Honda Will Increase Production and Launch New Models in North America
24 December 1997Honda Will Increase Production and Launch New Models in North America
TOKYO, Dec. 24 -- Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and Chief Executive Officer Nobuhiko Kawamoto delivered his annual year-end speech in Japan Wednesday morning, December 24, 1997. Following is a summary explanation of key elements that relate to Honda's operations in the U.S. and Canada. As part of its deepening commitment to North America, Honda will increase production at its U.S. and Canadian auto plants to a combined annual capacity of one million cars and light trucks by the year 2001. This expansion will include production of a new Honda minivan in Canada and a new Acura sedan in the U.S., beginning in fall 1998. Honda has three auto plants in the U.S. and Canada with a current combined capacity of 790,000 units. Honda will reach the 1 million production capacity mark by 2001 through the previously announced addition of a second line at Honda Canada Mfg. (120,000 units) in fall 1998 and by adding 40,000 units in the U.S. and 60,000 units in Canada through improved efficiencies. PLANT 1997 AUTO 2001 AUTO CAPACITY CAPACITY Honda of America Mfg. 640,000 680,000 Honda of Canada Mfg. 150,000 330,000 TOTAL 790,000 1,010,000 The new "full size" Honda minivan is slated for production at the new second assembly line currently under construction at Honda of Canada Mfg. (HCM) in Alliston, Ontario, near Toronto. Mass production is expected to begin in fall 1998. Honda will introduce a concept of the new van at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Monday, January 5, 1998. HCM currently manufactures Civic Hatchbacks and Sedans and the Acura EL. A new Acura sedan will become the second Acura Division model to be developed by Hondas U.S. R&D centers and manufactured by Honda of America Mfg. (HAM). (Note: the specific plant where the new Acura will be produced will be announced at a later date.) Acura will introduce a concept of the new sedan at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Tuesday, January 6, 1998. In 1996, the Acura CL Coupe became the first Acura model developed and produced in America for the luxury performance channel. HAM currently manufactures Honda Accord Sedans and Coupes, Civic Sedans and Coupes and the Acura CL. Additionally, 1997 calendar year sales of Honda and Acura vehicles in the U.S. and Canada are expected to exceed 1 million vehicles for the first time in history. More than 70 percent of these vehicles are built in North America. Honda employs more than 19,000 associates in the U.S. and Canada and has invested more than $4 billion in its North America manufacturing and R&D operations. NOTE: due to its annual holiday shutdown from December 24 through January 2, detailed background information regarding Hondas North American production operations will be unavailable until January 5, 1998. SOURCE Honda Motor Co., Ltd.