|Honda Introduces Acura brand in China|
|China, July 25, 2005– Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced plans to introduce Acura brand automobiles in China. Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (HMCI), a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary in China, will import Acura products and market them through a dedicated Acura dealer network which HMCI will establish. Sales of the Acura brand in China is planned to begin in spring 2006 with the RL luxury sedan. The first year sales goal is set at 3,000 units. The Acura brand will differentiate itself in the luxury car market by offering high performance products that further highlight the underlying concept of all Honda products - the joy of driving.
Honda created the Acura brand in 1986, to enter the luxury automobile market in North America, as a second sales channel to market luxury performance models. Since then, Acura has been established as a premium brand exclusive for North America including Canada and Mexico, and Acura products, developed based on the characteristics and customer tastes unique to the North American market, have been very popular with customers. In 2004, total annual sales of Acura products in North America reached a record of 220,000 units.
The automobile market in China is growing rapidly and customer needs are becoming increasingly diversified, with demand for luxury cars increasing with the growth of a more affluent class. Honda will respond to the diverse needs of Chinese customers by offering premium class vehicles through the Acura brand - for the first time outside North America - in addition to the Honda brand vehicles offered through Honda joint venture companies in China. Honda is devoting its full resources to strengthen its operations in the Chinese market which is continuing its growth into one of the world's largest automobile markets.
HMCI, which will be responsible for Acura sales in China, began operations in April 2004, as a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary to function as a regional headquarters that enables Honda to achieve the integrated operation of its motorcycle, automobile, and power product businesses through 14 local joint ventures and subsidiaries in China. Current responsibilities of HMCI include development of overall business strategies, external affairs, communications, and management of intellectual properties. With the introduction of Acura brand products, HMCI will expand its business domain by adding new functions including importing and sales of automobile products and service parts.
About Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (HMCI)