News Releases 2002

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April 23, 2002

Honda Begins Major North American Exports from U.K.

April 23, 2002 -- The first shipment of UK-built Honda CR-Vs departed from Southampton this weekend bound for the USA. The export of this brand new sport-utility vehicle (SUV) follows the company’s earlier development six months ago to export the new Civic 3-door model to Japan and North America.

This year 50,000 to 60,000 Honda CR-Vs are planned to be exported from Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd. (“HUM”)’s Swindon plant to the North American market. The export volume is expected to increase in 2003 and beyond.

The CR-V exports, together with the Civic 3-door, reaffirm HUM’s vital role in Honda’s Global Supply Network* by joining Japan as one of the two suppliers of CR-Vs to North America. At the same time, the Swindon-built Civic 3-door vehicles—produced solely in the UK—are complementing the model line-ups in North America and Japan. This also allows HUM to increase its rate of capacity utilisation.

Minoru Harada, President of Honda Motor Europe said

“We are extremely proud of what our 4,300 Associates at Swindon have achieved so far in meeting European customer requirements. They now have the challenge of meeting the demands of the North American SUV market. I am confident that our CR-V customers will be more than satisfied.”

Last year HUM was expanded through the addition of a second factory, which added 100,000 units to the original 150,000-unit annual capacity. Production at the Swindon plant in the first three months of the year is already up by 62% compared to the same period in 2001, as the £130m second car plant continues ramping up to full production.

Honda has now invested £1.15bn in Swindon, representing 70% of its total European investment. These investments over the years have allowed HUM to gain not only additional volume but also higher speed and flexibility, notably with the implementation of Honda’s New Manufacturing System. With this new system, introduced in 2000, HUM now has less model specific tooling and manufacturing processes, enabling it to introduce new models onto its production lines in a shorter amount of time with minimum investment in new tooling.

* With the Global Supply Network, Honda expects to maintain competitiveness through making the best use of its worldwide resources to enhance the company's ability to quickly and flexibly meet changing market conditions and customer needs. It also enables Honda to optimize supply/demand for its products on a global scale.

Outline of Honda of the U.K. Mfg., Ltd.

Established : February 1985
Location : Swindon, Wiltshire
Representative : Akira Takano, President
Number of employees : Approx. 4,300
Total Investment : £ 1.15 billion
Began Production : 1989 (Engines), 1992 (Automobiles), 2001 (No.2 Plant)
Models Produced : No.1 Plant: Accord 4 / 5 door, Civic 3 door, CR-V
No.2 Plant: Civic 3 / 5 door
Production capacity : No.1 Plant: 150,000 vehicles / year
No.2 Plant: 100,000 vehicles / year