People living in different regions around the world exhibit a diverse range of lifestyles that reflect their areas' different cultures and climates, each with its own set of essential needs. Seen on the global scale, there are phenomena that throw human communities into a state of emergency, for example natural disasters that threaten people's ability to enjoy the stability of everyday life. You'll find Honda power products hard at work helping customers around the world obtain essential products and services in times of emergency.
India's vibrant economy is expected to continue to grow. The country's rural villages, towns, and cities are unable to keep up the necessary level of infrastructure development needed by the rapidly growing economy, particularly in the area of electric power. Honda generators have established a high level of trust in this area, where poor power infrastructure causes outages on a frequent basis. Generators are widely used not only by homes across India, but also by stores and street vendors, making them an essential part of everyday life.
Honda Siel Power Products Ltd. recently received an order for 5,700 generators from India's central government for use at post offices throughout the country. The equipment is being put into service at post offices in rural areas with poor power infrastructure in an effort to enhance the facilities' banking functions in addition to their conventional postal delivery and shipping operations. Demand for generators as a means of backing up computer data is soaring as information technology transforms the country. Honda generators play a useful role for customers by not only contributing to the stable supply of power, but also aiding in the development of information infrastructure in emerging nations.
But our contribution goes beyond generators. Honda water pumps and string trimmers play an essential role in life in rural agricultural villages. Customers involved in agriculture have traveled dozens of kilometers to participate in workshops on product repair and maintenance. For the benefit of these customers, Honda personnel visit 107 dealers and agricultural villages and regions throughout India to offer product repair and maintenance service. In an average year, we conduct 1,600 such visits as part of this campaign.
During a dark period in its history, the Gulf of Thailand lying to the south of Thailand was nothing more than a stretch of polluted ocean, its fish stocks having been so exhausted by a large fishing fleet that nothing could be caught from the shore. Local fishermen responded by taking matters into their own hands in an effort to restore the fishing industry in the area, for example by making artificial coral reefs and bamboo trellises to serve as fish habitats and by starting to farm crabs. The resulting environmental awareness later influenced their selection of engines to power the long-tail boats on which their livelihood depends. Where the diesel engine had been the go-to powerplant, more and more fishermen began switching to Honda's GX engine, a fuel-efficient, 4-stroke design with comparatively low emissions. In the decades since that time, this general-purpose engine has inspired a dedicated following thanks to its light yet durable design and ease of maintenance. The iGX series, an “intelligent” evolution of the original GX engine, far exceeds the requirements imposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Phase 3 emissions regulations, which are the strictest standards of their kind in the world.
When continuous heavy rainfall caused unprecedented flooding in Thailand, Honda responded immediately by donating 200 GX160 engines and small boat installation kits.
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., which was forced to halt production on October 4, 2011, held a ceremony to celebrate the resumption of production on March 31, 2012. Honda threw all of its resources into restoring operations at the company, which serves as a critical base in the Asia and Oceania region. The Honda Group has established the Honda Khiang Khang Thai Fund and will donate a certain amount for every motorcycle, automobile, and power product sold in the country. We have set the goal of raising about 300 million baht by the end of fiscal 2012 for use in offering aid in the aftermath of future natural disasters in Thailand.
Honda is participating in the Kesennuma Kizuna Project, which offers ongoing aid to residents of the city of Kesennuma in Miyagi Prefecture who were displaced by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The project is dedicated to helping revitalize the community by building temporary structures for use as stores and socializing space at temporary housing compounds. In addition to supplying Gas-powered household cogeneration units for use at trailer houses in these compounds, Honda has donated Fit automobiles for use in a car sharing program. We also provided two Walking Assist Devices to help elderly evacuees living in temporary housing walk more easily. We are using information gained from the project to broaden the reach of our aid programs.