Long-time Honda motorcycle fans may likely recall that American Honda first opened its doors way back in 1959. Here’s a tougher Honda trivia question: When and where did Honda first produce motorcycles outside of Japan?
Answer: In 1963, Honda began producing motorcycles in Belgium. Four years later, Honda cranked up production of motorcycles at another location-in Thailand-and this long-established source is where the all-new 2011 Honda CBR250R originates.
Next came production plants in Malaysia, Taiwan, Mexico, Indonesia, the Philippines, Brazil and Italy-all in the 1960s. It wasn’t until 1979 that Honda began producing products in the U.S.A. And now the total stands at 20 countries the world over where Honda has established manufacturing plants.
All of which underscores the fact that since its early years, Honda has focused on serving a global market. Naturally, consumer needs vary from region to region. Based on a commitment to build products close to the customer, Honda has steadily pursued local production.
By focusing on localization early on, even in the areas of product development and sales, Honda has been able to respond to changes in product demand and supply more promptly, and quality and cost competitiveness have increased in each market.
To deliver products that satisfy customers in all regions, Honda established a manufacturing system that responds to customer requests rapidly and with great flexibility at all production bases around the world.
Thai Honda will launch the Honda CBR 250 R in 2011 as a global model for export to a wide range of places, including the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries, Japan, Europe, North America and Australia.
The 5400 associates at Thai Honda have now reached an annual manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million motorcycles and scooters, and total motorcycle and scooter output from Thai Honda since 1967 far exceeds 18 million units.
Honda Worldwide Production Timeline (Outside Japan)
1963 - Motorcycle production begins in Belgium
1967 - Motorcycle production begins in Thailand
1969 - Motorcycle and automobile production begins in Malaysia
1971 – Automobile production begins in Taiwan
1971 - Motorcycle production begins in Mexico
1971 – Motorcycle production begins in Indonesia
1973 - Motorcycle production begins in the Philippines
1976 - Motorcycle production begins in Brazil
1977 - Motorcycle production begins in Italy
1979 - Motorcycle production begins in U.S.
1980 - Automobile production begins in U.S.
1985 - Motorcycle production begins in India
1986 - Motorcycle production begins in Canada
1986 – Motorcycle production begins in Spain
1986 – Power Products production begins in France
1988 - Automobile production begins in New Zealand
1988 – Lawnmower production begins in Australia
1992 - Automobile production begins in U.K.
1994 - Automobile production begins in Pakistan
1996 - Automobile parts production begins in China
1998 - ATV production begins in U.S.
2006 - Motorcycle production begins in Argentina
2006 – Motorcycle production begins in Pakistan