Honda power products business started in 1953 with the launch of the H type engine for agricultural equipment. Honda power products business has since evolved through utilization of unique engine technologies Honda developed for motorcycles. In 1959, when only a small percentage of farming households in Japan owned a tiller, Honda released the F150. The tiller's price, design and ease of use garnered the support of many farmers, making a substantial contribution to the mechanization of farm work in Japan. Since then, Honda has focused on developing more products for individual use, such as the E300 portable generator—easy to carry and helpful in the home—and also the F200 Komame mini-tiller and the Monpal 4-wheel electric scooter. In this way, Honda always puts full focus on creating products from the customer's point of view and offers an expanded range of products from outboard engines to lawnmowers through to snowblowers. Honda also supplies its 4-stroke general purpose engines to about 3,600 OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) in 86 countries for powering products used in construction, agriculture, industrial machines, and other applications. As the market expanded from Japan to the whole world, the company built its first power products plant outside Japan in the U.S. in 1984. Honda also began local production of power products in France, a major agricultural country, in 1986. As of April 2012, Honda has 11 production bases for power products in 9 countries.
Since Honda embarked on its power products business, the company has consistently focused on developing products with high fuel efficiency that are people-friendly and environmentally responsible. In 1964, Honda entered an outboard engine market dominated by 2-stroke engines with the GB30, featuring a 4-stroke outboard engine with lower environmental impact. In 1992, Honda received attention for becoming the first company to market an outboard engine, the BF8B, that met Europe's Bodensee regulations—the most stringent regulations at the time—a full year before they took effect. The following year, Honda's 4-stroke general-purpose engines became the world's first products of their kind to clear California's exhaust emissions regulations. Currently, all of Honda's engines in power products are 4-stroke engines, which feature lower fuel consumption and cleaner exhaust emissions.