Introducing the Accord / 1976

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

Introducing the Accord / 1976

A New Development System is Introduced

Hiroshi Kizawa, a chief research engineer at Honda R&D, was in September 1974 suddenly told to return to Japan from the U.S., where he had been stationed to help transfer Honda's CVCC technology to Ford. Actually, he had been assigned that post because of his experience as manager of the Civic development project.

Kizawa, upon his return to Japan, received an official order from the Board of Directors at Honda R&D to develop a car one class above the Civic; a model that would be the logical step for Civic owners wanting to upgrade. Hence, a project to develop an upscale version of the Civic began, with Kizawa acting as development manager. Given the development code "671," the car was to answer two requirements.

First goal was to ensure comfortable cruising at 130 km/h. "At the time, every new car was being developed for exportation to the U.S. and Europe," said Kizawa. "However, Japanese cars still had high noise levels of around 70 dB at 100 km/h. To make the 671 a world-class car, we decided to reduce the noise level to 70 dB at 130 km/h." Assuming the local driving patterns of the U.S. and Europe, the team again set its sights on a quiet ride, this time emphasizing low noise levels during high-speed cruising.

The second requirement was to make full use of the Civic's parts. Honda had already invested heavily in the Civic and CVCC engine, and was not in a position to invest additional funds toward the development of another model. Hence, the company had to carry out its development with minimal investment. Specifically, it had to promote the use of existing facilities, including the engine plant and as many of the Civic's parts as possible.

The car also had to offer sufficient visual appeal and interior comfort in order to merit its presentation as a higher-class expression of the Civic. For the development staff, this represented a true dilemma.

In the hope of enhancing its product development, Honda had earnestly begun the implementation of a new S•E•D system. It was intended that the new system would involve the Sales, Production Engineering, and Development departments in the product-development process, thereby promoting the exchange of ideas with various perspectives. An original system of product development, the S•E•D system emerged from a speech given by Kiyoshi Kawashima on the occasion of his appointment as president of Honda R&D, in which he asked the company’s board to "think of ways we can work effectively so that 100 ordinary persons can produce achievements on the level of one genius, Soichiro Honda."

The new system dictated that each product development be promoted by a joint project team comprising personnel from various departments in the areas of sales (Sales), production and production engineering (Engineering), and product development (Development). Its purpose was to allow the team members to discuss matters from the standpoint of their respective positions and experience, and to integrate all three aspects into development.

A basic concept for the new model was thus established, according to the two chief requirements. That concept described "a compact car that is easy to use and has a stylish, sporty look." It reflected the image of an ideal car; one that the development staff would want for themselves. They now had a concept, but first the team had to determine the priority of body styling. In other words, they had to determine whether development would begin with a four-door sedan or three-door hatchback.

Looking at both domestic and overseas market studies, the team found there were too many compact sedans in the Japanese market, while the demand for four-door sedans was small in the U.S. compact car segment which was comprised of models displacing 2000 cc or less. Moreover, the team looked at the success of the Civic, whose unique three-door hatchback style had been well received at home and in the U.S. With that, they reasoned that the hatchback design could duly satisfy the three key conditions of "roominess, stylish design, and excellent running performance." Thus, they decided to start with the three-door hatchback.

The design of the body was then to proceed with formal adoption of the free-competition approach, meaning the concurrent pursuit of competing projects. After all, it was a system that had already proved itself in the development of the Civic. Accordingly, the team was split into two groups, each of which was to function independently and competitively. It was their firm belief that such a system would produce more effective results.

Following a period of study, the first group proposed a sleek, invigorating design featuring a great expanse of glass and a low overall height. Actually, the look they were after was significantly influenced by the Lotus Elite, a British sports car. The second group suggested a more orthodox, two-door coupe design, the novelty of which was a set of flowing contours reminiscent of a speeding bullet. Of the two proposals, the team chose that of the first group, based on its striking good looks, apparent agility, and breakaway styling. Their next step was to take this basic design to the next level of refinement.

Photo

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

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

Page Top

Honda Worldwide site

Home | Site Map | Site Index | About this Site

Copyright, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. All Rights Reserved.