Auto manufacturers are constantly making improvements to the components and designs of their vehicles. These include improved engine, chassis, drivetrain, emission control systems, and safety. It is a technologically complex system, and the automobile industry is an important part of modern society.
The automobile industry has changed over the years from a bicycle-like contraption to a four-wheeled, highly-complex technical system. Today, there are approximately 70 million new passenger cars built per year. This makes the automobile the most common form of transport in society. In fact, Americans travel over three trillion miles every year.
Automobiles were first produced in the mid-Victorian era as bicycle-like contraptions, but were later modified to incorporate engines. A bicycle builder named Sylvester Howard Roper introduced a similar machine in 1867. Later, William Bushnell Stout created a design for a car that could accommodate a large number of passengers. He named it the Stout Scarab, and it featured a rear engine and a streamlined beetle-like shape.
After World War I, the auto industry grew, and automakers began to offer aircraft-inspired body styles. At the same time, the advent of the internal combustion engine (ICE) was a game changer for the automobile industry. ICE vehicles were capable of reaching up to seven miles per hour, and their performance was much more powerful than other models.
ICEs are still being developed and refined. Other technologies that are currently under development include petroleum-electric hybrids, and fuel cells. Moreover, new manufacturing processes have also been applied to the production of automobiles. New technical developments are considered the key to success in the automotive industry.
Increasing numbers of people use automobiles to commute to work, shop, and run errands. Manufacturers are now able to split the market into different segments, and they introduce new designs more frequently. However, the industry has not seen a dramatic increase in sales and profits. Honda’s operating margins have improved over the past decade.
Automotive manufacturers employ scientists and research and development engineers to develop new technologies, improve the body, and increase the vehicle’s safety. For example, new antilock brakes have become available on a small number of two-wheel models. Additionally, windshields have been increased in size to provide more visibility. Enhanced high-speed handling is needed for vehicles designed to operate in limited access road systems. Lastly, vehicles for off-road use must be durable, resistant to extreme operating conditions, and able to withstand severe overloads.
Honda’s market share has increased steadily over the past five years, and it has a strong foothold in Asia. Since FY3/2011, sales in Asia have doubled. Also, the company is expanding into neighboring markets like Latin America and Colombia. Currently, Honda’s market share in these markets is 75 percent or more.
Honda has a strong presence in Africa, too. Several Indian manufacturers, such as Baja and TVR, have also established factories in that region. However, Honda has not been able to fully enter the African market yet.
Honda’s products have been introduced in the United States since 1953. They are manufactured by the American Honda Motor Company and the U.S. subsidiary.