- A silver 2013 Honda Accord EX-L sedan became the 1 millionth Honda U.S. export vehicle on Tuesday.
- The Ohio-built 2013 Accord is bound for Seoul, South Korea, where Honda recently began sales of its U.S.-made vehicles.
- Within two years, Honda says it will export more vehicles built in its North American auto plants than it imports from Japan.
VENTURA, California — A silver 2013 Honda Accord EX-L sedan became the 1 millionth Honda U.S. export vehicle on Tuesday.
The Ohio-built 2013 Accord is bound for Seoul, South Korea, where Honda recently began sales of its U.S.-made vehicles.
Within two years, Honda says it will export more vehicles built in its North American auto plants than it imports from Japan.
Honda began selling small motorcycles in the United States in the late 1950s and in 1970 imported its first "mass-market" car, the 600, a tiny, underpowered hatchback that failed to impress American buyers. But the Civic subcompact, introduced in 1973 around the time of the OPEC oil embargo, had a huge impact on economy-conscious buyers. And when the Accord was introduced to the U.S. market in 1976, the well-equipped hatchback quickly became a popular choice for American families.
But the subsequent backlash from American business became particularly acute in the auto industry as the oil embargo drove consumers to purchase more and more of the imported economy cars. Said a defiant Henry Ford II, then chairman of the Ford Motor Co.: "We'll push them back to the shores."
"Detroit seemed blind to the fact that the Japanese were doing what the first Henry Ford had done 70 years earlier — building smaller, more efficient cars in mass quantities; that they were willing, as Ford had been, to accept less money per unit to further the ends of mass production," according to the 1987 book The Fords: An American Epic.
But Detroit could not stem the tide of imported vehicles that began with Volkswagen after World War II. Honda and the other Big Three Japanese automakers, Toyota and Nissan, increased sales steadily and introduced luxury brands into the U.S. market, competing even more directly with the American companies.
Honda became one of the first Japanese automakers to produce cars in the United States. Today, it exports automobiles to 49 countries with total exports expected to reach nearly 100,000 Honda and Acura vehicles from the U.S. in 2012, the company said in a statement.
Edmunds says: With this milestone and its ambitious export plans, Honda is positioning itself to continue its role as a major player in the U.S. auto industry for many years to come.