Thursday, October 11, 2012

Excerpts from internal Honda townhall meeting

Someone provided some excerpts from an internal Honda 'townhall' meeting that he attended. The meeting was chaired by Iwamura-san. Items of interest includes a statement on the debut of the early MMC for the 9Gen Civic, launch of a new Acura RLX (Legend for rest of the world) next month at the Los Angeles Motor Show and finally the confirmation of a new variant of the Honda Fit/Jazz for a market which Honda 'never competed in before', to be launched soon. Read the excerpts after the jump.

Over the past few years, we have faced our share of challenges including difficult economic conditions and a major loss of production due to two natural disasters. But thanks to your efforts, we have achieved a speedy recovery. Now, with a continued focus on our relationship with the customer we are ready to move from "battle back" to "counterattack."

Leading the way, is the all-new Honda Accord. The reaction of the news media has been great. This week, we won the Car and Driver magazine comparison test against all the competition. I can't make any announcements today, but we are optimistic that Accord will make the 10Best list for the 27th time this year. Our dealers are excited. And in the first two weeks of sales, it looks like our customers agree that Accord is the best mid-size car in America. But we aren't stopping with the new Accord.

Later this fall, we will bring out a significant minor model change of Civic. Civic is already the best-selling compact car in America. With the exterior and interior styling changes we have made, we will take Civic from "best-selling" to simply the "best." We also will introduce a minor model change of the Crosstour, with many of the same new technologies that make the new Accord so good.

For the Acura brand we have already introduced two all-new models this year in the RDX and ILX. Plus, the NSX Concept that will arrive in about two years. Next month, we will add some more excitement at the LA Auto Show, when we introduce the 2014 Acura RLX. It is important for the Acura brand to have a true flagship sedan. With a luxurious cabin and new technologies that deliver advanced performance and fuel economy the new RLX will help define the Acura brand. 


Our strong momentum includes the solid foundation of our production and product development operations in North America. This will be a key factor in helping us combat the impact of economic factors like the strong yen. In just two years, our auto production capacity in North America will grow from 1.63 million units to 1.92 million units. This includes the new plant under construction in Mexico that will produce Fit and other sub-compact vehicles. As we announced for the first time two weeks ago, the Fit series will include an all-new derivative model, a sub-compact vehicle in a new segment where we do not currently compete.

We also announced a new hybrid strategy to include one-, two-, and three-motor hybrid systems as part of our new Earth Dreams technologies that will help us achieve industry-leading fuel economy.

In the area of product development, Honda will pursue a new "concurrent" development concept that will make our U.S. R&D operations even more important in our global plans. As one example, as part of a global team, Honda R&D Americas will lead development of the next generation Civic for the North American market.

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