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Automobile
China
April 19, 2011

Excerpts of Speech at Auto Shanghai 2011 by Takanobu Ito, President and CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

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Shanghai 2011 Honda Press Conference (07:50)

Released: April 19, 2011

Takanobu Ito, President and CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

Good afternoon. Thank you for coming to the Honda booth today.

Since the major earthquake struck eastern Japan, we have received heartfelt expressions of sympathy and support from people all over the world. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their support. And I ask for your understanding of the efforts we are making for the earliest possible complete recovery of our business.

<Overview of Chinese market and Honda's business>  

China is maintaining positive momentum as the world's largest automobile market. Honda's sales also have been growing steadily. Our products and service have been highly acclaimed by our customers in China because we put the highest priority on customer satisfaction. To further accelerate our growth, Honda will expand capacity at Guangqi Honda and build a second plant at Dongfeng Honda.

<Honda's environmental initiatives and introduction of vehicles on display>  

Honda's core business is personal mobility … including three distinct product areas … motorcycle, automobile and power products.  By improving the fuel economy of internal combustion engines in each area, Honda has contributed to reducing CO2 emissions.  But Honda is also developing a wide range of technologies including solar cells and electromotive technologies to advance each type of mobility.

At this Shanghai Motor Show, we are exhibiting Honda's original electromotive technologies, including hybrid and electric vehicles.  Achieving widespread use of hybrid vehicles is our immediate priority to advance electromotive technologies.

In addition to Civic Hybrid which is now sold in China, we will introduce the Insight hybrid model through Dongfeng Honda … and the CR-Z and Fit hybrid models through Guangqi Honda, in 2012. These vehicles will initially be imported from Japan.

However, we are preparing for local production of these hybrid vehicles in China. This will include obtaining core components of the hybrid system such as the battery and motor in China.

Today, we also introduce Honda's original hybrid system with a lithium-ion battery. Developed by Blue Energy, Honda's joint venture company with GS Yuasa, this battery delivers high energy density and output.

As for electric vehicles, we believe current battery performance is best-suited for a short-distance commuter car at this time.  To determine the feasibility of this approach, we are conducting various demonstration tests in Japan and the U.S.

In China, Honda and the city of Guangzhou and Guangzhou Automobile Group Company Ltd. reached a basic agreement to conduct demonstration testing of EVs.  This will verify how practical and convenient the EVs Honda is currently developing will be within the infrastructure of Guangzhou. Further, we will verify the ideal infrastructure for society toward achieving the widespread use of automobiles powered by new energy. 

Moreover, Honda is working toward the goal to begin production of EVs in China in 2012.

Needless to say, the plants which produce these environmentally-responsible products must also have top-class environmental performance. Both at Guangqi Honda and Dongfeng Honda, our plants are top-class green factories that minimize their environmental footprint in all areas.

<Strengthening local operations>

Honda began full-scale automobile business in China in the 1990s.  Since then, we have always offered our customers in China the world's latest technologies and highest levels of service.

Based on this original spirit, Honda will further strengthen our local capabilities in the areas of development, production and sales.

First, we have established new R&D and product planning functions in China so that we can better reflect the needs of Chinese customers to our products. Through this initiative, we will further enrich our lineup of vehicles developed exclusively for China.

In addition, we will strengthen our local parts purchasing function and utilize these capabilities globally.

Finally, we will strengthen our local quality and service functions. Together, this will establish the next-generation of our local business foundation in China to attain an even higher level of customer satisfaction. 

<Conclusion>

Our goal at Honda has always focused on becoming the automaker closest to our customers in China. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude toward Guangzhou Auto Group and Dongfeng Motor Group who always had a deep understanding of Honda's way of thinking.

We will continue moving forward by strengthening our deep collaboration with our partners.  Thank you again for your continuous support.

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