Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962

Paving the Way for Auto Production

Launching the S360 and T360 / 1962

Production Encompassing Every Factory

Honda had been forced by the expected passage of the MITI bill to expedite its entry into auto manufacturing. Although the company had all the needed merchandising technology and expertise in quality control, certain basic requirements had gone unanswered, among which were the essential production technology and facilities for mass production of cars.

Honda’s facilities at the time were designed for motorcycle production, just a small portion of which could be used in the making of cars. Honda contacted its existing parts suppliers for help, along with several new suppliers, all the while investigating ways to utilize the existing infrastructure. Further, the layout of each plant was reviewed in order to secure the space needed for auto production.

Accordingly, it was decided that Saitama Factory (now Wako Plant) could produce engines for the T360 and S500, along with final assembly of the T360. Final assembly of the S500 would be handled by Hamamatsu Factory. The bodies for both models were built at Suzuka Factory for shipment to Saitama and Hamamatsu, while the differentials and transmissions were to be made at Saitama Factory and Hamamatsu Factory, respectively.

The Honda Company Newsletter (Vol. 93) of August 1963 featured an article in which Mr. Honda discussed his ideas regarding the construction of a dedicated auto production plant:

"They say Japan’s economy is stable today, but it’s still heavily influenced by the U.S. Now, Japan has its own automobiles, which is quite an achievement for a "semi-independent" economy such as ours. However, it would be very risky to rush into building a plant.

"We are now manufacturing sports cars in Hamamatsu and trucks in Saitama. However, we are asking our Suzuka Factory and manufacturing machinery factory, not to mention Hamamatsu and Saitama factories, to do their utmost to improve the quality of motorcycles, which are generating profits for us even now. We also want them to utilize their idle machinery, standardize parts and press-dies as much as possible, and do everything they can to utilize the existing facility [for car production]. We should consider building a [dedicated automobile] plant only when we are 100 percent sure that the construction of such a plant will bring us satisfactory results.

"We have become one of the world’s leading makers of motorcycles, and that should remain our foundation. We have to spend some time gathering various ideas that will improve our automobiles, just as we did when developing the Cub. And that’s what I want: an automotive version of the Cub."

The company’s widely dispersed system of production, however, involved every factory and was thus lacking in the efficiency Mr. Honda wanted. It did have certain advantages, however, since all factories were able to acquire some experience in car production. Those involved in production at the factories obtained invaluable insight by applying themselves to develop necessary solutions on a day-to-day basis. This experience at the beginning of Honda’s expansion phase was particularly useful in building Sayama Factory (now Saitama Factory’s Sayama Plant), and ultimately facilitated the launch of auto production at Suzuka.

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
  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
  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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