Automobiles and Motorcycles
Automobiles are a form of transportation that humans use on a daily basis. They serve as the lifeline of modern society. There are many varieties of automobiles, including passenger, light, medium, and heavy vehicles. Each type has different uses. For example, a light vehicle is suited to short trips while a heavy vehicle is better suited for long distances.
The invention of the internal combustion engine in 1885 made it possible for automobiles to move. These self-propelled machines are capable of carrying passengers, goods, and other material. Since then, the automotive industry has advanced and the number of vehicles has increased dramatically. A car can carry up to five people, whereas a motorcycle can only accommodate two or three passengers. Pedal cycles were once commonly called bicycles.
The United States’ manufacturing tradition reduced the cost of automobiles. In addition, government subsidies boosted sales. By the end of the twentieth century, the “Big Three” automobile companies – Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler – had dominated the market.
After World War II, the automobile industry flourished in Europe and Japan. As the need for reliable constructions grew, bicycle builders turned pedal cycles into motorcycles. During the mid-Victorian era, a similar contraption was invented by bicycle builder Ernest Michaux.
In the late 1800s, the first automobiles were designed in Germany. However, the European Union began imposing stricter limits on hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide. This has changed the definition of the term automobile.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) defines an automobile as a motor vehicle with motive power that has four or more wheels. Although this definition is technically accurate, it has been disputed in several court cases. It is considered to be an ambiguous term, especially in legal matters.
Some people consider motorcycles to be automobiles, but they are not. Motorcycles are classified under the automobile category only when they have three or more wheels. Nevertheless, many people still use the term to refer to all types of motorcycles.
Motorcycles are self-propelled. They have only two wheels, but they can also carry up to four passengers. Unlike automobiles, however, motorcycles are not covered under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) and therefore cannot be regulated by the EPA.
Honda has been a leader in the motorcycle business since the early 1980s. With more than 75 percent of the scooters sold in Asia, Honda has a strong presence in this region. But the company is looking to expand into neighboring markets, like Latin America, Africa, and Brazil. In the short term, Honda is concentrating on emerging India and the ASEAN market.
In the long term, Honda hopes to expand its global production network and introduce more common parts. To improve its supply chain efficiency, the company is working with Hitachi Automotive Systems.
Honda is well-capitalized for its auto business. In fact, its net cash balance topped $2,093 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2020. However, the company is facing a significant challenge in developing electric and hybrid vehicles. The investment costs associated with these technologies may dilute margins at its core business.