Japanese vehicle manufacturer, founded 1948. By the late 1980s the company was producing more than 1.5 million automobiles and 3 million motorcycles annually.
Founded by a mechanic, Soichiró Honda (1906–1991), the company originally produced only motorcycles, of which it is now the world's biggest manufacturer; Honda automobiles were introduced 1964. The racing motorcycles were first seen in Europe at the 1959 Isle of Man TT races. Honda entered Formula One Grand Prix automobile racing 1964 and the following season won their first race at Mexico City. They ceased automobile racing 1968 but in the early eighties provided engines for Formula Two and Formula Three automobiles before supplying engines to Formula One teams 1983. Williams and McLaren have both captured world titles using Honda engines. The pretax profits for the parent company and its 241 subsidiaries and 160 affiliates were 520 million for the financial year ending March 1993, down 32% from the previous year. Sales were down 5.9% to Y4,132 billion