Honda – partnering through the ages

Though I have never personally owned a Honda engine, I feel like I have been associated with Honda in one form or the other through out my life. Gosh – until now I didn’t even realize that among the Japanese companies that have invaded the internal combustion market globally, I feel so much more associated with Honda than Toyota or anything else. Should I list a few reasons? In no particular order:

  1. After Vespa, the motorcycle best designed (not really) to carry two kids in front with the parents on the main seat was the old Honda 50. That little red-colored bucket in front could carry everything, from groceries to school bags to kids.
  2. Honda CD-70 ads are etched in my memory from my growing up in Pakistan days. The motorcycle is ubiquitous in Pakistan – ofcourse it helps that it runs 70 kms on 1 liter of petrol. Pakistanis would recognize “Mein to Honda hee lain saan” (I will only buy a Honda).
  3. If you are rich in Pakistan today, you probably want to be driving a Honda Accord. My uncle had one decades ago in Lahore. Boy, was I impressed!
  4. L owned a Honda (accord) and despite the plum color, it was a beauty to ride in. Took many rides in it from Kendall Square (MIT) to Harvard Square.
  5. While Toyota Prius is all the rage in hybrid cars, it is the Honda Civic Hybrid that i think delivers the optimum power, comfort , aesthetic and fuel economy benefits.
  6. When I joined BCG, I learnt that Honda was among the early clients of the company’s Japan office. The company, and the business cases written on it, still carry tremendous importance in the BCG corridors.
  7. Ever since I joined GEO2, I have learnt that while Toyota is killing Ford and GM, it is Honda which should be watched closely for technology innovations. They are a small & nimble ccompany, and extremely interested in incorporating disruptive technologies into their signature products.
  8. Even though I own a sporty BMW, a Honda S2000 sports car that parked next to mine in the lot still made me envious. The owner obviously got a better deal than I did, and stole the looks too!
  9. Honda isn’t just the choice car for value shoppers. It is also the hippest car on planet, extremely popular with street racers and garage pimp-daddies :).
  10. What versatility in products!: from motorcycles and cars to trucks, off-road bikes, all terrain vehicles, motorboats, racing cars…
  11. They have some of the most amazing ads for their vehicles. Watch them on youtube and Google Video.

On the last note, here’s the inspiration for this post. Check out the ad! It makes one fall in love with motors all over again!

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