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June 01, 2008

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Honda To Set Environmental Benchmark With Accessible Global Hybrid

Tokyo - Honda is to launch an accessible hybrid car to allow more people around the world to adopt cleaner motoring technology and significantly reduce global car emissions. Going on sale early next year, Honda expects to sell 200,000 units globally of the new car annually.

The company will further accelerate hybrid sales by introducing a sporty hybrid based on its CR-Z, Civic Hybrid and the addition of a Jazz Hybrid model. With all four of these models, Honda expects combined annual sales of its hybrid models to reach 500,000 units.

The car will be a convenient and compact 5-door/5-passenger size with an exterior design that employs the concept of the FCX Clarity. Its strengths will be good fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability, comfort and styling.

Production costs will be significantly reduced with the new electronic control unit and battery made lighter and more compact. A thinner motor is also being produced in an improved manufacturing facility at Honda's Suzuka plant. With a completely new platform, Honda is to re-position the hybrid control unit and battery which will be located underneath the cargo space. Various technologies are also to be incorporated including a function to assist more fuel efficient driving in practical driving, so that customers can actually experience the excellent fuel efficiency of this vehicle.

The announcement was made in a speech by Mr Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co. in Tokyo today (May 21).

Mr Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co.

Mr Fukui said that Honda was absolutely committed to reducing the environmental impact of its products and is developing the new hybrid car to broaden the appeal of hybrid technology at an affordable price.

Mr Fukui made the point that it is now time to shift penetration from creating awareness of hybrid towards making it popular across the world. Encouraging more customers to drive more fuel efficient, low-emission hybrid cars would in turn help to reduce global CO2 levels.

Honda's environmental credentials have already been showcased in the FCX Clarity, its world-leading next generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicle which emits no CO2 and uses no fossil fuel. Lease sales of the FCX Clarity will begin in the USA in July 2008 and in Japan later on this year. In addition to that, Honda today announced it expects to lease several dozen fuel-cell models per year, and up to 200 within the next three years.

Central to Honda's philosophy is its commitment to reduce CO2 emissions not only on products, but also at manufacturing. Through various initiatives including the introduction of a state-of-the-art system which optimally controls the amount of energy used for production and the recycling of energy, the new Yorii Auto plant in Japan will strive to become an environmentally-responsible and advanced auto plant which reduces the amount of energy used to produce each vehicle by more than 30% compared to production at the existing Sayama plant.

Photo: Honda

(May 23, 2008)

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