HONDA TO LAUNCH JAZZ HYBRID

Wed, 21 May 2008
Honda is to launch a more affordable hybrid car designed to allow more people around the world to adopt cleaner motoring technology, to significantly reduce global car emissions. Honda expects annual global sales of 200,000 units of the new car which goes on sale early next year. The company will further accelerate hybrid sales by introducing a sporty hybrid based on its CR-Z Concept, an all-new 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 announcement was made in a speech by Mr Fukui, President and CEO of Honda Motor Co in Tokyo today (May 21).

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.

While no technical details of the new hybrid were released, it was revealed that the car would be a 5-door model capable of carrying five people. Its strengths will be good fuel efficiency, manoeuvrability, comfort and styling. Production costs will be significantly reduced with the new 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.

NEW HYBRID COULD ATTRACT WIDER CUSTOMER BASE

Ken Keir, Managing Director, Honda (UK) and Executive Vice President of Honda Motor Europe, says it's the company's long established commitment to the environment that has enabled Honda to build a low emission car within the reach of more customers.

"Throughout the world, Honda strives to be a company that society wants to exist, so reducing our impact on the environment is - and always has been - a key part of that philosophy," he said.

"We've been developing more efficient and lower emission products for decades and the knowledge and experience gained over the years has helped to bring a more affordable hybrid car to the market," he continued.

Honda (UK) expects the arrival of the new 5-door car - on sale in the spring - to further accelerate the growth of hybrid sales in the UK. So far in 2008, the company has already seen sales of its Civic Hybrid increase by 25 per cent year-on-year (1,169 units YTD, versus 877 units for the same period in 2006).

More at www.honda.co.uk

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