|Honda Begins Production and Sales of Small Car "Jazz" in Thailand|
|Bangkok, November 18, 2003 --- Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HATC), Honda's automobile production and sales subsidiary in Thailand, today announced that it has begun production and sales of the small car "Jazz," for the Thai market. With a price of Baht 542,000 for the 5-speed manual transmission model (S Type), HATC has set a sales target of 16,000 units for calendar year 2004.
Since first introduced in Japan in June 2001 as the "Fit," the Jazz has been marketed in more than 60 countries including in Europe and South American countries and became one of Honda's key strategic global models. Excellent fuel economy and efficient use of interior space have been highly valued by customers, with total global sales reaching 600,000 units within just two and a half years of the model's initial introduction.
The automobile market in Thailand has been recovering rapidly since the currency crisis in 1997, and is expected to reach 500,000 units this year -- growth of 22% from 2002. With the all-new City and Accord models, Honda's 2003 sales is expected to mark a new annual record exceeding 70,000 units, a 30% increase from the previous year. By adding Jazz to the product lineup, Honda expects to develop a new market with a 5-door hatchback and meet the diverse needs of automobile customers in Thailand.
In terms of environmental performance, Jazz conforms to the EURO IV requirement levels -- exhaust emissions standards to be introduced in Europe in 2005. Honda plans to meet EURO IV emissions levels for all models sold in Thailand in the future.
HATC's manufacturing plant in Ayutthaya province has been producing Accord, Civic, CR-V and City models, and becomes the third plant in the world to produce the Jazz (Fit), together with Honda plants in Japan and Brazil. In May 2003, HATC's production capacity was nearly doubled from the original 70,000 units to 120,000 units per year in order to meet increasing demand from domestic and overseas markets. HATC currently exports products to ASEAN countries, Japan, Oceania, the Middle East and Africa. Exports of Jazz to ASEAN countries will be considered if demand reaches adequate levels.
Outline of the Jazz
Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd. Ayutthaya Plant