Honda was born in 1946 as the Honda Technical Research Institute, building engines and tools to service said engines. Its name was changed to Honda Motor Co. in 1948. The American Honda Motor Co. was established in 1959, but only sold motorcycles in Los Angeles. It didn’t start selling autos in the U.S. until 1970. The small, efficient and reliable vehicles were an instant hit. In 1982 Honda became the first Japanese manufacturer to produce cars in the U.S. With a firm lock on the small and midsize car market, Honda expanded into SUVs in the 1990s and added a midsize pickup in 2006. Honda vehicles are recognized for their fuel efficiency and reliability.