Released: September 23, 2004
PARIS, France -- Shigeru Takagi, President of Honda Motor Europe ltd., presented this year's Honda Keynote at the Honda Stand to a packed crowd of journalists. Highlights included the world premier of the FR-V and CR-V diesel.
The following is the complete transcript:
Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and thank you for joining us today at the Honda Stand.
There have been many times when I shared the stage with other speakers. But, I must say that ASIMO is a hard act to follow! I hope all of you enjoyed this demonstration of Honda's humanoid robotics technology.
Honda is a company based on the constant pursuit of new dreams. And we decided to bring ASIMO here because it is a clear example of what can be achieved when people dream and challenge to make those dreams into reality. Based on the dreams and skills of our engineers, we have always targeted innovation - the development of the world's most advanced and innovative technologies - as the foundation for new Honda products.
It may not be as exciting to watch as ASIMO, but the first diesel engine developed by Honda is another example of Honda's focus on engineering. We dreamed to develop and produce a diesel engine that is distinctive from others. Honda's new turbo diesel engine -the "i-CTDi" -meets this objective. It was developed especially for Europe, first introduced in the Accord diesel at the last Frankfurt motorshow.
This new engine delivers advanced performance, including high torque together with low fuel consumption and low emissions that complies with the stringent Euro04 regulations. This outstanding performance was proven in May in front of FIA, when the Accord established world records in the areas of maximum speed.
Now, to focus even more on our European customers and demonstrate our commitment to success in Europe, we plan to extend the application of our Honda diesel engine to other models that will exceed customer expectations.
The next application is the CR-V diesel, which makes its world debut today. The CR-V has consistently been one of the best selling petrol SUVs in Europe. We are sure it will continue this success with newly added safety features, such as side curtain airbags with roll-over sensors, as well as Vehicle Stability Assist, or VSA. Further, by adding the diesel model to the line-up, we will make CR-V even more attractive. And, as a result, we will see sales increase even further.
Like the Accord diesel, the CR-V diesel meets the Euro 4 standard with Honda's advanced combustion engine technology. Yet, we have decided to take an additional step by offering a diesel particulate filter - or DPF - to further advance its clean performance.
As I said earlier, we have always considered innovation as the key to exceeding the expectations of our customers.
And innovation is a perfect word to describe the all-new FR-V, which makes its European public debut at the Paris Show. The FR-V has a distinctive 3 + 3 seating concept, offering superb packaging, including a unique and extremely flexible seat arrangement. The FR-V provides the driver and passengers a versatile and comfortable communication space to share the fun of mobility as never seen before.
The FR-V will be on sale from November with two petrol engine variations and, in 2005, a Honda turbo diesel engine version will be available, adding yet another customer option.
The all-new FR-V and the CR-V are joined on the Honda stand by an improved Jazz - already a multi-award winning small car. In addition, Honda has established "Honda World" at our booth to further demonstrate our cutting-edge technologies, especially those that improve the environment and safety.
Innovation is also a good word to describe our efforts for the environment. Honda has been improving fuel efficiency, both with current internal combustion engines and the development and introduction of hybrid vehicles with Honda's Integrated Motor Assist system.
Further, Honda has continued to make progress in the development of fuel cell vehicles expected to provide an alternative to petrol-powered vehicles in the future. Though not yet available in Europe, Honda is now leasing 14 units of the FCX. And we remain the only carmaker in the world to earn government certification of a fuel cell vehicle.
Yet we continue to advance this technology. A Honda developed fuel cell stack has achieved cold start performance in sub-zero temperatures. And we plan to begin leasing the FCX with Honda's FC Stack next year, in Japan and the U.S.
Finally, we are also showcasing the HondaJet in Honda World. Of course, we couldn't quite fit a full scale version in our display area. But it, too, demonstrates the power of dreams and what can be achieved by pursuing new dreams.
But our real purpose today is to demonstrate how determined we are to introduce products that meet the need of European customers, now and in the future. When it comes to the areas of the environment and safety - and other areas requiring advanced technology - Honda will lead the industry in providing products that offer new value for the customer.
Thank you for coming today.