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July 18, 2007

Honda pours $205m into second plant
Honda Motor Co is investing 6.2 billion baht (US$205 million) to build a second car plant in Thailand, Chief Executive Takeo Fukui told a mid-year news conference on July 18.

Reuters quoted Fukui as saiying the factory would start operations in the second half of 2008 and would double the firm's output capacity in the country to 240,000 units annually.

Fukui also unveiled plans to set up a US$65 million motorcycle plant in Vietnam that would have an annual production capacity of 500,000 units.

Honda, Japan's second-biggest automaker, is adding capacity around the world to keep up with growing demand, including a US factory in Indiana scheduled to begin production next year with annual capacity of 200,000 units.

The company has forecast continued sales growth in most regions this year after moving a record 3.55 million vehicles in 2006. It is due to launch the remodelled flagship Accord in the coming months.

Fukui also said Guangzhou Honda, its joint venture in China with state-run Guangzhou Automobile Group Co, had received government approval to produce engines.

In Japan, Fukui unveiled plans to build a new motorcycle research and development centre in Tochigi Prefecture and launch a clean diesel car. Reuters

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