Honda, after establishing itself as a leading manufacturer of motorcycles during the 1950s, began production of automobiles in 1963. Honda introduced its N360 minicar, compliant with Kei car specifications for the Japanese market, for the 1967 model year. The car had a transverse-mounted front engine, front-wheel drive (FF) layout, which would be adopted for the later N600 (1969), H1300 (1970) and Civic (1972) models. The Civic gave Honda their first market success competing with manufacturers of standard compact cars, which were the growth segment as sales of minicars plateaued and waned in the early 1970s. It was their first model to have an impact in the export market. It became one of the most influential automotive designs of the 1970s, with the Volkswagen Golf (1974), Ford Fiesta (1976), and Fiat Ritmo (1978) showing similarities as transverse-FF, truncated-trapezoidal hatchbacks occupying a size niche between minicars and compact sedans. Honda would later expand the Civic’s FF-compact design to produce the larger and more up-market Accord ( 1976) and Prelude (1978) models.