Often, car manufacturers decide to use their capital and knowledge to enter a new market. For example, Honda and BMW are known producers of motorcycles. But what if car brands made things that didn’t have four wheels and drive, like houses, boats, or planes? In this blog post, we’ll explore eight car brands that build things other than cars.
1. Hyundai Container Ships
- The container ships division began in the 1970s as Asia Merchant Marine. They started serving the Far East and Middle East.
- In the 1980s, Asia Merchant Marine acquired other goods carriers and launched new routes, including to Australia and Canada.
- In 2020, Hyundai Merchant Marine board rebranded the company as Hyundai Merchant Marine Co., LTD. (HMM for short). They held a naming ceremony in April for the largest container ship in the world at its launch.
- The project began in the 1990s, but because of the regulations associated with flight, it took almost 25 years for Honda to deliver to customers.
- Honda builds their aircraft in Greensboro, North Carolina, which opened in 2011.
- The HondaJet has two engines that allow it to cruise at 435 MPH to an operating ceiling of 43,000 miles.
3. Chrysler Boats
- Chrysler built full boats from 1965 to 1980. They partnered with Lonestar Boats from Texas sharing their methods.
- Chrysler did really well with boats: by 1970, they were producing 43 different power and sail boat options.
- By 1980, they sold their division to Texas Marine Inc.
4. General Motors (GM) Trains
- General Motors got into trains when their head of research, Charles F. Kettering, went shopping for diesel engines for his personal yacht in the 1920s.
- In the 1930s, GM tested their trains for 11 months, proving they needed fewer repairs and operated at half the cost of steam engines.
- By 1954, they sold over 15,000 diesel locomotives, effectively killing off steam engines.
5. Peugeot Pepper Mill
- A while before they started building and creating cars, the family business, which had been around since 1810, manufactured coffee grinders and pepper mills.
- In 1840, the pepper mill became their principal business. Many have since regarded it as the world’s standard.
- The pepper mill company is still in business today. Hop over to Amazon, where you can buy the Peugeot 23485 Paris u’Select 9” pepper mill. It has an average of 4.5 stars and over 4,000 ratings.
6. Toyota Motor Corporation Lexus Yacht and Toyota Homes
- Lexus Yacht
- The Lexus LY650 is 65’ long with three state rooms. It features 1800 metric horsepower, which is about 1778 regular horsepower.
- The three state rooms sleep six people in total. Lexus started deliveries in the third quarter of 2019.
- Toyota Homes
- Over 37 years, Toyota Housing has sold 100,00 homes, all built with Toyota-designed steel frames.
- After such success in Japan, they now have sights on Indonesia.
7. Saab Jet Fighters
- Saab’s old slogan, “Built from Jets,” was true. They built the single engine turbojet fighter for the Swedish air force. It was in production in 1949 when they built their first car, the Saab 92.
- In 1989, GM purchased 50% of Saab.
- GM purchased the remaining 50% in 2000, then sold the company to a Dutch auto manufacturer in 2010.
8. Mitsubishi Electronics
- Although Mitsubishi is not the most popular car brand in North America, their automotive ventures are just a slice of the pie in their global industries.
- Three of the most common examples of Mitsubishi Electronics are air conditioning systems, large video displays (like the ones in arenas), and elevators and escalators.
- They use the diamond logo often found on Mitsubishi cars.
More Than Cars
Many well-known car manufactures make some pretty interesting products. Your car manufacturer could be keeping you cool at the grocery store or helping you see that great pitch at the stadium. Each time you drive your car now, you may look around and wonder: what else has your car brand built?