Honda Focuses on Promising Markets

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Asia, South America are growth markets.

As the U.S. powersports market continues sluggish, Honda Motor. Co. Ltd. of Japan has disclosed a plan outlining the company's business goals in countries outside the United States.

Asia/India. Honda has been introducing high-value-added automatic transmission and fuel-injected models in Thailand, Indonesia, India, China and Vietnam. In Vietnam, construction completed in May brought product capacity from 860,000 units to 1 million units. In addition, Honda decided to invest US$65 million to build a second motorcycle plant scheduled to become operational in the second half of 2008 with annual production capacity of 500,000 units. Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) plans to expand its annual production capacity from 1 million units to 1.2 million units by 2010. Honda's total annual motorcycle production capacity in India is planned to be 5.6 million units by 2010.

South America. Honda projects it will be producing 1.54 million units in South America by the end of this year.

In Brazil, Honda's cumulative motorcycle production reached 10 million units at the end of July. The company plans to expand its annual production capacity in Brazil to 1.5 million units by the end of 2007. The OEM plans to begin manufacturing a second model in Argentina still this year, and in Peru a new plant with an annual production capacity of 25,000 units is scheduled to become operational next month.

"Honda will further accelerate efforts to strengthen the core characteristics that make Honda unique in each business area and demonstrate spirited initiative to take on challenges to develop advanced technologies and products that create new value for the joy of our customers," says Takeo Fukui, president and chief executive officer, Honda Motor Co. Ltd.

(OK, Mr. Fukui, but how about some "unique" product and "spirited initiative" for the U.S. market?)