Honda Motor Co., Ltd. recently announced estimated 2006 worldwide vehicle sales figures and a range of plans for expansion of its motorcycle, car and other businesses in 2007.

Interestingly, Honda stated that it aimed to expand its motorcycle production in developing economies, but made no mention of its plans for new motorcycle models, dealership allocations, or sales incentives for bike buyers in Europe or North America.

Here are some extracts from the press release:

Global 2006 Sales
Motorcycles: 12.7 million units (up 3% from 2005) Automobiles: 3.55 million units (up 5% from 2005) Power Products: 6.4 million units (up 15% from 2005)

Highlights from the Honda CEO’s keynote speech to the Japanese media recently included the following info:

Motorcycle Business in Japan
2006 sales forecast: 350,000 units (down 5% from 2005). In 2007, Honda will continue leading the industry in both environmental and safety performance by making progress in installing fuel injection system to scooters sold in Japan and by introducing the Gold Wing equipped with an air bag.

Strengthening Motorcycle Production
In order to further advance our technologies and know-how in the production of motorcycles of all sizes and to strengthen our system to evolve such technologies and know-how to other Honda plants around the world, Honda will concentrate all domestic motorcycle production to Kumamoto Factory with a target schedule by the end of 2009.

Asia markets
To accommodate growing demand for motorcycles in the region, Honda expanded motorcycle production capacity in India, the Philippines and Pakistan in 2006, and further capacity expansion is planned in countries such as India and Vietnam in 2007.

South America
Honda will expand annual production capacity of its motorcycle plant in Brazil from the current 1 million units to 1.35 million units in early 2007, and further to 1.5 million units by the end of 2007.

Solar Cell
A new solar cell subsidiary, Honda Soltec Co., Ltd., was established earlier this month. This company will begin full-scale sales of soar cells when mass production begins at the new plant in Kumamoto in fall 2007. Through production and sales of environmentally-friendly and sustainable energy, Honda will further contribute to the effort to prevent global warming.

Moto GP 2007
For the top motorcycle road race series of MotoGP, Honda will aim to win the crown for the second consecutive year with a new machine, the RC212V.

Renovation of Suzuka Circuit
Honda will renovate Suzuka Circuit with the goal to achieve the further evolution of mobility and motor sports. The pits and paddocks on the race course will be overhauled. As one of the top-class racing circuits in the world, Suzuka Circuit will continue to host various international races and foster young racers. Through such activities, Suzuka Circuit will continue providing dreams and excitement to many motor sports fans.

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