Document Type

Closed Project

Publication Date

Fall 1997


Dundar F. Kocaoglu

Course Title

Management of Engineering and Technology

Course Number

EMGT 520/620


Honda has been in business for almost half a century; like most automotive companies Honda has experienced prosperity as well as unfavorable periods in its tenure. Unlike many automotive companies however, Honda has been able to weather periods of unrest and prevail. This paper reflects on Honda’s history and then analyzes how environmental factors, both internal and external, have shaped their strategies. While key milestones in Honda’s history are identified, it is beyond the scope of this paper to identify every event that has shaped Honda today; instead this paper focuses on events occurring after 1980 which was a turning point in Honda’s past having dramatic impact on their current market position. From these most recent changes comes Honda’s flexible car/truck platform, which prompted Business Week to ask, “Can Honda Build a World Class Car?”, which subsequently generated this paper. Included in the analysis is a summary of threats and opportunities in the external environment as well as a synopsis of strengths and weaknesses of Honda’s internal environment. Finally, Honda’s business strategies are discussed as a reaction to both issues in the external environment in conjunction with Honda’s perception of their own strengths and weaknesses.


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