The Honda Press Conference at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show - Transcript
LONDON--March 13, 2013:
Good afternoon to you all and thank you for joining us at the Honda stand.
The Civic Tourer Concept highlights the striking exterior design
direction, of our new Civic Tourer model.
Designed and developed here in Europe for our European customers, the Civic Tourer will also be built in Europe at our UK plant. The aerodynamic body creates a clean, dynamic and elegant look. The low and wide stance gives a sporty feel whilst the rear styling will deliver class leading cargo space. This car will be perfect for active families needing that extra space. The C sector wagon market is growing in Europe and we are confident this car will prove very successful when launched in early 2014.
The new Tourer model continues our strategy of strengthening the Civic range. We recently introduced the impressive 1.6 i-DTEC diesel engine to the Civic. This is the first engine in Europe from our new Earth Dreams Technology line-up. The combination of impressive performance and ultra-low CO2 emissions of 94 grammes per kilometre has been really well received by both media and customers.
2012 also saw the introduction of our new CR-V model. Since its launch 4 months ago, CR-V sales have increased by 60% compared with the previous year. Customers have really appreciated the style, the utility and the efficiency of the new model. Today, I can confirm we will build on that success with the introduction of the 1.6 diesel engine into our new CR-V. By adding the efficient yet powerful diesel engine, we will further strengthen the appeal of one of the most popular SUVs in the market. CO2 emissions of only 119 grammes per kilometre will make the CR-V one of the cleanest and most efficient SUVs available.
By continuing to develop and strengthen our core European models of Civic and CR-V, we will provide strong foundations for our business here in Europe, despite the challenging economic conditions that persist.
These product developments in Europe, reflect our global Honda direction of developing more fuel-efficient, safer and more fun-to-drive cars. This is Earth Dreams Technology. Globally, the Honda business continues to grow. This month, we will finish the year with global sales of about 4 million units. By the end of March 2017, we aim to have global sales of 6 million vehicles. New products and our new Earth Dreams Technology engine line-up will be at the heart of this growth.
I now turn to my favourite part of the Honda story. At Paris last year, I confirmed that Honda would re-introduce the Civic Type R back into Europe. We're excited about this car and have the highest expectations. This car will thrill and we aim to become the fastest front-wheel drive car on the Nurburgring circuit. Development work is progressing well. And today, I can announce that on-track testing will begin in Europe during 2013. Our racing passion will shine strongly in this car as we translate what we learn from our World Touring Car Championship Civic into the development of the new Civic Type R. This car will offer true racing excitement.
Our World Touring Car Championship adventure has started well. We raced in the final 3 rounds of the 2012 WTCC season and were delighted to achieve a podium finish in Macau. The first time a team has achieved this honour during a debut season. This year, with 2 racing Civics and our exceptional drivers, our target is simple--victory!!
There is no greater sign of Honda's commitment to sporty, exhilarating products than the NSX and we are delighted to bring you the next evolution of the Honda NSX Concept