Honda Canada associates and special guests, including Toshiaki Mikoshiba, Chairman and CEO of Honda North America, Inc. and Dave Gardner, President and CEO of Honda Canada Inc., celebrated 50 years of growth and success in Canada during a commemorative ceremony at the company’s head office near Toronto. Honda Canada has sold more than four million vehicles since incorporating on March 11, 1969 and was the first Japanese automaker to build vehicles in Canada. The ceremony launches a full year of anniversary activities designed to celebrate the milestone with customers, dealers, associates and partners.

From modest beginnings as a small network of motorcycle and power equipment dealers, Honda Canada has grown substantially. With nearly 19,000 associates employed across the country in manufacturing, sales offices and dealerships, it’s now a national network of more than 600 auto, motorcycle and power equipment dealers. The company is also a major Canadian auto manufacturer, proudly building the Honda CR-V and the Honda Civic, Canada’s best-selling passenger car for the past 21 consecutive years. Through the Honda Canada Foundation, the brand is committed to giving back to communities across Canada, contributing more than $2-million to local charities each year.

“Honda planted roots in Canada with a vision of contributing to Canadian society. We are proud of our associates, dealers, partners and suppliers, who have played an important part in our growth and have helped improve the communities where we live and work,” said Dave Gardner, President & CEO, Honda Canada Inc. “We’d also like to thank the millions of Canadians who are loyal members of the Honda family. We look forward to growing with you for the next 50 years.”

Five decades of Honda milestones

Four years after arriving in Canada with motorcycles and power products, Honda sold its first Civic. As the first Japanese automaker to build cars in Canada, Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) cut the ribbon on its first manufacturing plant in Alliston, Ontario, in 1986. A second plant was brought online at the Alliston facility in 1998 to build the Honda Odyssey minivan, and in 2008, HCM began building 4-cyclinder engines at a third facility in Alliston. To date, more than eight million cars and light trucks have been built at the Alliston facility, which currently employs 4,200 associates.

A commitment to the environment has always been a priority for Honda Canada. In 1998, the company achieved ISO 14001 manufacturing certification which set a new environmental standard for auto manufacturers. This was followed by a zero-waste-to-landfill manufacturing benchmark in 2007, engines built from 100% recycled materials began in 2008, LEED® Gold Certification for the company’s head office in Markham, Ontario, came in 2010 and most recently, a $492-million investment to modernize HCM manufacturing facilities and significantly improve its carbon footprint.

While success can be measured by the number of products built and sold, Honda is also focused on making a difference in the lives of Canadians. Since 2005, the Honda Canada Foundation has contributed upwards of $2-million every year to organizations that help communities and Canadians reach their goals. More than six million people have benefited from programs funded by Honda Canada and the Honda Canada Foundation.

Additional Honda Canada achievements

• 1969 Honda Canada is founded
• 1973 The Honda Civic is launched in Canada
• 1986 Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) is established, building the Honda Accord
• 1987 Acura becomes the first luxury nameplate from a Japanese company available in Canada
• 1991 One-millionth Honda vehicle is sold in Canada
• 1997 One-millionth Canadian-built Honda rolls off the line
• 1998 HCM begins building the Honda Odyssey at a second facility in Alliston, Ontario
• 2000 The Honda Insight, North America’s first gasoline-electric hybrid, hits the road in Canada
• 2005 The Honda Canada Foundation is established
• 2014 An $857-million HCM investment makes it the global-lead for the 10th generation Civic
• 2014 Honda Canada sells its four-millionth vehicle
• 2017 Eight-millionth Honda vehicle is built at HCM
• 2019 Honda Canada celebrates its 50th anniversary