|Guangzhou Honda to Build a new Automobile R&D Center|
|GUANGZHOU, China, July 18, 2007 – Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co., Ltd. (GHAC), Honda’s automobile production and sales joint venture in China, announced the establishment of a wholly-owned R&D subsidiary in China. With an investment of approximately 2 billion R.M.B. (approximately 30 billion yen*), the new Honda subsidiary, Guangzhou Honda Automobile Research & Development Co., Ltd., will build an automobile R&D facility accompanied by a full-scale high-speed test course. The company will develop a new automobile product which will be marketed under an original brand of Guangzhou Honda targeting the start of sales in 2010.
* Calculated based on the exchange rate of 1 R.M.B.= 15 yen
This new vehicle, which will be a unique product that incorporates various needs specific to the Chinese market, will be developed primarily by the R&D subsidiary of Guangzhou Honda while receiving support from Honda R&D Co.,Ltd. To market this vehicle, Guangzhou Honda plans to use an original Guangzhou Honda brand, which will be differentiated from the Honda brand. This will be the first time a joint venture company of a foreign automaker will develop and market a product under an original brand of the joint venture company in China.
Since the start of production in 1999, Guangzhou Honda has been steadily establishing a business foundation in China through various efforts including: expanding production capacity consistent with increasing sales, increasing local content, and strengthening of the dealer network. The establishment of an R&D center in China represents the company’s commitment to achieve greater autonomy in the area of R&D, in addition to production and sales, to position the company for further growth in the future as a joint venture company deeply rooted in the local market.
Honda has been at the forefront of other companies in introducing new concepts to the automobile industry in China, which began full-fledged growth in the late 1990s. These achievements include: local production of the latest model Accord in China with Guangzhou Honda, establishment of China’s first dedicated automobile dealer network which integrates sales, service, service parts supply and customer service, and China’s first full-scale export to Europe of passenger vehicles produced at the Honda Automobile (China) Co., Ltd plant, which is dedicated exclusively to exports. Now, Honda again takes on a new challenge of developing a new product under an original brand of a joint venture company in China.
About Guangzhou Honda Automobile Research & Development Co., Ltd.