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History of Honda | Elyria, OH

2018 Honda Fit | Elyria, OH
Honda has a reputation for offering some of the highest quality automobiles on the road today. Surprisingly, though, Honda didn’t get its start with cars. Here, we take a look at Honda’s rich history — and how this Japanese carmaker became the household name it is today.

The Beginning

Honda’s founder, Soichiro Honda, first established the Honda Motor Co. Ltd. in 1949 after liquidating his previous venture, the Honda Technical Research Institute. During the first two decades of the company’s history, their main focus wasn’t on producing cars — it was on producing motorcycles. In fact, in 1964, Honda was one of the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturers.

It wasn’t until October of 1963 when Honda introduced its first car models. These cars utilized Honda’s rear-wheel chain drives that were prevalent in Honda motorcycles. While these cars were out on the road in Japan, they wouldn’t arrive in the United States and other international markets for another decade.

In 1973, the first Honda Civic was introduced to American consumers. They were considered highly fuel efficient, which made the Civics appealing to an American public that was going through an energy crisis. The Civic was actually the first car to meet the new EPA Clean Air Act standards without the need for a catalytic converter.

The ensuing years led a broadening of the Honda model lineup. Honda became the first Japanese carmaker to open a production facility in the United States in 1979. This led to the Accord being built in the new Marysville, Ohio, plant.

From there, Honda’s popularity in America grew. It led to the brand introducing its Acura luxury car line in 1986, while its Honda lineup earned recognition for the Accord. In fact, the Accord became the first car from a foreign brand to be named the best-selling car in the U.S.

Fast forward nearly two decades, and Honda continued to innovate. In 2001, the Civic was the first compact car to be given a full five-star safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is the same year the brand introduced the Odyssey minivan.

Now, the Honda brand continues to innovate, working to create a model lineup to be proud of. If you’re interested in seeing what Honda has to offer, make sure you stop in to Jack Matia Honda.

Contact Us

823 Leona St.


  • Monday
    9:00am - 9:00pm
  • Tuesday
    9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday
    9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday
    9:00am - 9:00pm
  • Friday
    9:00am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday
    9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Sunday
    11:00am - 4:00pm

Contact Information

823 Leona St.
Elyria, OH 44035
Phone: (800) 327-5501
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