Honda automobile sales in the region totaled 350,000 units in 2009, down 30% from all-time high of 499,000 in 2008. Motorcycle sales in the region fell 26% to 261,000 units during the same period, due in part to a severe decline in consumer demand as a result of the global economic crisis.
To support sales in emerging markets, the support function for Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa has been centralized in the CIS, Middle East and Africa Sales Division of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, Japan.
HME has responsibility for supporting and strategically coordinating all of Honda’s European business activities, including production, sales, marketing and customer support for automobile, motorcycle and power equipment operations. Honda’s research and development functions are carried out by Honda R&D Europe with major centers in Germany, Italy and the UK.
In 2008, Honda introduced the new Accord and Jazz models and, in 2009, sales of the new Insight began across the region.
The Honda Jazz has exceeded the 500,000-unit sales mark in Europe, demonstrating the continuing popularity of this model. The first European-built Jazz was driven off the assembly line in Swindon, England, in 2009, boosting production volumes and underscoring the company’s long-term commitment to production in the region.
Diesel-powered vehicles are growing more popular in Europe. In 2008, Honda introduced a newly developed diesel engine that meets Euro 5 emissions standards, available in the CR-V and Accord.
In 2009 Honda expanded its lineup of hybrid models by launching the Insight to join the Civic Hybrid. In 2010, the CR-Z sporty hybrid coupe will be added, followed in 2011 by a new hybrid version of the Jazz subcompact.
Honda has earned a leading share of the motorcycle market in many European countries by offering high-performance products with advanced environmental and safety technologies.
Honda established a basic agreement with Germany’s Vaillant Group, a manufacturer of heaters and water heaters, to develop compact, home-use cogeneration units for the European market.
Honda sponsored the United Nations Climate Conference (COP15) in December 2009, where the company supplied a fleet of Insight hybrids and showcased its FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle.
Honda of the UK Manufacturing has made investments in improving efficiency and reducing the environmental footprint of the factory, including the introduction of leading edge technology on Paint Line 1, which will provide greater flexibility and improve quality and overall efficiency. The new process results in less paint wastage and less paint sludge sent to landfills.
(continued on next page)