Honda History: Soichiro Honda founded the Honda Motor Company in 1948 to build motorcycles and started building cars in 1960. Honda's compact cars were not very popular in North America until the 1970's energy crisis caused gasoline prices to rise. Honda makes cars, trucks, Motorcycles, ATV's, water craft, generators, scooters and robots but their primary business is producing engines. Honda is the largest engine manufacturer in the world. The classic 1986 Honda Acura was the first Japanese luxury car to be imported into the United States.