Corporate / Executive Remarks
41st Tokyo Motor Show Remarks by Honda Motor Co., Ltd. President and CEO Takanobu Ito
Since Honda's foundation, creating personal mobility as a means to provide basic transportation for people has been the primary focus of our business. By continuing to provide more freedom and the fun of mobility and help people lead more convenient and comfortable lives, last year, we provided some 23 million motorcycles, automobiles and power products to our customers around the world.
Leveraging our strength as a manufacturer of motorcycles, automobiles, and power products, we will strive to be at the forefront in the area of the environment and energy technology by addressing the challenge of reducing CO2 emissions in a more comprehensive manner through further improvement in the fuel economy of existing products and also through the use of new technologies, such as solar cells and electromotive technologies, for each type of mobility product.
At this year's motor show, we designed our booth to propose Honda's vision for mobility of the near future. We are proposing the concept of "Hello!" representing the "Honda Electric mobility Loop" which attempts to comprehensively express our vision to provide both products that generate electricity and mobility products that run on electricity.
These are the products displayed at the "Hello!"zone.
The central Hello! product is the FCX Clarity fuel cell electric vehicle, which runs on electricity generated by hydrogen reacting with oxygen.
This compact city commuter is the EV-N, a battery electric vehicle for which Honda pursued a very simple design form.
The EV-Cub is an electric motorcycle offering the familiar design and outstanding convenience expected of a Super Cub.
The EV-Monpal is an electric personal mobility which helps to permit a life with greater peace of mind and comfort.
And this is our new mobility device, the U3-X, which uses technologies developed through the ASIMO bipedal humanoid program and was designed to co-exist in harmony with people.
All of these products run on clean energy -- either hydrogen or electricity -- produced from solar power.
In addition, each model features interactive communication technologies that showcase the fun ways in which mobility devices can interact with people and society.
Over the long term, the advancement of electromotive technologies is an important factor for the reduction of CO2 emissions. Among potential solutions, we believe that the fuel cell electric vehicle will be the ultimate form for automobiles in the future as it has advantages such as zero CO2 emissions in use, can travel considerable distances without refueling and can be quickly refueled.
Since the 1990s, Honda has been independently developing the fuel cell stack, the core technology of a fuel cell electric vehicle, and leading the industry in creating a fuel cell stack of the highest performance and efficiency. The fuel cell stack on display today is lightweight, compact, and ready for large scale commercial production in the future.
As a result, the FCX Clarity achieved a spacious cabin and innovative exterior styling which emerged from packaging that would be impossible to create with an internal combustion engine. In addition, the FCX Clarity achieves both smooth, perfectly linear acceleration and the unparalleled quietness of an electric vehicle, offering an entirely new kind of driving enjoyment. The FCX Clarity has been available for lease in the United States and Japan since last year, and this year we have begun conducting experiments on public roads in Europe. Going forward, Honda will continue to advance fuel cell stack technology preparing for the more widespread use of fuel cell vehicles in the future.
In the area of battery electric vehicles, Honda offered the EV Plus for lease starting in 1997, in Japan and the U.S. Through these lease sales, we obtained customer feedback on the daily use of the vehicle and customers' expectations and requirements. In addition, various technologies and know-how in areas such as motor drive and high-voltage control were applied to the development of the FCX Clarity and our hybrid vehicles. At this moment, considering the level of battery performance, Honda is conducting research on battery electric vehicles as short-distance commuter vehicles. The EV-N and EV-Cub on display today represent the direction Honda is taking in this area.
However, we believe that Honda should prioritize the more widespread use of gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles at this stage in the advancement of electromotive technologies. We can contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions by making hybrid vehicles with excellent environmental performance available to even more people. We believe this is the most important challenge for us and we will enhance our hybrid lineup based on these beliefs.
We're introducing the CR-Z Concept 2009, which represents our proposal for a new hybrid model.
The CR-Z Concept 2009 is the world's first hybrid vehicle equipped with a six-speed manual transmission. Together with a 1.5-liter i-VTEC engine the vehicle will create completely new value by combining the fun of driving and outstanding fuel economy.
