Honda has been at the forefront in introducing new concepts to the Chinese auto industry, including local automobile production, the first full-scale export of passenger cars from China to Europe, and the establishment of China’s first dedicated auto dealer network with integrated sales, service and parts supply capabilities. Now, Honda is challenging again with the establishment of local automobile R&D capabilities.
Honda Motor (China) Investment Co., Ltd. (HMCI), a wholly-owned Honda subsidiary, has consolidated regional headquarters functions and is responsible for developing Honda’s overall business strategy in China. This includes facilitating the integration of Honda’s growing operations in China into the concept of sharing the company’s global resources.
Honda motorcycle sales in China, excluding the Sundiro brand, fell 4% to
million units in 2009 from a record 1.354 million in 2008.
Sundiro Honda and Wuyang-Honda have replaced existing plants built in the 1980s, updating production systems and preparing for future expansion of production capacity. The new plants achieve major improvements in production efficiency through the introduction of synchronized production and other systems along with Honda “Green Factory” concepts.
HMCI established a branch in Shanghai, focusing on motorcycle business. The Shanghai branch is responsible for the development of Honda’s entire motorcycle business and product strategies in China, as well as for supporting marketing, service, quality and procurement for Honda’s motorcycle subsidiaries in the country.
Honda exported 220,000 China-made motorcycles to Japan, Africa, the Middle East and Asia/Oceania countries in 2009.
Honda and Acura brand vehicle sales in China rose 22% to a record 579,600 units in 2009. The company also set an all-time record for automobile production in the region in 2009, up 2.1% from the previous year to 582,000 units.
Guangzhou Honda in April 2008 announced the establishment of a new proprietary automotive brand, LI NIAN, with sales scheduled to begin in 2010 through the Guangzhou Honda sales network
Guangzhou Honda began auto production in China with the Accord in 1999 and now produces the Odyssey minivan, City and Fit. A second auto plant began operations in September 2006, increasing total production to 360,000 units.
Dongfeng Honda, an automobile production and sales joint venture between Honda and China, produced the Civic, CR-V and Spirior at its plant in Wuhan, Hubei Province. The company will expand production at the plant from 200,000 to 240,000 units annually, and in January 2010 announced plans for a second automobile plant, scheduled to begin operations in the latter half of 2012 with an annual production capacity of 60,000 units.
Acura brand automobiles were introduced for the first time in China in 2006, the first use of the Acura brand mark outside of North America. HMCI is importing Acura products and marketing them through a dedicated Acura dealer network, beginning with the Acura RL, the Acura TL and Acura MDX.
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