Honda's Rose Parade float, a replica of the ASIMO robot, kicked off Honda's 50th anniversary in the U.S. and lead the 120th Rose Parade, New Year's Day, Thursday, Jan. 1, 2009 in Pasadena, Calif.
TORRANCE, Calif., Jan. 2, 2008 – Honda's (http://www.honda.com) Rose Parade float, a 49-foot replica of the ASIMO humanoid robot, and the parade’s first-ever hydrogen-powered fuel cell pace car, the Honda FCX Clarity, lead the 120thRose Parade as well as kicked off Honda’s 50th anniversary of U.S. operations.
In front of the millions of viewers watching from around the world on Jan. 1, 2009, Honda’s float evolved from an opening ceremony stage into an animated replica of Honda’s ASIMO (Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility), standing about 12 times the height of the actual ASIMO humanoid robot. Honda’s float creation called “Hats Off in Celebration” that was completed with natural materials like lettuce seed, rice, carnations and strawflower. The float was joined by the Prairie View A&M University Marching Band, a past participant in the Honda Battle of the Bands which features the music programs of Historically Black Colleges and Universities. A few members of the band rode on the float, which was immediately followed by the entire marching band. In addition, during the parade the FCX Clarity pace car was accompanied by the Honda Super Cub motorcycle, the first model sold in the United States.
“Honda always brings a great amount of innovation to the Rose Parade and what a fantastic way for the company to kick off their 50th anniversary in the U.S.,” said Bill Flinn, chief operating officer, Tournament of Roses.
The surface of ASIMO was covered with super fine ground white rice and super fine ground everlasting; it is accented by fine cut blue statice and fine cut red statice as well as silverleaf to create accents and "shadows." Fine cut everlasting, whole red carnations and white chrysanthemums brought vivid color to Honda’s 50th anniversary logos, which were decorated by Honda associates (employees) on December 27.
“We’re honored to be celebrating our first 50 years in America by continuing our participation in the Rose Parade,” said Stephan Morikawa of American Honda Community Relations. “We’re thankful that so many customers have placed their trust in our products and services, and we are looking forward to surpassing their expectations during the next 50 years.”
Honda is one of the parade’s longest-running corporate sponsors, and its Rose Parade entries have captured major awards in 13 out of the last 14 years. Honda is the official Tournament of Roses vehicle. This year, the company provided 115 vehicles, including the Honda FCX Clarity pace car; 166 Metropolitan scooters; and, 12 generators for use by Tournament of Roses personnel.