A motorcycle is not an automobile. The term “automobile” is generally used to refer to vehicles with four wheels that can carry passengers and have a capacity of one to eight people. In addition, most definitions say that a car is a motor vehicle with wheels, a seat for a person or several persons, and is capable of running on a road.
However, in the 1920s and 1930s, cars and motorcycles were considered toys. In addition, in many areas of the United States, such as rural and suburban areas, cars were required. Motorcycles, on the other hand, were often seen as something dark and dirty.
During the postwar period, the automobile industry in Japan and Europe grew quickly. As a result, the automobile became a global industry. Automotive production in the United States, which had been a relatively small industry, began to expand. At that time, the “Big Three” automakers were Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler. These companies had a strong presence in the automotive industry, and each had an established sales network in the U.S.
Although the automobile industry in the United States was dominated by large cars, it did not stop the Japanese from establishing a strong presence in the motorcycle market. American Honda, in particular, was able to establish a solid foothold amid the vastness of the country.
Founded in Los Angeles in 1959, American Honda started with an employee count of eight. They set a monthly sales goal of 1,000 units. Each member of the sales staff covered multiple states.
In the early 1960s, American Honda was known for its high-quality, affordable products. This included its Benly and Super Cub models. To appeal to the public’s taste, the company chose the slogan, “Nifty, Thrifty, Honda – Fifty”. With a combination of bright colors, cheerful illustrations, and a professional design, the ads were sure to grab the attention of the general public.
The ads also ran in trade publications, first-class magazines, and other consumer-oriented newspapers. American Honda’s main products were Benly and Super Cub, but it also introduced the Mini-Trail and the Civic.
American Honda began selling N600s on the mainland in 1970. Its success was based on the fine performance of its products and the company’s ability to develop new products for the American market. By the mid-1970s, American Honda had established a network of dealerships for the N600.
After a successful run in Japan, American Honda moved its headquarters to the Torrance campus. From that location, the company’s sales network expanded to include California, Nevada, and Florida.
Despite the slow start, the American Honda sales staff was able to sell more than 1,000 cars a month by May 1961. American Honda was also the first foreign corporation to sponsor the Academy Awards show.
After a few years of selling cars, American Honda began to focus on its motorcycles. The Stout Scarab, originally designed by William Bushnell Stout for his own engineering firm, was an early precursor to a minivan. Designed to carry passengers, it was a streamlined beetle-like shape that included wide steps and a rear engine.