Seoul, March 25, 2003 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced plans to begin automobile sales in the Republic of Korea by early 2004. Honda Motorcycle Korea Co., Ltd., the existing local motorcycle sales subsidiary, has been renamed Honda Korea Co., Ltd. and will take on the responsibility to import and sell automobiles through a new network of dealers. First year unit sales are forecast at approximately 2,000 units, with Honda Korea Co.'s capital investment increasing by 9 billion won to a cumulative total of 12 billion won.
The Korean automobile market has made a steady recovery since suffering from the Asian currency crisis of 1997. The Korean auto market, the third largest in Asia behind Japan and China, recorded annual sales of 1.64 million units in 2002. The market has grown rapidly over the past several years, especially regarding sales of import automobiles due to policy changes including a tariff reduction from 20% to 8% in 1995 and the end of an embargo on Japanese auto imports in 1999. As a result, automobile imports have nearly doubled in each of the last few years, with 2002 industry sales figures showing import auto sales of approximately 16,000 units. Honda will enter the Korean import automobile market with an emphasis on both high quality products and customer service.
【Outline of Honda Korea Co., Ltd.】
|Established||:||October 2001 (Former company name: Honda Motorcycle Korea Co., Ltd.)|
|Capital||:||3 billion won (Approx. 300 million yen) (Planned to increase to 12 billion won in April 2003)|
|Representative||:||President, Woo Young Chung|
|Location||:||Seoul Metropolitan City|
|Number of employees||:||19 (Planned to increase to 32 by early 2004)|
|Business activities||:||Import, sales and after-sales service, of motorcycles and automobiles.|