Torrance’s American Honda Headquarters Marks 60 Years in United States

June 19th, 2019 by
Honda North America President and CEO Shinji Aoyama

Honda North America President and CEO Shinji Aoyama drives a newly-restored 1961 Chevy pickup June 11, 2019 at the company’s celebrations marking 60 years in Southern California and the United States. The eight original Honda employees sold motorcycles from the back of the vehicle when the company started up in the U.S.. (Photo courtesy North American Honda).

This month, Honda marked 60 years in Southern California, a location that helped make the brand part of American popular culture. Its “thrifty nifty Honda 50” motorcycles changed the vehicle’s outlaw image in the early 1960s, inspiring hit songs not only by Hawthorne’s Beach Boys, but the aptly-named Hondells, too.

Within just 10 years, Honda became the nation’s top-selling motorcycle
brand before venturing into the automobile market. The fuel-sipping Civic was a huge hit during the 1970s gas crisis.

50 years later, Honda has no intention of abandoning passengers cars like many competitors who are focusing on SUVs and trucks. Honda has just usurped Toyota as the nation’s top retail seller of sedans, which are favored by first-time young car buyers.

“Our home is here in Torrance,” said company spokesman Marcos Frommer. “We have no plans to move. We never did have plans to move. California has a skilled and diverse workforce,” he added, “and that’s important to us because we have a diverse operation here.”

The most visible part of those diverse operations include its sales and marketing headquarters and Acura design studio housed on a landmark 101-acre campus in Old Torrance with 2,200 employees on a reclaimed industrial site. The building opened in 1994 and helped spur downtown’s redevelopment.

But the world’s largest manufacturer of all types of engines — a Honda lawnmower just set a world record by hitting 100 mph in a mere six seconds, while the company also makes its own jet aircraft — has facilities scattered throughout the region, too. In total, Honda has 75 U.S. facilities, including 12 factories that manufacture two-thirds of the vehicles the company sells nationally.

Restored 1961 Chevy

Photo Courtesy of North American Honda Motor Co.


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