In 1949, Honda began production and sales of its first mass-production motorcycle model, the Dream D-Type. Ever since, Honda has consistently offered motorcycles with new values ahead of the times, launching products that have gone on to set new standards. In 1958, the company launched the Super Cub, giving life to the concept of "enabling anyone to ride a motorcycle as a more casual daily tool." Now sold in countries around the world and reaching 73 million units in cumulative sales, the Super Cub went on to become the standard in commuter models. Honda launched the Dream CB750 Four at the dawn of Japan's freeway age in 1969, pioneering a new category of large motorcycles in the domestic market and triggering an unprecedented sports bike boom across the country. Honda continues to create models that exemplify every motorcycle category, running the gamut from scooters to large touring bikes to off-road vehicles. We at Honda envision motorcycles to meet a diversity of customer needs that extend from a convenient means of transportation used in people's daily lives to recreational products for enjoying an exhilarating ride. To help every single customer live a more fulfilling lifestyle, Honda continues to offer the "joy of riding" in a multitude of ways.
In 1959, the year after the Super Cub hit the market, Honda founded American Honda Motor Co., Inc. in Los Angeles. This first overseas subsidiary took on the mission of selling motorcycles outside Japan—a bold challenge in the U.S. market where nearly everyone drove a car and motorcycles were relegated to a limited segment of the population such as racing enthusiasts. By establishing an independent dealer network and developing an advertising approach unlike anything that had been seen before, Honda was able to present motorcycles in a new light—as a product for daily use by regular people. Developing the concept of "building products close to the customer," Honda started its first production of motorcycles outside of Japan in Belgium in 1963, beginning its approach of manufacturing across borders. The broad knowledge of how to localize production that was established and accumulated by the company through this early start in motorcycles became the foundation for local production of automobiles and power products as well. Honda has kept up its drive to expand business operations outside Japan, surpassing 219 million vehicles of cumulative global production in 2010 and putting in place 29 motorcycle production bases in 21 countries (as of April 2012). Honda continues its efforts to produce motorcycles that accommodate a diverse range of local features and customer needs.