Introducing the Accord / 1976

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

Introducing the Accord / 1976

A Mainstay Model for the Times

The Honda Accord - first introduced in 1976 as a three-door hatchback - has, in the intervening 23 years, produced a series of six outstanding model generations. The key theme in its development, however, has always been the same; to ensure harmony between the car and society.

The second-generation Accord family introduced in September 1981 incorporated model changes reflecting Honda's shift in emphasis toward the 4-door sedan. This was because the first-generation 4-door model had, upon its market introduction, received high marks comparable to those of the preceding 3-door model. Although sales growth had been a bit more gradual, the sedan was demonstrating steadily increasing sales. In fact, it was already outselling the hatchback. Therefore, the decision was made in view of these figures, proving that the Accord had established its position in the 4-door market both in Japan, as well as the U.S.

The Vigor 4-door sedan was introduced to the Japanese market as a sister model upon the release of the second-generation Accord. Moreover, the release of these new models was timed to the introduction of Honda's new three-channel sales system. Subsequently, the third-generation Accord was introduced in 1985, and here, the new three-door Aerodeck with extended roofline was added for sale in Japan and Europe, rather than the familiar 3-door hatchback. The fourth generation released in 1989 saw a further expansion in the model line, with the Accord Inspire, Vigor, and Ascot debuting together. The expanded variations were in line with increasingly diverse and sophisticated market needs.

In the early 1980s Honda had moved to localize production in the U.S., in keeping with the philosophy of "building products in the markets where they are sold." Subsequently, Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM) turned out the first locally made second-generation Accord in November 1982. In fact, this was the first car Honda produced in the U.S.

Along with production, Honda also promoted the localization of research and development activities by reorganizing the R&D branch in California and establishing Honda Research of America, Inc. (HRA) in September of the following year. The Accord two-door coupe, for which production began at HAM in 1988, became the company's first locally developed model, with the entire design process performed by HRA. Following the two-door coupe, Honda developed a five-door Accord wagon in 1991 - again through the efforts of HRA - thus extending the Accord family in the U.S.

Honda began exporting the HAM-manufactured Accord Coupe to Japan in 1988. As the first Japanese nameplate U.S.-made car imported to Japan, the move was reported in a sensational manner by the world's media. In the first year alone, more than 10,000 U.S.-made Accords were imported and sold in Japan. The U.S.-version Accord wagon, which began importing to Japan in April 1991, also became a popular model, due in part to the new RV (recreational vehicle) boom in Japan. Accordingly, sales of the wagon variant far exceeded the initial target of 5,000 units per month.

In Europe, Honda of the UK Manufacturing (HUM) in Britain began producing the European-version four-door Accord sedan in November 1991, while in Asian Oceania, Honda was already conducting knockdown assembly production in several countries. This was a process begun in Indonesia in 1978. Through such efforts, Honda was truly achieving worldwide production.

The birth of the sixth-generation Accord family was celebrated in September 1997 via the simultaneous launch of local-specification Accord models designed exclusively for Japan, the Americas, Europe, and the Asia Oceania. Honda had been working to establish a system in which it could more effectively tailor products to the needs of customers in various regions, based on an original "Global Flexible Platform*1." The company's strategic move, highlighted by the launch of these new Accords, signaled the arrival of an automotive production system that was driven by autonomous regional operations. It was the very type of system that Honda had been promoting under its four-polar global operations system.

The history of Accord engines is equally noteworthy. In 1985, Honda replaced the conventional CVCC engine with new SOHC and DOHC (single overhead and dual overhead cam) engines having displacements of 1800 cc and 2000 cc, respectively. Adopting electronic engine management and a three-way catalyst, the new powerplants offered significantly better performance. In 1989, a 2200 cc SOHC unit was added to the series. Further expansion came in 1993, when the VTEC engine was introduced. In 1997, Honda introduced the low emission vehicle (LEV) specification, which offered the benefit of reduced environmental impact. In all, the evolution of Honda's Accord engines reflects a continuing effort to respond to the needs of the times.


The promotion of four-polar global operations saw the simultaneous 1997 launch of Accords produced to local specifications. In the picture, associates at HAM surround the new Accord coupe, which was launched mainly through the efforts of Honda's American operations.


In June 1998, Honda's President Kawamoto visited 10 Downing Street, the official residence of British Prime Minister Tony Blair. He introduced the new European-version Accord (manufactured by HUM) to Prime Minister Blair (right) and Trade and Industry Minister Beckett.

The Accord model line has, through its various generations, demonstrated a constant process of evolution; a process of refinement reflected in model lines, engines and displacements, comfort equipment and more. These elements, all of which were developed in keeping with the times, have contributed to the realization of the Accord's unique identity. Ultimately, it is a car that inspires a state of harmony between the driver and the surrounding world. This evolutionary theme has earned high recognition in every market region.

*1 Global Flexible Platform refers to a base frame that forms the foundation of the car. It ensures a high level of rigidity while being flexible enough to adjust efficiently to different vehicle sizes. The term also indicates the use of this frame as a basis for producing cars with optimal body dimensions and vehicle shapes, thus meeting the needs of different regions.

The Challenging Spirit of Honda

A System that Fosters Expertise
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  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
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  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
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  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
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  2. Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973Company Leaders Honda and Fujisawa Retire; Kawashima Assumes Presidency / 1973
Products Emerging From Technology and Innovation
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  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
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  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
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  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
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  3. Creating Hometown Forests / 1977Creating Hometown Forests / 1977
  4. Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991Hosting "Orei-no-kai" / 1991

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