Honda Motor Co. Essay examples
From a young age, Honda's founder, Soichiro Honda (本田 宗一郎, Honda Sōichirō) (November 17, 1906 – August 5, 1991) had a great interest in automobiles. He worked as a mechanic at a Japanese tuning shop, Art Shokai, where he tuned cars and entered them in races. A self-taught engineer, he later worked on a piston design which he hoped to sell to Toyota. The first drafts of his design were rejected, and Soichiro worked painstakingly to perfect the design, even going back to school and pawning his wife's jewelry for collateral. Eventually, he won a contract with Toyota and built a factory to construct pistons for them, which was destroyed in an earthquake. Due to a gasoline shortage …show more content…
The thinking was, they simply couldn't grow without adapting their management strategies to the local community. Employees were hired locally, making for a total sales force of eight people, including Kawashima and his subordinate, Takayuki Kobayashi. In truth, the locally hired people proved beneficial to Honda's effort, since they had connections with existing dealers throughout Southern California. Mailings were sent to those dealers, while Kawashima himself visited shops in an effort to promote Honda motorcycles. Moreover, the company ran ads in local trade papers and motorcycle magazines, hoping to entice dealers. Not surprisingly, managers from the dealerships began appearing at American Honda, hoping to test-drive the bikes.
In 1960, the first full year of operations, American Honda sold fewer than 2,000 motorcycles through three product lines: the Dream, Bely and Honda 50 (Super Cub). The following year, Honda established 500 motorcycle dealers and spent $150,000 on advertising in regions where it operated. Honda's expansion into new U.S. markets was undertaken one region at a time over a five-year period, starting on the West Coast and moving east, creating new demand for motorcycles.
Sales in the U.S. did not increase notably until 1963, when the company launched its "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" advertising campaign, the first of its scale