Europe/Middle East/Africa -- Overview

Honda has begun realizing its potential in the European auto industry, based on an increased focus on offering products that meet the needs of local customers, achieving higher capacity utilization of Honda's auto plant in the United Kingdom, and innovating sales activities throughout Europe.

Honda's European activities are coordinated by Honda Motor Europe, Ltd. (HME) in the UK, together with its sub-regional headquarters in Germany and France. HME has responsibility for supporting and strategically coordinating all Honda's European business activities, including production, sales, marketing and service operations. The motorcycle and power equipment business also have separate regional headquarters for Europe in Italy and France, respectively. Situated close to the major market for each of the products in the region, those headquarters provide strategic decision making for the business lines, coordinating with an overall European strategy by HME. Honda's research and development functions are carried out by Honda R&D Europe with major centers in Germany and the UK.

Sales

  • Honda's 2004 European car sales exceeded its original target of 220,000 units, as sales rose 17.6% to a record 255,721 units. The growth was led by sales of the new Accord, the B-segment Jazz model (known as "Fit" in Japan), and the Civic.
  • The all-new Accord Diesel features the outstanding performance of Honda's i-CTDi diesel engine, which provides high performance together with excellent fuel economy, low emissions and extremely low noise. Honda is expanding application of the i-CTDi engine to the best-selling CR-V and the FR-V, a compact MPV with a unique 3+3 seat configuration. Together with the new Civic Diesel to be launched in 2006, this expanded lineup of four diesel models with i-CTDi engines will help increase sales in markets where diesel vehicles are more popular.
  • Honda unveiled the "Civic Concept" - a five-door hatchback design exclusively developed for the European market - at the Geneva Auto Salon. The mass production model will be introduced in early 2006. It will feature the award-winning 2.2 i-CTDi diesel engine, as well as a state-of-the-art gasoline engine line-up.
  • Making effective use of Honda's global manufacturing resources, Honda is now marketing motorcycles made in India, Thailand and Brazil in Europe, complementing motorcycles built in Spain, Italy and Japan. Further, China-made Jazz models will be imported to the European market in mid-2005.
  • Honda produces and sells 125cc and 150cc scooters with fuel injection systems.
  • In Africa and the Middle East, a high quality, low priced scooter manufactured in China is marketed to customers who previously could not afford motorcycles.

Production

  • Honda's European car plant - Honda of the U.K. Manufacturing (HUM) in Swindon, - achieved record production of 193,455 vehicles in 2004, up 4.7% from the previous year.
  • Adding a diesel model to the CR-V line-up and the full model change of Civic will end CR-V exports to North America and HUM's production capacity will be dedicated to supplying the European market.
  • Utilizing the strength of Honda's Asian operations by importing high quality and low cost powertrain components from Asia (excluding Japan) has further enhanced the cost competitiveness of HUM-built vehicles.
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