Honda Business Brief Issue 65 May 2008
1. CEO Mid-Year Speech: Honda to Set Environmental Benchmark with Accessible Global Hybrid
During his mid-year speech, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co., Takeo Fukui announced that Honda is to launch an accessible hybrid car to allow more people around the world to adopt cleaner motoring technology and significantly reduce global car emissions. The car will be a convenient and compact 5-door/5-passenger size with an exterior design that employs the concept of the FCX Clarity. Its strengths will be good fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability, comfort and styling. In addition to the new accessible hybrid, Honda will further accelerate hybrid sales by introducing a sporty hybrid based on its CR-Z, Civic Hybrid and the addition of a Jazz Hybrid model. With all four of these models, Honda expects combined annual sales of its hybrid models to reach 500,000 units.
Within the mid-year speech, delivered against the backdrop of rising fuel prices and growing environmental concerns, Mr Fukui also outlined the strengthening of Honda's motorcycle business alongside its commitment to innovation through R&D and customer service.
2. Honda Announces FCX Clarity Business Plan for the USA and Commencement of Customer Selection Process
American Honda announced it plans to deliver 200 FCX Clarity hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicles to US customers over the first three years of production, with leases beginning in July 2008. The lease program marks the world's first large-scale retail initiative for fuel cell vehicle technology and Honda has begun the process of identifying customers from a group of over 50,000 individuals who have expressed interest in the FCX Clarity so far. The customer selection process will consider respondents' proximity to publicly-accessible hydrogen fueling stations, driving patterns, vehicle needs, vehicle storage and financial criteria. Honda will announce its first customers at a ceremony on June 16, 2008 in Japan, where Honda will also showcase the world's first dedicated fuel cell vehicle production facility. Honda expects to lease several dozen FCX Clarity models per year in the US and Japan to reach a total of about 200 units in the first three years.
3. Honda Aircraft Company Begins European Sales of HondaJet
Honda Aircraft Company, Inc., announced the start of European sales of HondaJet at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE). The company also introduced its first customer in the region for the advanced light jet, F1 racer and business entrepreneur, Jenson Button. To provide sales and service support to its customers in Europe, the company announced that it will establish a new European network of three HondaJet-exclusive sales and service centres located in the UK, Germany and Spain. Honda Aircraft Company further announced an expansion of its relationship with FlightSafety International, the world's leading pilot training company, to provide its customers with flight training in Europe. The first HondaJet will be delivered in Europe in 2012 and in addition to many advanced designs, will feature a new in-flight entertainment (IFE) system concept with cutting-edge features.
4. Honda Sets All-Time Record for Global Auto Production Outside of Japan for April
Honda announced a year-on-year increase for the 33rd consecutive month (since August 2005) for auto production in regions outside of Japan, setting an all-time record for the month of April with a total of 237,828 units (an increase of 18.7% compared with April 2007). Within that, Europe experienced an increase of 14.2% to 21,943 units for auto production in the month of April compared with the same month last year. Overall global production in April increased by 5.8% to an all time record 329,091 units for that month. For the year to date, total global auto production reached 1,347,951 up 4.8% on the same period last year
5. Cumulative Global Production of Cub Series Motorcycles Reaches 60 Million Units
Cumulative worldwide production of Honda Cub series motorcycles*1 reached the 60 million-unit milestone at the end of April 2008. Honda Super Cub C100, first introduced in Japan in 1958, has gained worldwide acceptance both as a business-use motorcycle and for daily transportation, and has been enjoyed by customers in more than 160 countries around the world. This August will mark the 50th anniversary of the launch of Honda Cub series.
6. The Latest ASIMO Sprints to Lisbon's International Motor Show for its Portuguese Debut
The New ASIMO recently attended the 2008 Portugal International Motor Show (2008 Salão Internacional do Automóvel de Portugal). It was the first time the latest version of ASIMO had travelled to Portugal and it made 28 public performances on a vast, purpose-built stage during its 11-day visit; an estimated 250,000 visitors attended the international motor show. The focus this year was ‘Driving to the Future' and Honda's stand displayed, in addition to ASIMO, a number of Honda's ground-breaking environmental technologies including: the Small Hybrid Sports concept; the new Accord 2008 (which, like ASIMO, is making its debut in Portugal) equipped with the brand new i-DTEC next-generation clean diesel engine, and the production model Civic Hybrid.
7. Honda Racing Customer Support Gears Up for 2008 Season
Honda Racing Customer Support was established in partnership with JAS Motorsport in 2002 with a mission to share Honda's joy and passion for racing with its customers. Under the programme, JAS Motorsport offers services to customers ranging from a "technical assistance hotline" to full rally and track support, along with racing parts and "ready to race" cars. To date no less than 300 customers in Europe have enjoyed racing with a Civic Type R since the Customer Support programme was launched and demand for the services, cars and parts is predicted to be higher than ever in the 2008 season.
8. Honda Provides Aid to Victims of Sichuan Earthquake
Honda expressed its deepest sympathy and condolences to the victims of the earthquake epicentered in the Sichuan province of China and pledged approximately JPY 115 million toward the relief and recovery effort in response to the tragedy. Honda group companies in China contributed approximately CNY 4 million (approximately JPY 60 million), comprising cash donations, two CR-V sport utility vehicles and 30 electrical generators and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. contributed JPY 55 million through the Japanese Red Cross Society.
9. Honda to Offer Donations to Aid the Disaster Victims of the Myanmar Cyclone
Honda announced a contribution totalling approximately JPY 23.3 million to assist the Red Cross in providing shelter, relief and recovery support to those affected by the recent Myanmar Cyclone. Of the JPY 23.3 million, Honda Motor Co., Ltd. will contribute JPY 20 million through the Japanese Red Cross Society, while Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Honda's Asian and Oceanic headquarters function (located in Bangkok), will contribute THB 1 million (approximately JPY 3.3 million) through the Thai Red Cross Society.