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Celebrating 60 Years of Honda in North America

Sixty years ago, on June 11, 1959, Honda began business in America with American Honda Motor Co., Inc. A strong believer that Honda should “carry our own torch,” Honda co-founder Takeo Fujisawa insisted the company develop its own sales network, setting up shop at 4077 Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles.

Despite a suggestion that it would be wiser to make Honda’s first overseas subsidiary in another market, Fujisawa famously said: "To succeed in the United States is to succeed worldwide. To take up the challenge of the American market may be the most difficult thing to do, but it's a critical step in expanding the export of our products."

American Honda began its sales activities on Sept. 11, 1959, selling the Dream, Benly and Super Cub motorcycles (called the Honda 50 in the United States). It was the legendary ad campaign "You Meet the Nicest People on a Honda" that kicked off in June 1963 that made the Honda 50 such a gigantic hit. The ad campaign also is credited with having a lasting positive impact on Honda's image and on American attitudes toward motorcycling.

Over the last six decades, Honda has invested over $21 billion in U.S. operations, opening 12 plants that produce Honda and Acura vehicles, power equipment and powersports products and the HondaJet. Honda also is working toward the company's vision for a carbon-free and collision-free future. Honda ranked as the most fuel efficient automaker in America according to the latest data from the U.S. EPA and has over 2 million vehicles on the road today equipped with the Honda Sensing suite of safety and driver assistive technologies. Honda also realized a longtime dream of company founder Soichiro Honda to take to the skies, with the introduction of the HondaJet.