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The Honda Motor Co., Ltd. was first founded in 1948, but it wasn’t always a carmaker. This brand built its name first as a motorcycle manufacturer — and had more than a decade of this under its belt before delving into creating automobiles. The first Honda automobile was created in 1963, when the company introduced the T360 mini-truck. This truck was quickly followed by the S500 sports car, cementing the brand’s move into the automotive industry.
As Honda became more and more well-known, it continued focusing on giving customers the best product possible. With this in mind, it created the Driving Safety Promotion Center in 1970, which was the automaker’s industry-first effort to put safe driving first. A few years later in 1973, the brand decided to move into the American automotive market, introducing the first-ever Honda Civic. The Civic was known for offering fuel-efficient power in a time of soaring gas prices.
In fact, the Civic was the first car to meet the new-for-the-time EPA Clean Air Act standards in 1974 without needing a catalytic converter.
Since that time, Honda has continued to pioneer advancements throughout the industry. It created the world’s first car navigation system in 1981 and introduced the first car to reach an EPA-estimated fuel-efficiency rating of 50 mpg in 1984: the Honda CRX-HF. In 2001, the brand even introduced the first-ever compact car to receive a 5-Star Overall Safety Rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) when it started selling the Civic Coupe.
The brand even offered the first fuel-cell powered vehicle approved for everyday use in America in 2002, when it introduced the Honda FCX. Now, it sells the Clarity Fuel Cell model in its lineup to give consumers options for fuel-efficient vehicles. Honda reached a cumulative automobile production milestone of 100 million vehicles in 2016, and even now continues to offer consumers top-notch vehicles that combine safety, fuel-efficiency, and style.