Brand stories. Behind the Honda logo, a man determined to conquer the world

Number one in the world in two-wheelers, a major player in the automotive industry, electric generators, marine engines and gardening, Honda is not a brand like any other. What’s behind this classic logo?

The youngest in a family of five children, Soichiro Honda was born in 1906 into a modest family on the Pacific coast of the Archipelago.

Japan at the turn of the century was tough, especially in the countryside, and little Soichiro was no exception. Lost and uncomfortable in school, there is no reason to imagine what will happen next.

Amidst the poor school results and the heavy family climate, Soichiro took refuge in the manufacture of toys.

Can’t his parents afford to give it to him? He will do them himself! Skittles and wooden balls, kites or bicycles, it’s just that he learns to model the material and to invent.


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Soichiro takes flight

Before leaving the family home, Soichiro sets himself two goals. The first, going to see the sea, just 25 kilometers from his home! Soichiro will have to wait until he is fifteen to see the waves.

Secondly, learn the trade in each of its aspects before starting on your own. He goes to the capital to get hired at the Art Shokai repair shop. He learned the basics of mechanics there for six years.

To continue his apprenticeship and understand the industry as a whole, he joined an automotive branch. From parts inventory management to customer relationships, including sales and after-sales, he has grown into an automotive distribution specialist.

In 1969, the logo evolved a bit to be more luxurious

In 1969, the logo evolved a bit to be more luxurious

Creation of heavy industry Tokai Seiki

Honda goes alone with its own company, Tokai Seiki Heavy Industry. Unable to produce a reliable elastic band, he left everything to resume his studies. Soichiro starts from scratch to face the obstacle again, instead of giving up.

In 1945, after the Second World War, everything had to be redone for Soichiro Honda. She then meets Takeo Fusisawa and joins forces with him. Soichiro is ready to conquer the world.

In 1981, Honda had global ambitions.  Its new logo heralds its arrival on the US market

In 1981, Honda had global ambitions. Its new logo heralds its arrival on the US market

Creation of the Honda

Honda is an inventor, Fusisawa will be a manager, Soichiro is talkative and a prankster, Takeo is known for being quiet and cautious. Soichiro Honda is full of ideas, Takeo Fujisawa will make sure they become achievable. The two friends release a new engine every 18 months.

In 1954, success came with a redesigned version of the E-type motorcycle. Between 1961 and 1967, the brand won 139 victories and eight world titles.

The Honda logo is a good representation of this take-off, since these wings were found on the tank of Honda motorcycles since 1953, before evolving into the wings we know today in 1958.

Honda will become the brand of two wheels, but also of ATC, ancestor of the quad

Honda will become the brand of two wheels, but also of ATC, ancestor of the quad

motorcycles and cars

In 1969, the commercialization of the CB 750 was an event and a blow to European competition that would never truly recover. But Honda always has a dream ahead of it. Mr. Honda wants to replicate the brand’s success on four wheels and become a major player in the automotive sector.

To mark the difference between the car and motorcycle entities, the “H” logo was chosen for the automotive branch in 1963. The S600 was the first Honda exported, it was presented in 1966 in Paris and London.

In France it is the 800, a nice roadster that will be made famous by Franquin, choosing it as Spirou’s car. The following year, the logo evolved. Honda wants to emphasize the premium side of its cars.

In 1980, Honda opened another plant in the United States

In 1980, Honda opened another plant in the United States

The Civic Revolution

In 1970, the US Congress passed a new pollution law, the “Clean Air Act”. From 1975, car brands will have to reduce their hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions by 90%. For all American manufacturers this news is experienced as a tragedy, but for Honda we see it as an opportunity.

Honda gathers its engineers, who recommend a water engine. Although he only believes in the air engine, Soichiro trusts his engineers. The CVCC project was born in 1971 and in 1972 it gave life to the first Civic. The novelty has surpassed all its competitors with innovative solutions, 3 doors, front wheel drive, aluminum transverse engine, 4 independent wheels.

Honda goes from follower to innovator. The logo evolved in 1981 to mark its success on American soil. Honda is a brand installed all over the world. The logo will only evolve in detail. Soichiro Honda won his bet, on two and four wheels. But Honda is also present in gardening, maritime and business aviation.

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