Released: October 19, 2005
Our themes for this yea's Tokyo Motor Show are "FINE Times" and "Fine Technology." Fine Times means the joyful time we want to offer our customers through Honda automobiles. And "FINE Technology" represents Hond's advanced technology and designs that provide new value to our customers. So, our key word this year is FINE.
The fun of driving is an important trait that makes Honda unique. At this year's Motor Show, we would like visitors to get a feel for the FINE which represents fun driving, as well as the direction of Honda's automobile development to build a vehicle that enables all passengers to comfortably enjoy mobility.
The new Civic models introduced last month represent Honda's FINE approach. With the powerful performance of a newly developed engine and of the new Honda Hybrid System, dynamic and advanced design for driving pleasure, and the most advanced safety features, the new Civic far exceeds what people expect from a compact sedan. Since it was first introduced, the Civic has always been a breakthrough vehicle, delivering its own unique value. With the new Civic, Honda would like to provide a breath of fresh air to the Japanese sedan market and create new value for our customers.
At Honda, we believe that the powertrain is at the core of FINE technology that creates the joy of driving and mobility. Since 2000, we have been making a transition to our next-generation of compact, lightweight, high-performance engines. With the new Civic, this changeover is complete. Over the next three years, we will further improve the fuel efficiency of our mass market vehicles with intelligent technologies and the further advancement of VTEC and VCM (Variable Cylinder Management) technologies.
Our hybrid system will be combined with engines made even more efficient through the application of intelligent technologies, and made widely available as one of the powertrain options for mass production vehicles. In addition, as a part of our effort to better meet the different energy requirements of each region, we plan to introduce a Civic model for Europe with Honda's original diesel engine and a flex-fuel vehicle which runs on ethanol fuel in Brazil.
As for fuel cell technology, which we consider as an ultimate powertain to address the issues of energy shortages and global warming ... we are exhibiting the "FCX Concept," which is a concept model that suggests our future direction in this field.
Honda became the world's first automaker to bring a fuel cell vehicle to market in 2002. Our independently developed fuel cell stack offers the world's top level compactness and performance output, and the ability to start-up in sub-zero temperatures. As a pioneer in the field of fuel cell vehicles, we have further improved fuel cell stack efficiency to deliver a new value not to be found in gasoline-engine powered vehicles.
With the FCX Concept here, a lower floor was achieved through the newly developed "V-FLOW FC Platform," for which the fuel cell stack is made significantly more compact and located in the middle of the vehicle body. The results are an advanced design, a more spacious cabin, and superior driving performance.
At Honda, we want to make sure the next-generation of fuel cell vehicles deliver not just environmental performance, but a level of comfort and driving enjoyment beyond gasoline-powered vehicles. This FCX Concept vehicle represents technological advancements of seven to eight years down the road, and thus it will take a little more time to achieve it all. Meanwhile, we will continue to devote ourselves to further downsize and improve the efficiency of the primary components including the fuel cell stack and hydrogen tank with a view toward mass commercialization.
As for the hydrogen supply infrastructure ... which is essential for wide spread fuel cell vehicle use ... we are exhibiting a system which supplies hydrogen fuel at home while supplying electricity and heat for residential needs. We are also working to begin lease sales of fuel-cell-powered motorcycles in 2009. Please have a look at the various initiatives we carry out with a vision of the hydrogen society of the future.
Today, we also exhibit two more Concept models. The Sports 4 Concept is designed to embody the enjoyable FINE Times we want people to experience, providing driving pleasure comparable with a sports car. And the W.O.W Concept is designed from the viewpoint of dog owners, to enable people to travel more comfortably with their dogs with enhanced peace of mind.
These three concept vehicles feature a functional elegance made possible by advanced technologies along with a visual attractiveness that appeals to the human senses. With these people-centered, trend-setting, emotionally appealing designs, Honda will strive to create new design values that embody the pleasure of driving and mobility for all.
Finally, I would like to touch on motor sports, which is the origin of Honda and the important Power of Dreams that moves us forward. In the IndyCar Series, we have captured the Triple Crown for the second year in a row including the Manufacturer's title.
Next year, in both MotoGP and Formula One racing we will aim for the center of the winners' podium, and we would like to share the thrills and excitement with Honda race fans everywhere.
By pursuing ambitious initiatives and further refining our advanced technologies and designs, we intend to continue to exceed our customers' expectations in all areas including driving pleasure, environmental performance, and safety. Our ongoing challenge is to offer FINE times to more people. We appreciate your continuing support for Honda.
Thank you very much.