Honda Will Increase Production and Launch New Models in North America

24 December 1997

Honda 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.

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