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Wednesday, 10 July, 2002, 05:43 GMT 06:43 UK
Honda sales set to soar
Honda CR-V
Honda hopes to sell 3.4 million cars in three years
Honda, Japan's second biggest carmaker, has shrugged off the global gloom with buoyant predictions of a 26% boost to its sales by 2005.

The company's confidence is enclosed in a new business plan, which envisages new investment in plants in China, Taiwan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

The idea is to reduce the number of cars being produced in Japan - and counteract any risk that a strengthening yen will eat into profitability.

The dollar's long boom seems to be wearing off amid corporate scandals and a huge US current account deficit, and Honda said it wants to be ready.

"Excluding Japan, the amount of (Honda) exports going between the regions - America, Europe and Asia - would increase by three times over the next three years," said company president Hiroyuki Yoshino.

"We will have much less dependence on the yen."

Production boost

If the plan's targets are met, Honda will increase its global sales by 700,000 to 3.4 million over the next three years.

In the motorcycle arena, the plan is almost to double sales from 6 million to 11 million.

Of the new automobiles, 50,000 a year will be built in a new plant in China, helping the company cement its position as the leading Japanese carmaker in the country.

Taiwan will also get a boost, with the plan seeing Honda's new plant there onstream by the end of this year and building 20,000 cars a year shortly thereafter.

In Indonesia, almost $70m (45.1m) is being invested in a parts unit which should start producing transmissions and valves by the end of 2003, while the Philippines is in line for a $16m investment in a transmission plant.

The announcement follows yesterday's unveiling of plans for 2,000 new jobs in the US thanks to a $466m investment in its Alabama truck plant.


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27 Mar 02 | Business
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