News Releases 2003

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April 1, 2003

Honda Starts Operation of Motorcycle R&D Facility in China

Tokyo, April 1, 2003 --- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. today announced that Honda Motorcycle R&D China Co., Ltd. had started to conduct motorcycle research and development activities in China. This is the first R&D facility wholly owned by a Japanese motorcycle manufacturer to start operations in China. 

Honda Motorcycle R&D China Co., Ltd. is located on a 115,000m2 site in Songjiang, Shanghai, and includes a 400m straight test course, which, among other purposes, will be used to carry out measurements of road surface noise to comply with ISO standards. This facility will enable Honda to subject motorcycles to various conditions during the development phase enabling it to meet the various needs of customers in China. 

In 2002, the Chinese motorcycle market exceeded the 10 million-unit level and is currently the largest in the world. Honda has three joint-venture companies in China: Wuyang-Honda Motors (Guangzhou) Co., Ltd., Jialing-Honda Motors Co., Ltd. and Sundiro Honda Motorcycle Co., Ltd. Their combined sales reached a total of 915,000 units in 2002, an increase of 113.0% compared with the previous year, mainly through the expansion of domestic sales of low-priced models. 

Through the local establishment of a speedy and highly efficient system encompassing all functions from research and development to the production of motorcycles, Honda will be able to react more rapidly to market changes and provide products that meet the needs of customers.

<Outline of Honda Motorcycle R&D China Co., Ltd.>

President: Mr. Tsuyoshi Iiga
Location: Songjiang Industry Zone, Shanghai
Capital: US $17 million
Capitalization Ratio: Honda R&D Co., Ltd.: 100%
COperational plan: Research and development of motorcycles
Established: February 2002