Honda annually provides approximately five million general-purpose engines, which are manufactured in six countries, to 86 countries around the world as the power source for various machines used in construction, industry, agriculture, home gardening and other applications such as generators, tillers and lawn mowers, as well as various handheld devices including hedge trimmers.
The low fuel consumption, high output and compact size of the commercial- grade GX engine have made it a best selling engine, with cumulative production since 1983 in excess of 40 million units. It's overhead valve (OHV) mechanism and inclined cylinder – both world's firsts in a general-purpose engine – became the industry standard. The new GX engine*1 announced in February 2010 in the U.S. achieves even better fuel economy, enhanced output and versatility. Many people expect that the new i-GX engine with a unique Honda STR governor will set a new world standard because of its capability to respond to even more complex types of work. The home use GC/GCV OHC engines adopted an internal (immersed) timing belt for the first time in the world, incorporated new materials, and reduced the number of parts to achieve both high environmental performance and low prices. A mini 4-stroke engine, adopting oil- mist lubrication to enable operation when the unit is rotated 360 degrees, was developed as a handheld device power source. The GX25/35 engines changed the paradigm that only 2-stroke engines could be used for work at virtually any angle.
Honda general-purpose engines have cleared the Tier 3 CARB (California Air Resources Board) regulations, the strictest exhaust emissions regulations in the world, and have achieved the world's top level environmental performance capable of clearing the Phase 3 regulations to be enacted by the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) in 2011.
Approximately 70% of the general purpose engines manufactured by Honda are supplied as OEM engines to other manufacturers of power products. We have over 3,600 OEM customers in 86 countries around the world. The many products with the emblem "Powered by Honda" attest to the reliability of Honda power product engines.
Honda was one of the first companies to develop environmentally friendly 4-stroke engines. Honda's first general-purpose H type engine (released in 1953) was a 2-stroke 50cc engine, the same as the norm for the industry at that time. However, during the development process of this engine, Soichiro Honda, the founder of the company, believed that "Not all people would accept a 2-stroke engine because it is hard to use, smells, emits smoke, and that general-purpose engines must be 4-stroke." All Honda general-purpose engines, from the second T type engine onward, have been 4-stroke engines that feature superior combustion efficiency, low fuel consumption and clean exhaust emissions.