AM Online

Honda takes the high-tech route

Advanced features to boost road safety are to be harnessed to help Honda win higher sales across Europe.

Equipment designed to avoid crashes and reduce accident damage will be introduced progressively to promote the Japanese brand, new company president Takeo Fukui has revealed.

At the Tokyo Motor Show, Fukui told AM he wants Honda products to be more appealing to the general public in future.

“Honda is a quality brand but I am not interested in mounting a challenge to the likes of Mercedes-Benz and BMW,” he says. “I know we can rival the premium German companies with our NSX sports model, but I am more concerned with providing products that will appeal to customers in the middle area of the market.” Fukui says it is important for Honda to use its technology to enhance its brand.

He adds: “I'm not setting a target for market share, but I do feel unhappy about Honda being able to command a market share of only one per cent in Europe when it accounts for more than 10 per cent of sales here in Japan and it now commands an eight per cent share in the United States.

“I want us to do better than that – growth in Europe is a key issue.” Asked if he was happy with UK-built Honda products, Fukui says: “In America, we put CR-V cars from Swindon alongside those made in Japan and found they were better. That proves British workers are capable of achieving the best quality in the world.

“I have spoken to Tony Blair and told him about this. I have also told him that we still have an issue over the exchange rate – sterling is too high, too strong. The sooner Britain joins the euro the better.”



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