Honda Motor Investment Company said today in Beijing that it would double its sales in China by 2015. The Honda brand will be strengthened by the introduction of more than 10 new and full-model-change models during the 3-year period from 2013 to 2015.
During 2011 Honda sold 618,000 cars in China last year, dwarfed by market leader General Motor’s 2.55 million and Volkswagen Group’s 2.26 million. Among the Japanese Big Three, Nissan in China is twice as big as Honda and Toyota is 40% larger in terms of vehicle sales.
“We’ve been too cautious in China, this is undeniable,” said Kuraishi Seiji, who is in charge of Honda’s China operations.
All major automakers have announced ambitious expansion plans in China, the world’s largest auto market. However, in 2011 the Chinese auto market only grew by 5%, by far the lowest growth rate of the 21st century, as the communist central government deliberately slowed the economy in an attempt to fight inflation.
Honda also said that all Honda vehicles sold in China would shift to new engines that apply so-called Earth Dreams Technology, with the engines of all Honda vehicles replaced by the end of 2015. Globally Honda is attempting to be the most fuel-efficient automaker in all segments it competes in.
This year Honda will introduce three Hybrid models to the Chinese market – CR-Z, Insight and the Fit. Honda will also eventually introduce to the Chinese market a new hybrid system for mid- to large-sized vehicles as well as a plug-in hybrid system.