WUHAN, CHINA: Dongfeng Honda Automobile Co., Ltd., a Honda automobile production and sales joint venture in China, held a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the start of construction of its second auto plant in Wuhan, Hubei Province. Attending the ceremony were dignitaries, guests and representatives from the local governments of Wuhan, Hubei Province as well as Xu Ping, CEO of Dongfeng Motor Corporation and Seiji Kuraishi, Honda’s chief operating officer for regional operations in China.
At the ceremony, Dongfeng Honda announced the company’s decision to set the annual production capacity of the new plant at 100,000 units, an increase from the original plan of 60,000 units. Moreover, the company also announced plans to further expand the capacity to 120,000 units in 2013 and up to 240,000 units in the future.
With initial investment of approximately 2 billion R.M.B., the plant will be one of the most advanced environmentally-responsible plants in China. This will include utilization of solar power generation that will power some production processes and reduce CO2 emissions by 600 tons annually.
At the ceremony, Kuraishi expressed an interest in “producing hybrid vehicles in China in the future,” as it is necessary to make hybrid vehicles widely available at an affordable price to contribute to the global environment.
Honda’s automobile sales in China reached approximately 580,000 units in 2009 (a 22 pc increase from 2008), achieving an all-time record for the 5th consecutive year. In addition to Civic Hybrid which is already available in China, imports of Insight and CR-Z from Japan to China will begin in 2012 to enhance Honda’s hybrid lineup in China.
After the completion of this first capacity expansion at Dongfeng Honda in 2013, Honda’s overall annual automobile production capacity in China will reach 890,000 units including 480,000 units at Guangzhou Honda, and 50,000 units at Honda Automobile (China), an export automobile production joint venture.
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