Honda to get back in shape!
In 2010 Takanobu Ito san disclosed that Honda's direction for the next ten years was to "provide good products to our customers with speed, affordability and low CO2 emissions." The company has been striving towards that aim ever since, braving an unstable yen and natural calamities in Japan and Thailand. Honda sold a total of 23.9 million products in FY 2012, a figure they'd like to stretch to 39 million by FY 2017. Honda expects a major contribution of that to come from its motorcycle business, more than 25 million units to be precise.
Honda plans to introduce a new series of large sized two wheelers aimed at daily commuting and weekend touring. The production of the first model in the series will begin in 2013 at their Kumamoto Factory. More exciting is the news that they have begun development of a new super sports bike that borrows technology from the MotoGP machines.
Big news in the four wheeler segment is that the Honda Brio will soon be joined by a sedan and utility-type model based on the same platform. Ito san also gave us some much awaited news-India will finally get an all new diesel engine in FY2014. Honda will also have an all new Fit (Jazz, as we know it) series ready by 2013. More relevant to India will be the roll out of new City and SUV models based on the Fit platform about two years after the initial launch. The company will further improve production efficiency by dedicating new plants to the production of small cars. These include the Yorri plant in Japan's Saitama prefecture that will be operational by 2013 and another at Mexico that will begin production in 2014. The existing Sayama plant will establish an efficient new production program that enables assembly of upto ten different models on the same line. Honda is clearly focused on small cars and is working on a new series of six mini vehicles for Japan, starting with the 2013 N-One model.
Addressing the need for lower CO2 emissions Honda is expanding their EV range with improved motor output and newly developed transmission. They also aim at achieving the no. 1 spot in fuel efficiency among all hybrid vehicles by improving the efficiency of regenerative energy recovery. Honda haven't given up on their sports cars either and in addition to the all new NSX, the company is also developing a new open top sports car that will go on sale by 2014. The new Civic Type-R aims at being the fastest front wheel drive production car around the Nurburgring when it gets launched in 2015.
That's just an overview of Honda's big plans for the future. Expect to see a lot of very interesting stuff from the Japanese giant very soon!
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