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December 19, 2007

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Honda Sets All-Time Record for Worldwide Auto Production

Honda Civic

For the month of October, Honda announced that worldwide auto production experienced a year-on-year increase for the 27th month (since August 2005); this was also an all-time record for any month. Production in Europe increased 88.9% for the month of October to 26,141 units. For the period of January to October 2007, production in Europe increased by 25.6% to 197,210 units, compared with the same period last year.

According to the ACEA, Honda has achieved the highest growth in Europe of all car manufacturers operating in this market for the period of January to October 2007, with an increase of 14.2% to a record 272,603 cars compared with the same period in 2006. Honda's market share for this period has increased from 1.8% in 2006 to 2.0% in 2007.

2. Honda Debuts All-New FCX Clarity Advanced Fuel Cell Vehicle

Honda unveiled the FCX Clarity fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show, announcing plans to begin limited retail marketing of the vehicle in the US, starting summer 2008.

The FCX Clarity is a next-generation, zero-emissions, hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle featuring tremendous improvements to driving range, power, weight and efficiency - and boasting a low-slung, dynamic and sophisticated appearance, previously unachievable in a fuel cell vehicle.

The FCX Clarity marks the significant progress Honda continues to make in advancing the real-world performance and appeal of the hydrogen-powered fuel cell car. Honda plans to lease the FCX Clarity to a limited number of retail customers in Southern California with the first deliveries taking place in summer 2008.

3. One Million Civics produced at Honda in Swindon

Honda of the UK Manufacturing Limited (HUM) is celebrating a major milestone with the production of the millionth Swindon-built Civic. Civic production in the UK began on September 19, 1994 and in that first year just 6,652 Civics were produced; this year, HUM will produce 138,792 Civic cars. Over the past 12 months, annual production capacity has grown from 190,000 to 250,000 cars. This is due to increasing demand for the Civic 3-door and 5-door models and the latest CR-V - all built at Swindon and exported to over 60 countries. Honda has invested £1.38billion in Swindon and now employs 5,000 associates at the factory.

4. Honda Soltec Commemorates Opening of Solar Cell Production Plant

Honda Soltec Co., Ltd., Honda's wholly-owned solar cell subsidiary, recently commemorated the opening of its solar cell production plant with a ceremony attended by approximately 80 dignitaries, guests and Honda officials. Honda Soltec was established in December 2006 with its headquarters in the Kumamoto prefecture. It has a capital investment of 4 billion yen, employs 150 associates and began mass production of solar cells in October this year. Annual production will reach full capacity of 27.5 megawatts (an equivalent amount of electricity to power approximately 9,000 houses) by spring 2008.

5. Honda Introduces Experimental Home Energy Station IV

Honda announced that it has begun using the Home Energy Station IV at its Honda R&D facility in Torrance, California. This fourth-generation experimental unit is designed to provide fuel for a hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle, as well as heat and electricity for a home. The new system is more compact and efficient, with a lower operating cost than previous models. The announcement coincides with the world debut of the all-new FCX Clarity hydrogen-powered fuel cell vehicle at the Los Angeles Auto Show. http://world.honda.com/news/2007/4071114Experimental-Home-Energy-Station/

6. Honda Introduces a World-Debut Concept Vehicle at 2007 SEMA Show

More than 17 Honda project and concept vehicles were recently displayed at the 2007 Specialty Equipment Market Association's (SEMA) show in Las Vegas. Making its world debut, the Honda Accord Coupe HF-S Concept represents a radical vision for customizing the all-new Accord's design and performance through stylish and functional modifications. The 2008 Accord Coupe equipped with dealer-installed Honda Factory PerformanceTM (HFPTM) components melds a distinctive, custom appearance with an enhanced level of handling performance. In addition to the Accords on display, fifteen more unique vehicles were displayed in the Honda booth, including the all-new S2000 CR and the recently introduced Civic Mugen Si Sedan. Enhancing the S2000's performance potential, the S2000 CR introduces more track-oriented suspension settings, aerodynamic-enhancing bodywork, a removable hardtop, higher rigidity and reduced weight.

7. Honda's First U.S. Auto Plant Celebrates 25 Years of Production

Honda was the first Japanese automobile manufacturer in America and has recently celebrated 25 years of production at its Marysville Auto Plant in Ohio. Another milestone will also be reached this month with the production of the plant's nine-millionth vehicle. The Honda Accord was the plant's first vehicle in 1982 and remains its core product, with the recent launch of the eighth-generation Accord. Initially producing 160 vehicles in two months, the plant now has 5,300 associates and an annual capacity of 440,000 vehicles. Today, Honda operates six auto plants in North America and a seventh, located in Indiana, will begin operations in autumn 2008.

8. Honda Begins Construction of New Auto Plant in Argentina

Honda commemorated the start of construction of its new auto plant in Campana, Buenos Aires with an important ceremony this month. The guest of honour was Néstor Carlos Kirchner, the president of Argentina and joining him was Honda's chief operating officer for regional operations in South America, Sho Minekawa. The new automobile production plant is scheduled to begin operations in the second half of 2009, with an annual production capacity of 30,000 units. The total investment related to the establishment of the new plant is expected to be approximately US$100 million and it is expected to employ 800 new associates.

9. Honda Fit Awarded ‘Car of the Year 2007-2008' in Japan

The all-new Honda Fit has recently been chosen as Japan's Car of the Year - a coveted award, given annually by a 60-member panel consisting primarily of automotive journalists. Honda has won five of the last 10 Car of the Year awards, including one for the first-generation Fit in 2001.

10. Rally-Prepared Honda Civic Type R Makes GB Debut

JAS Motorsport's Honda Civic Type R R3 recently made its gravel debut on the Wales Rally Great Britain, the final round of the 2007 World Rally Championship. The car proved its credentials on tarmac with a remarkable fifth overall on the Rallye du Valais in Switzerland, but the Rally GB is one of the most challenging gravel events that drivers face in the WRC. The R3 Type R complies with new FIA rally regulations. The class is for two-litre, two-wheel drive cars that have been built to a strict set of cost-effective criteria. The Civic Type R R3 is powered by a new Honda engine developed by JAS Motorsport in collaboration with Mugen.

Photo. Honda

(Dec 13, 2007)

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