|Honda Celebrates First Minivan Rolling off New Local Production Line in Canada|
|Canada, October 1, 1998 --- Honda Canada Inc., the subsidiary of Honda responsible for manufacturing and sales in Canada, issued the following News Release on September 30, 1998 at 2 p.m. local time (3 a.m. October 1 Tokyo time). It gives details about the new Odyssey minivan being manufactured locally in Canada by Honda, the first one of which rolled off the production line today.
Today Honda Canada (Headquarters: Scarborough, Ontario; President: Shigeru Takagi) announced that their automobile manufacturing division, Honda of Canada Manufacturing (HCM: operating site in Alliston, Ontario; Operations Manager: Noriyuki Koide) held a ceremony to celebrate the first of their new range of Odyssey minivans designed specifically for the North American market rolling off the newly constructed second production line at the HCM factory.
Several VIPs attended the ceremony, including Canadian Federal Industry Minister John Manley, Ontario state premier Mike Harris and the Japanese ambassador to Canada, Katsuhisa Uchida. Presiding over the ceremony, Honda Motor Vice-President (and President of American Honda) Koichi Amemiya commented that, with the minivan segment now so well established within the North American market, the new Odyssey with its low-emission (LEV) engine and complete range of unique Honda features represented the company's best response to the wishes of customers for a high-quality, environment-friendly minivan. He also thanked the Canadian federal government, state government of Ontario and all Honda's local suppliers for the various kinds of support granted in the project including construction of the factory and commissioning of the new minivan production site.
The new site housing the second production line is located adjacent to HCM's existing manufacturing plant, which has an annual production capacity of 170,000 vehicles. Once it is operating at full capacity, the second line is expected to have an annual production capacity of 120,000 vehicles and employ 1,200 workers. In its first year, production of 60,000 units of the new Odyssey is planned, all of them destined for the North American market. In anticipation of the commencement of local production of this new model, exports of the original Odyssey from Japan have already ceased. The new investment in plant and equipment totaled C$300 million, bringing the cumulative total investment in HCM to over C$1.1 billion.
Since it began operations in November 1986, HCM has produced over 1.2 million Honda Civics for the Canadian and US markets. Honda's plans call for continued investment in its local manufacturing facilities in North America, with the goal of boosting the combined annual production capacity of HCM and its counterpart in the United States, Honda of America Manufacturing (HAM), to 1.01 million vehicles by 2001.
Outline: Honda Canada Inc.
Odyssey EX (N. American version)