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CorporateThailandOctober 21, 2008

Honda Pledges Long-Term Commitment to Thailand

Inaugurates Bht. 6.2 Billion Second Auto Plant

BANGKOK, Thailand, October 21, 2008–Honda Automobile (Thailand) Co., Ltd., Thailand’s second largest manufacturer and exporter of passenger cars, announced that production has begun at the company’s second newly operational world-class auto plant, built adjacent to its existing plant in Ayutthaya province, Thailand.

Honda Inaugurates Second Auto Plant in Thailand

Honda has invested more than Bht. 6.2 billion in its second manufacturing facility in Thailand. Covering an area of about 150,000m2, the new auto plant will employ an additional 2,200 Honda associates and double its annual production capacity to 240,000 units.

Fumihiko Ike, President & CEO of Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd., said, “With this second plant, our Thai operations advance to the next stage.  This means not just providing high quality products to global markets.  Our operations here will enhance their responsibility as the leader plant in Asia to provide technical support to other plants across the region.  With the rapid changes occurring around the world, our operations in Asia will play a greater role than ever,”

The new plant at Ayutthaya will manufacture Honda’s current portfolio of best-selling products – the Accord, Civic, CR-V, Jazz and the City.  The first model that rolled off from Honda’s latest facility is the Accord.

The inauguration of Honda’s latest venture in Thailand has raised its total investment in this country to over Bht. 21 billion, making Honda one of the country’s top foreign investors.  The company’s first plant started manufacturing operations in 1996.

The investment in the new plant was driven by the growing demand for Honda vehicles in both domestic and key export markets in the Asia/Oceania region.  Locally, Honda has sold about 64,000 vehicles in the year up to September, increasing its sales by 33% for the same 9-month period in 2007.  Honda’s market share rose from 10.5% last year to 13.9% between January and September 2008.

Kenji Otaka, HATC’s President, said, “With the start of this new auto plant, Honda Automobile Thailand is now ranked the largest manufacturer of passenger cars in ASEAN.  This plant incorporates the most advanced clean production technologies currently deployed anywhere, making it one of Honda’s cleanest auto manufacturing facilities in the world.”

The new facility at Rojana Industrial Estate, Ayutthaya, is one of Honda’s most modern and advanced plants in the world, raising the standard for environment-friendliness, ergonomically-designed manufacturing processes, and safety for the team working on site.  It is equipped with a “complete water-recycling system” to eliminate water wastage.  

The new plant will also reduce the use of volatile organic compounds by 50%, while the installation of Honda-developed CIGS (copper, indium, gallium and selenium) thin-film solar cells will cut carbon dioxide emissions by 10% compared with 2005 standards.

In addition, Honda has ensured that its employees at the plant are given the safest and most work-friendly environment.  

More automated systems are also featured at the new facility.  The assembly line is equipped with advanced light-weight tools and sophisticated conveyor systems that automatically adjust the position of the car on the assembly line to optimise convenience and comfort for its employees, thereby reducing fatigue.

Honda’s manufacturing facility in Thailand is currently ranked the sixth largest in Honda’s operations around the world after Japan, USA, China, Canada and the United Kingdom.  In Thailand, it employs over 4,200 associates and will increase the number to more than 6,400 employees to manage manufacturing operations at the two auto plants.
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