- November 20, 2013
The 43rd Tokyo Motor Show 2013 Speech of Sho Minekawa Senior Managing Officer and Chief Operating Officer for Regional Sales Operations in Japan
TOKYO, Japan, November 20, 2013 - I will brief you about Honda business in Japan.
First, let me talk about automobile business in Japan.
Thanks to the strong support of our customers, the N-BOX became the industry's best selling mini-vehicle in Japan for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013 as well as for the fiscal first half ended September 30, 2013.
The N Series, which we first introduced at the Tokyo Motor Show two years ago, has now grown to become one of the pillars supporting Honda business in Japan.
Today, I am pleased to introduce the 4th model of our N Series.
We believe that this new model will serve as a basic car for the future of mini-vehicles, N-WGN. The N-WGN is a mini-vehicle that balances everything at a high level, including spaciousness, safety and driving performance that go beyond those of conventional mini-vehicles and far exceed customer expectations.
Realizing the largest cabin space in the mini height-wagon category, the N-WGN brings a marked improvement in the ease of use for a mini-vehicle.
The N-WGN will go on sale at Honda Cars all across Japan on November 22.
The addition of N-WGN will further solidify our mini-vehicle business in Japan.
Now, we also are strengthening our product lineup besides mini-vehicles.
The all-new FIT, which underwent a full model change, has been very well received since its market introduction in September of this year.
And today, we're going to unveil the world premiere of a new-generation vehicle, the all-new Honda VEZEL. The Honda VEZEL fuses together the multifaceted values of the automobile at a high level, featuring the dynamics of a SUV, the elegance of a coupe and the usability of a minivan … to propose a new form of automobile.
In Japan, VEZEL is scheduled to announce on December 19 and go on sale on December 20, 2013. And this model will be available with two types, namely hybrid and gasoline, and each type will have front-wheel-drive and four-wheel-drive models. Honda will cultivate a new segment in the automobile market in Japan with VEZEL and more future models.
Furthermore, we will be introducing a new compact-class hybrid sedan in spring 2014.
Also, we will introduce the SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD® (Super Handling - All Wheel Drive)-equipped LEGEND in fall 2014. Including the Accord HYBRID, which we introduced in June of this year, all sedan models sold in Japan will be equipped with a hybrid system most appropriate for each class, and Honda will strengthen the sales of these models as the Earth Dreams Sedan Series.
Now, let me move on to the motorcycle business, which is the starting point of Honda. This year, we are exhibiting a total of 18 planned mass-production models, as we continue to strengthen our product lineup in each category.
Today, we're going to unveil the world premiere of a new Street Muscle Cruiser, the GOLDWING F6C. This GOLDWING F6C adopts Honda's original 1800cc horizontally-opposed V6 engine.
I believe this model will enable our customers to enjoy the overwhelming stature and joy of ownership, especially with this powerful and stately styling.
In addition, we will further strengthen our CB brand through a series of new model introductions including CB1100EX that highlights the traditional CB image, CB1300 SUPER FOUR, CB1300 SUPER BOL D'OR and other models that highlight innovativeness.
Moreover, we are also including some very ambitious models such as the CTX1300, which is a new kind of cruiser unique to Honda, and the CB650F and CBR650F, our new sports models equipped with a newly-developed 4-cylinder engine.
In the meantime, in the category of commuters, we will introduce the all-new Dunk scooter equipped with a liquid-cooled 50cc engine. The Dunk features a fun-to-ride and very user-friendly model that appeals to a wide range of customers, especially young people.
Finally, I would like to discuss the re-vitalization of the motorcycle market in Japan.
The world's best-selling motorcycle category is the 125cc class. The major attractiveness of motorcycles in this class are their ability to naturally coexist with automobile traffic and their low price realized by economies of scale. If it becomes easier to obtain a second-class motor-driven cycle license in Japan, which includes the 125cc class, it would lead to an increase in the convenience of customers and revitalize the motorcycle market in Japan.
While promoting traffic safety and good traffic manners we will work harder to improve the environment for motorcycle use as a joint effort with the government. Your understanding and cooperation toward our efforts will be greatly appreciated.
Honda will continue delivering unique mobility products, which are filled with fun and do not simply fit inside the box.
Thank you very much for coming today!