2015 marks the 50th anniversary of Honda being in the UK, and to celebrate this, a group of journalists were invited to Silverstone where we had a range of activities lined up for us to show off what the Japanese manufacturer is all about. Despite doing everything from blindfolded driving to go kart racing and from lawnmower competitions to taking the Civic Type R out the track, this was all a reminder of the diverse and high quality machinery that Honda produce. Leaf blowers, motorbikes, family cars, performance cars and even a $4million business jet as of next year all come under the Honda wing, which is what puts the company in the top 20 biggest brands on the planet.
To put all this in perspective, Honda hit 27.3million global sales worldwide, broken up into 17 million motorcycles, 6 million power products and 4.3 million cars. So whilst many of us do see Honda as a car brand, they are much more than just that which is what influences their success on a global scale. 182,000 people are also employed by Honda, 8,000 of which working in Europe.
2015 also marks 30 years of the hugely successful manufacturing plant in Swindon, which employs 3,200 people and has benefitted from £2.2billion worth of investment and will become home to the five door Civic.
The motorcycle division has the highest market share in the UK with almost 20%, producing 65 models and selling 19,000 last year in the UK alone. 50,000 power products were also sold last year with customers having a range of 225 models to choose from. Honda is also the third largest outboard manufacturer and the top ATV manufacturer in the UK.
Honda are also hugely successful in the motorsport world as well, having the most successful BSB team in the UK whilst the BTCC team won the drivers and manufacturers 2015 championships recently. We had the pleasure of meeting and taking a passenger ride in the Type R with these hugely talented drivers at Silverstone.
The Honda brand really is ‘all things for all people’ and stress that they are not just a car maker, but an engine manufacturer. The incredibly diverse range of products they produce to such a high level really is something we can all appreciate. And with more and more exciting projects on the way such as the Honda Jet, NSX and so much more, here’s to another 50 successful years in the UK.