Introducing the Accord / 1976

The Car That Continues to Evolve by Maintaining Harmony with the Times, People, and Society

Introducing the Accord / 1976

In Search of a Cleaner, More Economical Car

A popular theme among the world's automakers in the 1960s was "larger, more luxurious-looking and more powerful," and this was the most readily apparent concept in their designs. In fact, most of the luxury models produced during that decade were developed along those lines. Such cars appeared to glorify the excessive use of resources, as if doing so could be easily justified.

In Search of a Cleaner, More Economical Car

A sketch of the first-generation Accord, featuring a sleek design and extensive glass area

Regulations concerning auto emissions, though, became much stricter in 1970 with the U.S. government's passage of the U.S. Clean Air Act. Japan immediately followed suit, moving to tighten its own regulations. Then, in October 1973, war in the Middle East broke out, sending the world's crude-oil prices to a level four times higher. The result was an oil crisis that caused significant confusion to the global economy.

The oil crisis and new emissions regulations also brought about a shift in the passenger-car market, reflecting an emerging consumer trend. That trend was one in which car buyers were no longer satisfied to own cars that eschewed any degree of functionality in favor of outright size and luxury. Instead, they wanted cleaner, more economical family cars that offered greater fuel-efficiency.

The tide of social sentiment was turning toward Japan, and consequently, Honda responded by introducing the Civic in 1972 as a full-scale, economy vehicle. The Civic CVCC model equipped with a low pollution CVCC engine followed in 1973, further answering the market demand for a clean-burning car. However, since it was the newest entrant in a huge and hotly contested market, Honda was quickly saddled with the reputation as a small auto maker with only a handful of models, like the Civic and mini cars.

Therefore, Honda R&D rolled into 1972 with a project designed to develop a full-scale, compact car for mass production. "Quiet ride" was a key phrase at the start of the project, and in that regard all phases of design were to reflect a high degree of integrity and attention to detail.

The development staff believed the use of an inline six-cylinder powerplant would offer the best assurance of a quiet ride, so it was decided that the new model would carry a 2000 cc, vertical inline 6-cylinder engine. Their design, to go forward under the "653" development code, would be a luxury four-door sedan incorporating the front-engine/front-wheel-drive (FF) format that Honda had been using since the N360. Thus, with the basic concept in place, development of the 653 was officially under way.

Project development, however, soon encountered difficulties due to changes in the market, prompting several design changes. For all their effort, though, the team had failed to bring the maturity, total balance, and other elements to the required levels. Ultimately, in 1974, the project was canceled.

It was an era of dramatic world change, and the times demanded reforms in the methods that manufacturers used to design their cars. The impact of popular sentiment and governmental regulation was so strong, in fact, that the world's auto makers had to subject their manufacturing philosophies to the most fundamental scrutiny. However, for Honda it was a great opportunity, since the company was at that time lagging behind the more established companies. All automakers were forced to begin again at the same level of development. In the race to develop new compact cars offering greater economy and comfort, yet which could meet the tougher pollution laws.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

1990 - 1999
  1. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
  2. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  3. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  4. Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992Establishment of Honda Taiyo, Kibo-no-Sato Honda and Honda R&D Taiyo / 1992
  5. Hosting Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991
  6. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
1980 - 1989
  1. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  2. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  3. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
  4. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  7. Formula One Entry / 1983Formula One Entry / 1983
  8. Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982Development of Honda's Franz System Car / 1982
  9. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  10. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  11. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  12. City / 1981City / 1981
  13. The F200 The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
  14. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
1970 - 1979
  1. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  2. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  3. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  4. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  5. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  6. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
  7. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  8. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  9. Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973
  10. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  11. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  12. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
  13. Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970Launching the Office of Safe Driving Promotional Operations / 1970
1960 - 1969
  1. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  2. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  5. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  6. Formula One Entry / 1964Formula One Entry / 1964
  7. Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963Kyoto: Celebrating the Company's 15th Anniversary / 1963
  8. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  9. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  10. Employing the Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
  11. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
1950 - 1959
  1. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959

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