tuesday when it comes to fuel all Honda engines operate without a catalytic converter so you can use either regular or unleaded gas by this time gas prices in the United States were high and the Civic was lighter on fuel and reliable it was the perfect car at the perfect time car buyers were spreading the word that this new little Japanese company called Honda built reliable cars and soon they were selling ten thousand civics per month the sales continued and in just over a decade Honda established themselves as one of the world’s leading car manufacturers in the 1980s the company set up a manufacturing branch in the US and the Honda Accord was the first international car to be made in the United States in 1982 interestingly the quality of the cars were the same as their Japanese counterparts this dispelled the age-old myth that American workers were inferior to the Japanese this proved once and for all that the real problem was with American management and not the workers [Music] as the 90s rolled around the strength of the company continued in the Japanese firm overtook Chrysler to become the third biggest car manufacturer in the United States but by 1993 they began to slip as they were hit with a scandal when it was discovered that a number of Honda managers were accepting tens if not hundreds of thousands of dollars from dealers who wanted special treatment and franchise options after these issues Honda returned to what it did best engineering so Jiro Honda may have died in 1991 but his enthusiasm for research and development was still very much a part of who Honda were they led the major manufacturers when it came to emissions and regularly experimented with alternative fuels one such experiment was the Honda dream which one the largest ever stole a powered car race as the new century began their efforts to improve efficiency paid off as a sudden spike in oil prices meant the consumers suddenly valued this aspect far higher than ever before Honda saw an increase in popularity in their gas electric hybrids and with the Civic GX in 2006 they were the first company to make a natural gas powered car for the general public today Honda’s image is much the same as it’s always been they are still seen as a reliable well-made brand who focus on efficiency and great research and development Honda is the eighth largest auto manufacturer on the planet but interestingly they make the most internal combustion engines of any company clocking in at 14 million units last year Honda is on track to produce over 5 million vehicles this year the company has factories in over 20 countries Honda currently has about two hundred and eight thousand employees they made a hundred and thirty billion dollars in revenue in 2016 and just under 30 billion in profit just for comparison the top two Volkswagen and Toyota both had revenues of 250 billion and 45 billion respectively although struggling in their local markets as they have been for a while Honda’s future may in part be seen in partnerships like the one they have with General Motors where they’re working on creating a fuel cell to be released into the market in 2020 while cars make up 70% of their revenue motorcycle sales in the emerging markets especially India reveals some mind-blowing numbers they’re selling 17 million motorcycles in India annually compared to just half a million in the United States the company also makes a wide range of motorized products everything from outboard motors and boats to lawn mowers hedge trimmers water pumps leaf blowers and various types of generators just to name a few Honda has built 57 of their only aircraft a jet called the H a 420 which currently costs 4.5 million dollars per unit probably one of their most well-known was still interesting side projects is the famous ASIMO robot which stands for advanced step in innovative mobility the robot is part of Honda’s research and development robotics program which started back in 1986 but they’ve come a long way since then and yes although as sumo still may struggle with stairs it’s still an interesting project 400 to have Honda’s new robots include a multi-purpose utility robot an emotional companion and a robot that serves as the wheelchair reimagined Honda believes that robots should understand human needs and improve lives all right so almost at the end of the video but before we wrap up let’s look at four interesting facts about Honda number four in the world of Motorsports Honda has the greatest number of victories in all disciplines using the Racing engineer knowledge Honda set to work on building a reliable mid-engine sports car the result was the Honda NSX released in 1990 it was a stunning car that went head-to-head with the likes of Ferrari and Porsche the new NSX released in 2016 has three electric motors and a 3.5 liter v6 turbo with a combined power output of 573 horsepower this power is put through a nine speed transmission that propels the car from zero to 100 kilometers an hour in 2.9 seconds not bad for Honda number three in 1981 the Honda Accord was the first car to have an onboard navigation system it wasn’t a GPS like we have today but a series of manual maps with an onboard gyroscope to calculate the car’s position number two the VTEC or variable valve timing and lift electric control is a system developed by Honda which results in high performance at high rpm and lower fuel consumption at low rpm [Music] number one soujiro Honda didn’t care for a traditional education as highlighted by his mischief during school you see back then his school gave grade reports to children to give over to their parents to view as a confirmation that the parents had seen it the former’s to be stamped with a family seal the tinkering so cheero created a stamp to forge his family seal out of a used bicycle pedal cover he even made stamps for other children but ended up getting busted in doing so Honda has been quoted as saying I don’t give a damn about a diploma what I want is the knowledge he also has a couple of other good quotes for example the explanation of a Japanese proverb it goes raised the sale with your stronger hand and this means go after the opportunities in life that you are best equipped to do he also said I’d sooner die than imitate people that’s why we work so hard because we don’t imitate and another one success is 99% failure and I think this last one is pretty good when I take stock of life I realized how important personal contact is and how much more they are worth than innovation of machines because people open up thousands of experiences which we would otherwise be unable to understand so there you have it that’s a bit about the history size and some facts about the Honda Motor Company for me it’s interesting to think that such Hero Honda’s ingenuity from a young age and passion for quality carried through with the company for the better part of a century even when some of the biggest auto manufacturers in the world said that the environmental regulations put upon them by the government was impossible little Honda proved them all wrong through straight engineering and I think that’s pretty cool but anyway let me know what you guys think in the comments section below if you’ve just stumbled across this channel feel free to subscribe this has been to go there you’ve been watching cold fusion and until next time I’ll catch you again soon for the next video cheers guys have a good one [Music] [Applause]

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