The compact, lightweight and highly efficient Honda hybrid system, known as IMA, is packaged within an advanced form based on a "low, short, and wide" design concept. We plan to launch a production automobile based on the CR-Z Concept 2009 in Japan in February of next year, and then in Europe and North America.
The Skydeck hybrid is a study model focused on the concept of freely expanding opportunity and fun in people's lives regardless of their age or lifestyle. Striving to achieve "a vehicle which fulfills the needs of each customer," the Skydeck's compact body contains a flexible and high-utility space for transporting multiple people and the tools and equipment for the activities they enjoy.
In addition to our hybrid lineup, we're exhibiting automobiles that are fun to use and to drive including the all-new Step WGN, which achieved the largest interior space in its class, best-in-class fuel economy and features under-floor storage for third-row seats, as well as the Civic Type R Euro, which we plan to introduce in Japan in November. We invite you to take a closer look.
We also have for you today a selection of Honda motorcycles.
To expand the motorcycle market especially among younger people, we believe the key will be pursuing FUN technologies, which includes technologies that enable riders to experience the fun of being in control of the motorcycle and designs which provide the joy of ownership.
In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Honda "CB" line, we've developed the CB1100 as "the CB for a new era." The CB1100 is equipped with a simple, air-cooled, in-line four-cylinder engine, much in demand by experienced riders, and a design of functional elegance. Designed to please the most discerning veteran rider, we expect that the CB1100, featuring technologies chosen specifically for this model, will have a catalyzing effect on the sports bike segment in Japan.
Making its world premiere at the Tokyo Motor Show this year is the VFR1200F, a high value-added FUN sports touring model featuring next-generation styling and the latest technologies - all of which make it the perfect bike for long-distance rides.
The VFR1200F also will be available with the world's first dual clutch transmission for motorcycles. This lightweight, compact automatic transmission offers exceptionally fine control, as well as fuel economy as good as or better than that of standard manual transmissions. The shift feel is exceptionally smooth and direct for outstanding riding enjoyment.
Honda will be launching the VFR1200F first in Europe, and then in Japan and North America.
Next we have the VT1300 Series. The VT1300 Series offers three models with designs full of character to match the tastes and needs of discriminating riders. In addition, thanks to Honda's original technologies, highly stable handling has joined forces with stylish cruiser design.
The EVE-neo is a next-generation, electric commuter motorcycle that is durable and provides outstanding convenience for business use. We are making progress in the development of the EVE-neo with plans to introduce it to market in the near future.
We also have many more exciting motorcycles on display, so please take your time and see them all.
We also have for you today a selection of power products.
Making people's lives more convenient and comfortable is the passion behind our power products business.
Sales of the Pianta tiller, which runs on ordinary household butane gas canisters, has been growing strong since it was introduced to the Japanese market earlier this year as a new category of tiller product. Today, we are exhibiting our second product that runs on butane gas canisters: the ENEPO generator, designed as a generator that is a more user-friendly and personal item that is easy to use, store and transport. Development of the ENEPO generator is proceeding rapidly, and we currently plan to launch it in Japan in the spring of 2010.
In addition to these products, Honda will continue offering power products which fulfill the diverse needs of our customers, including solar panels and the Monpal electric 4-wheel scooter.
Since the company's foundation, Honda associates have always dedicated themselves to dreaming up ideas to make life more convenient and enjoyable. But we don't stop there. We continue taking on the challenge to turn such dreams into products with our own technologies and offer these products to people around the world. Combining passion and technology is Honda's basic approach as a manufacturer.
More than 50 years ago, we created Super Cub, which continues to be popular among customers around the world. In the 1970s, we created the Honda CVCC engine, which became the world's first to comply with the U.S. Clean Air Act. Today, as we expressed in our booth concept of "Creating the never before!" we will continue our R&D efforts to quickly deliver convenient, fun and unique products to our customers in a way only Honda can do. Please do look forward to these efforts.
Thank you again, ladies and gentlemen. I wish you a very pleasant time at the Honda booth and the Tokyo Motor Show this year.