(p. A10) For many Japanese, Honda reflected the originality and self-confidence that turned the country into an industrial powerhouse after World War II.
. . .
The company was founded in 1946 by Soichiro Honda, a tinkerer who loved to battle the giants with his own innovations. He and a dozen workers took engines intended for small electric generators and attached them to bicycles, the first Honda product. Within 15 years, a Honda motorcycle was beating European rivals at the Isle of Man motorcycle race.
Around that time, Mr. Honda rushed out a prototype automobile despite having almost no experience in building them, in defiance of a planned Japanese law that would have restricted entry in the market.
For the full story, see:
Sean McLain. “Tech Costs Force Honda To Let Go of Engineering Legacy.” The Wall Street Journal (Monday, Aug. 6, 2018): A1 & A10.
(Note: ellipsis added.)
(Note: the online version of the story has the date Aug. 5, 2018, and has the title “Honda Took Pride in Doing Everything Itself. The Cost of Technology Made That Impossible.”)