|"Mutual Trust and Friendship"
Communication from the Heart Sustained Honda (1954)
"April of that year, 1954, when the crisis started to hit Honda, was when I joined the company," says Fumio Mukoyama, a former managing director.
"Among those who joined the company with me were Mr. Kume, who became the third president, and Mr. Yoshizawa, former chairman of the board. As soon as I arrived at my assignment in the Saitama Factory, the place turned into a bloody battlefield. For about two months in a row, there wasn't a single day when I got home before midnight. For some reason, though, everyone was cheerful and full of energy. They didn't act as though they were suffering. Right around that time, the Isle of Man TT Race declaration came out, and I felt as though a load had been lifted from me. It brought such a sense of hope for what lay ahead. With that to stimulate me, we started talking with each other as though we were going to take over the world ourselves. I was a bachelor, at the peak of youth, and I didn't have any idea what people like Mr. Morii were going through. So there were some of us living on our dreams," he said, laughing.
Mukoyama, who later went on to become a full-time union official, further recalled:
"This was after I had become the union secretary, so it's something from a slightly later time that I'm going to tell you about. The labor-management relationship had grown rather strained, and there was an incident when the company had decided to punitively dismiss the committee chairman and two other workers, while I was punished by freezing the pay-increase for a half-year. At the same time this was going on, a member of the executive committee did something bad, so the union was expelling him. Difficulties were coming up all at once. It ended up going to court, where the union won in the first trial, and we immediately reached an out-of-court settlement. During this, we talked directly with Mr. Honda. The Old Man said to us, 'You know, let's stop this family quarreling.' This one statement by the Old Man moved us all to complete agreement with him. Things like this made a foundation on which labor and management together forged a healthy cooperation."
One other point has to be added here in order to give credit to the Dream 4E and the Benly J. Once its carburetor problem had been fixed, the 4E regained its full performance and went on to reach the largest production figure of the entire Dream E series. The Benly J series grew more popular with every year that passed. It became one of Honda's mainstay products, with a production run that lasted five years.
The company decided to halt production of the Cub F-Type. Too many problems arose from its being installed on bicycles that varied so widely in quality. Honda could not resolve problems of that kind, and this was one reason that the company gave this model up so easily.
The first-generation Juno K-Type went out of production after just about a year and a half. Total production only amounted to 5,980 units. However, the plastics technology that Tsuchida and his colleagues labored so hard over did not fade away. It would reappear five years later in an epoch-making form.
|<< previous||3 of 3|