Honda Motor Co-founder Takeo Fujisawa Inducted into Automotive Hall of Fame


Flanked on stage by three iconic merchandise that helped to determine Honda as one of the vital modern firms in America – the Honda 50 bike (Tremendous Cub), the Honda Civic CVCC and the HondaJet – Honda co-founder Takeo Fujisawa was inducted into the Automotive Corridor of Fame on the awards ceremony final week at The Fillmore Detroit.

Honda Motor Co. Ltd, Chairman Seiji Kuraishi accepted the consideration on behalf of Fujisawa’s household, and Honda associates world wide.

“The spirit and imaginative and prescient of Takeo Fujisawa continues to information Honda,” mentioned Kuraishi. “Our enterprise in America could have began with the Tremendous Cub bike, however on account of his imaginative and prescient it continues with new varieties of mobility, together with the HondaJet.”

Fujisawa joins Honda founder Soichiro Honda, who was inducted into the Automotive Corridor of Fame in 1989, the primary Japanese automotive government so honored.

Born on November 10, 1910, Fujisawa initially aspired to change into a instructor, however as an alternative labored as a salesman for a metal merchandise firm after which for a lumber firm when he met Soichiro Honda in August 1949, about one yr after the founding of Honda Motor Co., a small native enterprise in Hamamatsu, Japan. It was proper after the launch of the Dream D-Sort, thought-about to be Honda’s first full-fledged bike product.  Whereas the 2 males had been geared up with completely different personalities and ability units, Honda and Fujisawa hit it off nearly instantly and started deep discussions about their strategy to enterprise and desires for the long run. 

Shortly creating a trusting relationship, they established a shared imaginative and prescient for the way forward for the corporate with Fujisawa becoming a member of Honda Motor in October 1949.  As a president of the corporate, Honda retained duty for product design and expertise growth and manufacturing operations, inventing many modern automobiles together with Tremendous Cub, the world’s best-selling mobility product. Fujisawa backed him up as his proper hand with duty for the enterprise facet of the corporate, together with gross sales, finance and advertising. 

Fujisawa’s advertising savvy, robust enterprise sense, and eager capability to chart distinctive paths to progress proved the right match to Soichiro Honda’s engineering acumen and imaginative and prescient for mobility. The partnership lasted 25 years, till March 1973 when Messrs. Honda and Fujisawa retired collectively. From the start, Fujisawa had an unlimited influence on Honda’s enterprise globally and within the U.S., the place he performed the important thing position within the strategy to the American market. 

Fujisawa made a number of lasting and impactful enterprise selections which are nonetheless related in the present day:

Beginning Honda Enterprise within the U.S.
In 1959, and by then the senior managing director of Honda, Fujisawa made the difficult resolution to determine American Honda as Honda’s first subsidiary exterior Japan.  On the time, your entire U.S. bike business bought not more than 60,000 models yearly — largely bigger bikes.  One member of the crew beneficial enlargement in Asia, the place small bikes from Europe, like these made by Honda, had been already in use.  He urged that America, the “land of the car,” was too tough a goal for Honda.  Fujisawa had one other concept.  “On second thought, let’s do America,” he mentioned. “To achieve the U.S. is to succeed worldwide. To take up the problem of the American market will be the most tough factor to do, nevertheless it’s a vital step in increasing the export of our merchandise.” With out Fujisawa’s management, Honda wouldn’t be the success story in the USA that it’s in the present day.

Honda and Fujisawa

Creating Impartial U.S. Supplier Community
Fujisawa adopted many modern gross sales and advertising methods in Japan and the U.S. This included the choice to start out bike gross sales by establishing Honda’s personal seller community. Regardless of strategies that Honda ought to observe the strategy of different Japanese firms and depend on a buying and selling firm to launch U.S. gross sales, Honda cast relationships with many smaller sellers, even these with no historical past within the bike business, and efficiently expanded enterprise from the West Coast throughout America.  By the mid-Nineteen Sixties, Honda was the best-selling bike model in America.

Establishing Separate R&D Firm
In 1960, based mostly on Fujisawa’s initiative, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. was created as a separate firm.  Fujisawa conceived the thought with two goals: to present Honda engineers the liberty to create new worth with out being constrained by the ups and downs of every day enterprise and to guard Honda’s capability to maintain this innovation sooner or later after they may not depend on the genius of Soichiro Honda.   The brand new R&D firm ushered in an period of unimaginable technological and product innovation and coming into new enterprise areas together with the car and aviation industries. Honda R&D’s give attention to analysis and creating new worth in mobility continues to this present day. 

The company tradition Mr. Fujisawa helped foster is alive and nicely in the present day and can proceed as a driving pressure for Honda in enterprise.  The dedication to behave as a superb company citizen is as essential now because it has at all times been as Honda proceed to pursue The Energy of Goals and use expertise to assist transfer folks and society ahead.


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