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From tiny two-wheeled scooters to full-sized SUVs, if it goes, Honda Motor Corporation probably makes it. Honda was founded in Japan more than 60 years ago by self-taught engineer Soichiro Honda, and the company has grown into the world’s largest producer of motorcycles and internal combustion engines. Although the company is headquartered in Tokyo, it earns more operating revenue from North America than from Asia, Europe, and Japan combined.
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Honda Manufacturing in the U.S.
Honda has manufacturing and assembly plants throughout the world, but the vast majority of the vehicles it sells in the U.S. are assembled here. Honda produces over 1 million engines annually at its largest engine-production plant in Anna, Ohio, and light trucks and cars roll off of its assembly line in East Liberty, Ohio. The company also manufactures automobiles for the U.S. market in Marysville, Ohio; Greensburg, Indiana; and Lincoln, Alabama.
According to Honda’s website, the company directly employs almost 25,000 Americans at its plants and research facilities. Honda dealerships employ another 100,000 Americans, and Honda’s parts and materials suppliers in the U.S. employ about 600 workers. An Economic Impact Study conducted by Honda in 2007 found that Honda contributes about $17 billion annually to the U.S. economy in the form of salaries and wages. Honda doesn’t make all of these contributions out of pure altruism, though. By manufacturing its products in the United States, Honda can protect itself from exchange-rate fluctuations and import tariffs that could hurt its core business.
Honda Car Sales in the U.S.
In February 2010, Honda took advantage of safety concerns about certain Toyota models to overtake it as the top-selling Japanese car manufacturer in the U.S. According to Marketwatch.com, Honda’s market share peaked at 13 percent, while Toyota’s fell from over 17 percent to 12 percent. Both manufacturers have lost market share to American companies in 2011, though. According to Truecar.com, General Motors held nearly 20 percent of the U.S. market share in May 2011, and Ford held almost 17 percent. Toyota represented 9.5 percent of the U.S. market share, and Honda held just 8 percent. Over time, Honda has held steady as the fourth-largest automobile retailer in America after GM, Ford, and Toyota.
Honda Vehicles and Awards
Although Honda does not have the largest U.S. market share, Honda products are highly rated by the American auto press. The 2011 Honda Fit is currently rated the #1 Hatchback and the #2 Affordable Small Car on the market by U.S. News and World Report, and both U.S. News and Consumer Guide recognized it as a top value pick. U.S News ranks the Honda CR-V second among compact SUVs, and it also designated the CR-V “Best Compact Crossover SUV for the Money.” U.S. News selected the 2011 Honda Odyssey as its top-ranking minivan, and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety selected the following Honda vehicles as its “Top Safety Picks” for 2011:
Honda products are also known for retaining their value. Edmunds honored the 2011 Honda Accord, Honda Pilot, and Honda Insight for having the lowest long-term ownership costs in their respective classes, and it recognized Honda vehicles for having the best overall value retention of any brand for 2011. Kelley Blue Book selected the 2011 Honda CR-Z and the Honda Accord for its “Best Resale Value Award” in their respective categories, and Consumer Guide tapped the Honda Civic, Fit, CR-V, and Pilot as “Best Buys.”
Most Popular: the Honda Civic
Introduced in 1972, the Honda Civic was Honda’s flagship car in the U.S. market. It won Motor Trend’s North American Car of the Year Award in 2006, and according to Edmunds, it is still the most popular compact car in America in 2011.
Old Faithful: the Honda Accord
The Honda Accord has been on the U.S. market since 1976, nearly as long as the Civic. It has made Car and Driver’s “Ten Best Cars” list 25 times, including in 2011. While it has slipped a bit in U.S. News’ rankings for the crowded midsize car category, Kelley Blue Book still ranked it first in its class for resale value.
Critics’ Darling: the Honda CR-V
In addition to honors for resale value from Consumer Guide and Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds also selected the Honda CR-V as the “Best Retained Value SUV Under $25K” and a “Top Recommended Vehicle.” As of 2010, U.S. sales of the CR-V topped 200,000.
Honda Ridgeline: Tough, Yet Versatile
Honda developed the Ridgeline to take on sport utility trucks like the Chevrolet Avalanche, and it has succeeded. U.S. News ranked it the top vehicle in its category for 2011, and the Ridgeline took home a host of awards when it debuted in 2006. Motor Trend, Detroit News, and Maxim all designated it “Truck of the Year” for 2006, and it was Consumer Report’s top-rated truck as well.
Best Minivan: Honda Odyssey
U.S. News named the Odyssey its #1 Minivan, and Kelley Blue Book chose the Odyssey as one of its “Top 10 Family Cars” for 2011. Edmunds selected it for a “Best Retained Value Award” and a “2011 Top Recommended” designation.
Honda Pilot SUV: Cooling Off?
Although Car and Driver listed the Honda Pilot as the “Best Large SUV” from 2003 to 2008, Honda redesigned it in 2009 to a lukewarm response from critics. It is currently rated 17th out of 23 Affordable Midsize SUVs ranked by U.S. News.
Niche SUV: the Honda Element
The Element’s quirky exterior appeals to a niche market, and it has won awards like “Dog Car of the Year” from Dogcar.com. Edmunds also selected it as a “Top Recommended SUV” for individuals with mobility challenges. The Element is scheduled for cancellation after the 2011 model year due to lagging sales.
How much is car insurance for a Honda?
This will depend on the type of Honda you buy, your driving record, credit score and many other variables. However most Honda vehicles are very affordable to insure and owners will have no problem finding multiple car insurance companies to provide coverage. In order to find the cheapest car insurance rates you will need to shop around and compare car insurance companies. Get started today and find affordable car insurance for your Honda today – simply enter your ZIP code above to get started.
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