Honda to Export Accords to Australia and New Zealand from Thailand

August 19, 1998, Thailand


Bangkok, August 19, 1998 - Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd., Honda's Bangkok-based ASEAN Regional Headquarters, today announced it would start exporting Honda Accords manufactured in Thailand to Australia and New Zealand before the end of this year.
The Accord models to be exported are the Australian and New Zealand specification versions of the Accord 2.3 liter VTEC LEV and the 3-liter V6 VTEC. The former will be the first Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) to be offered to Australian and New Zealand consumers and is expected to strike a strong chord with the consumers of these environmentally-concerned countries with its very significant reduction in harmful emissions.

The export of Honda Accords manufactured by Honda Cars Manufacturing (Thailand) Co., Ltd. (HCMT), at its ISO 9002 certified Ayutthaya production facility, is a clear indication of the international competitiveness and quality of the vehicles produced by HCMT and of the high level of skills and craftsmanship exhibited by its Thai associates, said Mr. Satoshi Toshida, President and Chief Executive Officer of Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

The export of Honda Accords with their sophisticated technology, including Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) models, represents a new benchmark for Thailand's automobile industry, added Mr. Toshida.

In the first full 12 months, Asian Honda expects to export over 6,000 Accords to Australia and New Zealand, which will boost Thailand's exports by over 3,500 million Bahts.

Mr. Adisak Rohitasune, Director, Asian Honda Motor Co., Ltd. said these exports to Australia and New Zealand also clearly underline Thailand's position as Honda's most comprehensive automobile manufacturing base in Southeast Asia and confirms the appropriateness and success of the Thai Government's liberal automobile manufacturing policy environment over the last decade.

Honda Australia Pty. Ltd. will utilize the Australian Federal Government's Export Facilities Scheme (EFS) to encourage the inclusion of Australian-made components in the Accords it will be importing from Thailand.

In 1998, Honda's total exports from Thailand are expected to reach over 13,000 million Bahts, up from 9,200 million Bahts in 1997. These exports include completely built units (CBU) of motorcycles, automobiles and power products and a large range of KD components for all three product lines to some 50 countries around the world.

Honda Cars (Thailand) Co., Ltd. has already announced it will launch LEV technology in Thailand by the end of 1998, making Thailand the first country in Asia, outside of Japan, to introduce LEV automobiles.

Thailand, along with Japan and the USA, is one of only three countries in the world from which Honda exports its complete range of products and is Honda's largest manufacturing base in Asia outside Japan.