Honda etymology: What does its name mean? Who is it named after?

In an age of consolidation, Honda remains a fiercely independent car and motorbike manufacturer, but where does its name come from?

Honda Motor Company was founded in 1949 by Soichiro Honda and Takeo Fujisawa. The company is named after Honda as he was the company’s chief engineer, while Fujisawa provided the necessary financial acumen.

Given the needs and limitations of Japan’s post-war economy, Honda first specialised in cheap, but reliable motorcycles. Starting with the D-Type, Honda rose to become the world’s number one producer of bikes by 1964.

It wasn’t until 1963 that the company began dabbling in car production, when it began making the T360 pickup and S500 sports car, both kei class vehicles.