Honda in the UK - Timeline history
Honda began producing motorcycles in Japan from 1947 and around 10 years later Honda motorcycles started to become available in the UK.
At first, distribution of Honda motorcycles in the UK was somewhat confusing!
During 1957/58 a number of enterprising British dealers privately imported Honda motorcycles, mainly from Germany.
Then from late 1959, formal distributor appointments started to be made by Honda Motor Company to the following three distributors, based on the size of the various Honda models as availabe at the time.
Scootamatic Limited of 155 Glaisdale Street, Aspley, Nottingham
Over 50cc models:
Maico (GB) Limited* of 81a Gloucester Road, London SW7
Artie Bell of 456 Woodstock Road, Belfast, Northern Ireland
* Maico (GB) Limited changed their name to Hondis Limited in October 1961.
For the above, all machines and parts were imported to the UK via European Honda Motor Trading GMBH based in Hamburg, Germany.
Such was the demand for these new motorcycles from the Far-East that by early 1962 the above three distributors had appointed over 200 Honda retail dealers throughout the UK.
In November 1962, European Honda Motor Trading set up an additional office in the UK at 2 Manorgate Road, Kingston-upon-Thames, Surrey as a formal subsidiary of Honda Motor Co., Japan. Distribution of all Honda products was now from this office, and at some point around this time a Honda Parts & Service base was established in Wollaton Road, Nottingham.
During late 1964, European Honda Motor Trading in the UK changed its operating name to Honda UK Limited but remained at the same Kingston-upon-Thames address until September 1965.
In September 1965, Honda UK Limited formally established its new offices at what was to become their long-term permanent base, 4 Power Road, Chiswick, London W4 (Above). The Parts & Service operation remained in Nottingham for a short while but later also moved to Power Road with a much larger warehouse facility.
4 Power Road became the most established and recognised address for Honda in the UK. It was where sales, during the burgeoning decades of the 1970s and 80s, took them to the countries Number 1 slot and when over 800 (1981) retail dealers throughout the UK had been established.
In May 2000, Honda UK moved to 470 London Road, Slough, Berkshire (beside the M4) where they remained until October 2014 when they moved to their current location at Cain Road, Binfield, Bracknell, Berkshire.
Today, such are the market conditions, around 80 retail dealers represent Honda motorcycle sales throughout the UK.
(All the above is to the best of my understanding with some facts taken from various formal documents. If anyone can advise any possible amendments please do let me know.)
Honda Classics Restoration Services - Your on-line centre for pre 1990 Honda two-wheel information, parts and services.
Visit our eBay Shop for parts, literature and tools at...
History of Honda Motorcycles Book - A 120-page full colour guide book from the start of the Honda company in 1946 through to the 1990s. Click here for detail and option to purchase.