Combat New Car Depreciation with RTI and VRI and Finance Shortfall Gap Insurance
GAP Insurance Protects Honda New Car Buyers Against Car Depreciation
In 1961, the Honda Company after years of being recognised as the leader in
manufacturing motorcycles and their engines; decided it was time to tackle a
new era. They would now progress into making four wheeled transportation instead
of two wheel transportation.
In May of 1955, Japan’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry
stated what they were looking for in a people’s concept car. They said
they wanted “a four-seater with a top speed of 100km/h, priced at ¥150,000.”
In answer to this request several mini passenger cars were debuted including
the Suzu-Light and the Subaru 360.
Most consumers expected Honda to show a new model also, however, Soichiro was
cautious and didn’t want to rush anything. He issued a statement in December
of 1959 telling why Honda was waiting to introduce a new “peoples car”.
He said, “We shouldn’t rush into auto production until we conduct
thorough research and are absolutely confident that every requirement has been
filled, including the performance of our cars and production facilities.”
This is the philosophy that Honda started with when building automobiles and
is still true today.
The company formed a third research section that was responsible for all aspects
of car development. The first prototype was labeled the XA170 and during the
testing stages of this prototype they received an order from Mr Honda to concentrate
on the development of a sports car.
Honda felt that rather than compete against an established market they should
create a demand for a new one. He felt that developing and testing racecars
in competition would give them the edge over the competition. At the 9th Japan
National Auto Show in 1962 Honda introduced two new cars models; the S360 and
S500 Honda Sports series. The cars were a success and were a huge hit.
To keep up with the demand for the Honda Sport Series the company constructed
a new plant that would be their first dedicated to building just automobiles.
Honda was heavily into developing race cars for Formula 1 and Formula 2 racing.
Over the years they had their ups and downs but eventually made their mark in
the car racing industry.
During the 60’s the automatic transmission was a motivating factor in
America’s car culture. All of the luxury brands including Lincoln and
Cadillac were switching to automatic transmissions. In 1968 the new Hondamatic
transmission made its debut and this system was eventually used in the Civic
and in 4 speed form in the Accord and Prelude in 1982.
When the Honda 1300 was introduced it was met with high enthusiasm from everyone.
A reporter for Autokritik, a West Germany magazine was quoted as saying, “This
is an ideal engine, the ultimate goal of an auto manufacturer. It will be sure
to send shivers down the backs of automotive experts.
The Honda 1300 might have impressed the dealers; however it wasn’t well
received by the public. It had a heavy front end and was prone to uneven tyre
wear. Honda in turn decided to start focusing on a more user friendly vehicle
instead of just concentrating on the engineering. Honda’s decided to build
a full featured small car. However, no one at Honda had any experience in this
field. They were all novices and had to research everything to develop this
new type of vehicle.
The mid-sixties were also a time when everyone was becoming concerned about
smog and CO2 emissions. The engineers at Honda were working on an engine that
had a lean combustion method to burn fuel more completely. They called their
new engine system, CVCC, which stood for Compound Vortex Controlled Combustion.
In 1972, Honda publicly introduced the new CVCC engine. Soichiro Honda had always
made it known that he would make emission control technologies public. Toyota
was the first to sign a licensing agreement with Honda and soon other carmakers
came forward too.
In 1972 the 2-door Honda Civic and the three door GL was released. It was
a huge success that kept getting better and better each year. It was also very
popular overseas. It was Canada’s number one import from 1976 to 1978
and was named the most fuel efficient car in the US for four consecutive years
starting in 1974.
Their next endeavor was to design and develop a full scale compact car. The
board of directors at Honda wanted a new car developed that was one class above
the Civic. The reason behind this was it would be the logical next step for
Civic owners who wanted to upgrade. The vehicle had to have two requirements.
It had to be quiet and cruise comfortably at 130km/h and it had to use as many
Civic parts as possible. This was done to minimise the expense of their new
model. They also wanted it to have visual appeal, be comfortable, and to be
a higher class version of the Civic.
At the time there were already too many saloons in Japan so the team decided
to start their new model with the three door hatchback design. Model 671 or
as it was later called the Accord, was designed using the Lotus Elite as inspiration.
It featured low overall height, large glass area and was sleek in design. There
were other enhancements added to the Accord which included a four wheel independent
suspension and air conditioning, which was a first in this class. Another first
was the addition of a wire operated tailgate and speed sensitive hydraulic power
steering system. The Accord hatchback was released in 1976 and in 1979 the Accord
sedan was introduced.
In 1981 Honda tested the worlds first in car navigation system. The Honda Electro
Gyrocator was introduced as a option in the second generation Accord. Honda
also concentrated its research on automotive safety. They were designing cars
that could easily maneuver to avoid obstacles and could come to a quick complete
stop if it had to.
In 1989 Honda’s new Integra was introduced and came with a twin-cam
VTEC engine. The new technology got rave reviews. In the early nineties their
focus turned to making a Zero Emission Vehicle. They decided that California
would be the main market for their electric vehicles. The first prototype EV
was completed in 1995 and the Honda EV Plus was introduced in 1997.
In the last ten years Honda has stayed strong as it is still the largest engine
maker in world. Honda has a large range of automobiles to choose from. There
are several Accord types available including the Saloon and the Tourer, which
is an estate car. The Honda Civic is still a popular range and is available
in a hybrid model. The Honda FR-V is a popular compact MVP. The CR-V is a small
cross over MVP that is very popular. The Honda Insight range is still going
strong since its inception in 2000. It was the first hybrid car sold in the
US. The Honda Jazz is a small compact car that is very agile and comfortable
Honda is always researching and designing exceptional vehicles that are fuel
efficient and eco-friendly. They have been in business for over 60 years and
with every passing year they get better and better.
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