BEIJING – Japanese automaker Honda Motor Co. Ltd. announced on December 19 to lift its sales in China by 17 percent to 490,000 units in 2008, 10,000 units higher than its current output capacity.
Currently, Honda has a total capacity of 480,000 units annually in its two joint ventures in China (exclusive of its 50,000-unit capacity to produce the Jazz, which are for export purposes only). Dongfeng-Honda, which produces the CR-V and Civic, has a total capacity of 120,000 units. Guangzhou-Honda manufactures a total of 360,000 units of the Accord, Fit and City models per year.
“Honda will be able to sell 420,000 vehicles by the end of 2007, up 27 percent year-on-year,” said Honda president Takeo Fukui at a news conference in Tokyo, adding that he expects to take back the No.1 position from Toyota’s Camry in the middle to high-end segment of the Chinese car market. Honda aims to sell 180,000 new Accords in 2008.
Globally, Honda sales are expected to rise 6 percent in 2007 to a record 3.76 million vehicles from 3.55 million vehicles in 2006. In the Chinese market alone, it sold 320,000 vehicles last year.