"Always Make Your Products Friendly:" An Attitude Prevailing from the Very First Product / 1948

"Always Make Your Products Friendly:" An Attitude Prevailing from the Very First Product / 1948

On September 24, 1948, riding on the wave of its first product, the A-Type, the Honda Motor Co., Ltd., set sail. The company headquarters were established at Itaya-cho, near Hamamatsu Station. Of course, it was just a small, one-room office.

Following the A-Type, the company created a prototype for the B-Type, a compact 90 cc cargo-carrying three-wheeler. However, the chassis had to be contracted out, and the three-wheeler had unstable riding characteristics. President Honda did not like either of these things, and he canceled it at the prototype stage.

The next product developed was the 96 cc Honda C-Type, based on the A-Type engine. The C-Type raised the A-Type’s one horsepower to three. The C-Type was sold not just as a complete engine, but also installed on a specially constructed frame that made it something like a motorcycle with pedals. However, the company did not have the necessary facilities, so the frame still had to be contracted out. Fabrication of the welded pipe frame took time, and the quality was uneven, which made President Honda impatient.

One thing about the C-Type is noteworthy. It was Honda’s first public entry in a race, winning the class championship at a Japanese-American competition held at Maruko Tamagawa in July 1949.

However, this was nothing more than a transitional product that never rose to the level sought by President Honda. He had growing ambitions to create not just engines but to take on the challenge of making motorcycles by producing both the engine and the body.

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