|Honda Begins Automobile Operations in Vietnam|
|HANOI, Vietnam, August 24, 2006 --- Honda Vietnam Co., Ltd. (HVN), Honda’s Vietnamese subsidiary, announced that it has begun automobile operations in Vietnam with launch of the new Civic, produced at its new automobile plant in the suburbs of Hanoi in Vinh Phuc Province. HVN will hold the opening ceremony for the new plant tomorrow, August 25.
The new plant has an annual production capacity of 10,000 units. In addition to welding, painting and assembly of complete vehicles, engine assembly will also be conducted at the plant, a first for an automobile plant in Vietnam. By 2010, the cumulative investment for the automobile operation is expected to reach approximately US$60 million, including the plant and the new sales network. The automobile operation is expected to create direct employment of approximately 250 new associates at HVN, with an expected total of more than 700 new jobs including dealers and parts suppliers.
About 250 guests, including the vice ministers of the Planning and Investment Ministry and the Ministry of Industry of Vietnam along with news media, were invited to the new Civic press conference held in Hanoi today, along with Honda President & CEO Takeo Fukui. HVN has begun auto sales with the Civic 4-door sedan, available with either a 1.8-liter or 2.0-liter engine, both featuring i-VTEC technologies. The Civic is priced in the range of 495 – 605 million Vietnamese Dong(VND), and HVN plans monthly sales of about 300 units.
Honda auto sales will begin at four dealers that have been established in the largest cities (two in Hanoi and two in Ho Chi Minh City), with a plan for further expansion in line with increased demand. Each dealer has a spacious showroom and service operation.
Since beginning motorcycle production in December 1997, HVN has offered excellent convenience and value to the customers in Vietnam through its motorcycle products. Annual sales reached 617,000 units in 2005, a 20% increase from the previous year. Although the automobile market in Vietnam is still in its infancy with about 35,000 units sold in 2005 according to the statistics from VAMA (Vietnam Automobile Manufacturers Association), HVN has constructed the new automobile plant with permission for production and sales from the Government of Vietnam, with a vision for market growth in line with the expected growth of the country's economy. Through the production and sales of the new Civic, which has proven popular in many countries around the world, Honda hopes to offer excellent new value to Vietnamese customers.
Takeo Fukui commented, “By deepening the ties cultivated through our motorcycle operations with customers in Vietnam, we were able to enter the automobile market with its high potential, a major step forward for us at Honda. Through our products manufactured at the new automobile plant in Vietnam, we look forward to offering world-class quality and state-of-the-art technologies to our Vietnamese customers.”
Honda Vietnam Co., Ltd.