Establishing American Honda Motor Co. (1959)

Achieving a Breakthrough in America

"We have now established ourselves on solid ground domestically," said Senior Managing Director Takeo Fujisawa. "Eventually, we'll have to aim to be number one worldwide. So, with that in mind, why don't you go check out the overseas market?"

The order had thus been given, and Kihachiro Kawashima, then manager of the Sales Section at headquarters, began his preparations to study the Southeast Asian market. It was a logical step for the company to take, since it had within a mere seven years established itself as a top manufacturer in the Japanese motorcycle industry. And now the expansion of exports to overseas markets was a very real possibility, reflecting a shift in Honda's policy from domestic fulfillment to a more international profile, featuring such products as the Dream (in 250 cc and 350 cc versions) and Benly (125 cc).

Honda soon began exporting sample motorcycles, about which Fujisawa was emphatic. "Instead of relying on a trading company," he said, "we should first take a look at the overseas market for ourselves. Then we'll find the best way to do business there."

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 Establishing American Honda Motor Co. (1959)

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