March 7, 2005


Honda hybrid production to stay in Japan

Troy, Michigan – Honda Motor Company has said that while rival Toyota Motor Corporation plans to produce some of its hybrid gasoline-electric models in North America, Honda production will remain in Japan unless North American sales exceed expectations.

Honda currently sells the Insight, Civic Hybrid and Accord Hybrid in North America. In 2004 it sold 27,215 hybrid units in the U.S. and forecasts sales of 45,000 to 50,000 for 2005. It expects 20,000 of them will be the Accord. Should those numbers rise, the company has some flexibility to allow it to produce an additional 10,000 to 20,000 units at its Sayama, Japan plant.

Toyota, which sells only the Prius hybrid in North America, said that it will announce this summer which of its North American plants will produce hybrids. Sales of the Prius topped Honda’s hybrid sales in 2004, with 53,991 delivered, or an increase of 119.2 per cent over 2003. Toyota is doubling its production for the North American market to 100,000 for 2005.

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