Tokyo, November 2, 1998 - Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has announced that under an OEM supply agreement it has signed with Nissan Motor Co., Ltd., from January 5, 1999 it will commence manufacturing and supplying Nissan with the complete range of Honda's 4-stroke outboard motors. This popular range of powerful motors, which includes 13 models ranging from the BF2 to the BF130, boasts quiet operation, low fuel costs and clean emissions.
In recent years, as the leisure marine craft market has grown in Japan, increased user demands for quiet, highly reliable, low-pollution 4-stroke motors that are highly economical on fuel have been matched by heightened environmental concerns. Reflecting this trend, the Japan Boating Industry Association has established a voluntary code of standards that targets exhaust emission reductions in the motors used in marine craft.
In the over-50 PS class, the proportion of boats being sold in a package deal together with their outboard motor now accounts for some 70% of outboard motor sales in this market segment. The number of such sales packages combining a Honda outboard motor with a Nissan Marine boat is also on the increase. Accordingly, the commercial logic behind the OEM agreement is to combine the benefits of Honda's expertise in outboard motors with that of Nissan in boat building. The scope of the agreement is limited to the Japanese market, and is expected to represent an annual production volume of about 800 units.
Under a variety of existing OEM supply agreements, Honda already manufactures about 30,000 units per year of products of different types for other firms - this range includes both general-purpose engines and power generators.
Outline of Honda's range of 4-stroke outboard motors
- Developed to be a range of economically efficient, high-quality motors that are kind to the environment; since the launch of the first model in 1964, worldwide sales have topped 600,000 units.
- In 1998, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began supervising the phased introduction of exhaust emission standards that stipulate a legal minimum level of emissions performance by the year 2006 for marine engines; all of Honda's 4-stroke outboard motors already boast exhaust emission levels that are well below the values mandated by this time.
- The entire range easily meets the voluntary code of standards for exhaust emission reductions laid down by the Japan Boating Industry Association, which is in the process of supervising the phased introduction of exhaust emission standards for marine craft in the period 2000-2006.
- The BF115 and BF130 models are the most powerful 4-stroke outboard motors available in the world. The products of many years of accumulated expertise in developing such motors, they boast such features as programmed fuel injection - in which the injection of fuel into the engine is controlled electronically - and a second-order twin-balancer shaft system. These not only boost performance, but also improve the motors' environmental profile.