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.

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

A System that Fosters Expertise
  1. A System that Fosters ExpertiseA System that Fosters Expertise
  2. The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960The R&D Center Goes Independent / 1960
  3. Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification  / 1960Employing the "My Record" Project and Expert Certification / 1960
A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
  1. A Dream Come True: Car Builder for the WorldA Dream Come True: Car Builder for the World
  2. Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962
  3. Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966Entering the Auto Market at Last / 1966
  4. Introducing N360 / 1967Introducing N360 / 1967
  5. Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968Launching the Honda 1300 / 1968
  6. Introducing the CVCC / 1972Introducing the CVCC / 1972
  7. Announcing the Civic / 1972Announcing the Civic / 1972
  8. Introducing the Accord / 1976Introducing the Accord / 1976
Marketing Globally, Producing Lacally
  1. Marketing Globally, Producing LocallyMarketing Globally, Producing Locally
  2. Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959Establishing American Honda Motor Co. / 1959
  3. Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963Establishing Belgium Honda / 1963
  4. Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980Establishing Honda of America Manufacturing / 1980
A Refreshing New Development
  1. A Refreshing New DevelopmentA Refreshing New Development
Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  1. Products Emerging From Technology and InnovationProducts Emerging From Technology and Innovation
  2. The Oval Piston Engine / 1979The Oval Piston Engine / 1979
  3. The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968The Hondamatic Transmission / 1968
  4. The Car Navigation System / 1981The Car Navigation System / 1981
  5. The Airbag System / 1987The Airbag System / 1987
  6. Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987Four-Wheel Steering System (4WS) / 1987
  7. The VTEC Engine / 1989The VTEC Engine / 1989
  8. The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977The ME Engine (G100 / 150 / 200 / 300 / 400 Series) / 1977
  9. The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983The ZE Engine (GX110 / 140 / 240 / 270 / 340 Series) / 1983
  10. The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969The Dream CB750 FOUR / 1969
  11. CG125 / 1975CG125 / 1975
  12. Road Pal / 1976Road Pal / 1976
  13. City / 1981City / 1981
  14. The NSX / 1990The NSX / 1990
  15. Odyssey / 1994Odyssey / 1994
  16. Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988Honda EV Plus: The Dream of an Electric Vehicle / 1988
  17. The E300 Portable Generator / 1965The E300 Portable Generator / 1965
  18. The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978The HR21 Lawn Mower / 1978
  19. The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980The F200 "Komame" Mini-Tiller / 1980
Production Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufacturing
  1. Production Technology: The Essence of Creative ManufaturingProduction Technology: The Essence of Creative Manufaturing
  2. Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974Establishment of Honda Engineering / 1974
  3. The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982The World's Smallest Welding Line / 1982
  4. Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981Transfer Lines for Modular Components / 1981
  5. An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988An Automated Line for Painting and Coating / 1988
A Neverending Passion for Racing
  1. A Neverending Passion for RacingA Neverending Passion for Racing
  2. Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962Completion of Suzuka Circuit / 1962
  3. Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979Returning to the World Motorcycle Grand Prix / 1979
  4. Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964Formula One Entry: The Initial Phase / 1964
  5. Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983Formula One Entry: The Second Phase / 1983
  6. Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994Entry to Champ Car Racing / 1994
  7. The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997The Birth of Twin Ring Motegi / 1997
Creativity - The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
  1. Creativity – The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder Creativity – The Way to Work Harder, Play Harder
  2. Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970Holding All Honda Idea Contests / 1970
People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
  1. People and Society Coexisting in Harmony with NaturePeople and Society Coexisting in Harmony with Nature
  2. 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
  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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