Honda will concentrate on strengthening its motorcycle business by improved technology, including the development of an iconic model’s replacement for the 21st century, said CEO Takeo Fukui on May 21.
He said motorcycles are “the driving force” behind Honda’s worldwide growth, and “one of the key strengths” of the company. Honda sells more than 13 million motorcycles a year, and demand for bikes as a key transportation technology will grow, he said.
A new motorcycle plant at Kumamoto in Japan will play a central role in expanding Honda’s motorcycle business, but so will improved technologies such as fuel injection and motorcycle airbags. Also, he said, workforce improvements should allow Honda to maintain good prices on its products even as the U.S. dollar-Japanese yen exchange rate fluctuates.
Among specific improvements for motorcycles, he mentioned:
- use of the airbag and ABS brakes on more models, and ABS in all models 250 cc and up by 2011,
- a new 100 cc model for Asia,
- PGM-FI installed in all Honda motorcycles by the end of 2010,
- variable cylinder management and electronically-controlled ABS on motorcycles sold in advanced countries
- and strengthening “those aspects of a product which contribute to the joy of riding.”
He also said Honda will try to create the next Super Cub, the small bike that launched a revolution in 1958 and today is reaching 60 million in cumulative sales.