21st July, 2005
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. has released an overview of its major next-generation
power train technology and fuel economy targets for cars which will be
introduced within the 9th Mid-term Plan (April 2005 to March 2008).
Thanks to the introduction of light, compact, powerful engines such as the
i-VTEC and i-DSI, average fuel-efficiency for Honda passenger cars in Japan in
2004, represented an improvement of 30.9% over 1995 figures.
Going forward, Honda will introduce a more advanced version of its existing
VTEC (Variable Valve Timing and Lift Electronic Control System) technology with
an engine that offers more sophisticated and precise control and continuously
variable control of valve timing and lift. With this innovative control, fuel
economy will be increased by 13% compared to the level of 2005. In addition, by
increasing flexibility in the number of cylinders that are cut off and further
advancing variable valve systems, Honda aims to improve the fuel efficiency of
its VCM system by 11% compared to the level of 2005.
(*assuming that all
increases in engine combustion efficiency are used for improved fuel efficiency)
Automobile engine fuel efficiency goals
(compared to 2005 regular i-VTEC engine)
- Advanced VCM-equipped engine:
|11% improvement (compared to 2005 V-6 engine) |
Fuel Cell Vehicles
By 2009, Honda aims to begin leasing motorcycles
powered by hydrogen fuel cells.
As one of the world’s leading engine makers, Honda’s core product-development
strategy is to reduce CO2 emissions by increasing the fuel-efficiency of its
products. Toward this end, Honda will improve overall engine efficiency by
improving combustion efficiency and reducing energy losses. In addition, Honda
will increase the overall efficiency of its hybrid systems by combining it with
more efficient engines and electric motors. Honda will also continue to be a
world leader in fuel cell technology, continuing to improve the world’s most
advanced fuel cell stack.
Introducing advanced new powertrains that feature ever-greater efficiency,
Honda’s goal is to lead the world in fuel economy in every product segment,
including motorcycles, automobiles, and power products.
Other Honda news:
Honda President Mid-Year Global Speech
Mr. Takeo Fukui, President Honda Motor Company gave his
mid-year address in Tokyo 20th July, 2005.
“Honda began a new 3-year Mid-term business plan this spring.
The goals for the previous 3-year business plan were to provide new value to
20 million customers worldwide and to maintain Honda’s spirited independence.
These goals were established in order to help fulfill Honda’s 2010 vision -- to
become a company that society wants to exist. Fortunately, Honda accomplished
these goals during the past 3-year business plan, reaching annual sales of 20
million units worldwide including motorcycles, automobiles, and power products.
For the new 9th Mid-term plan, Honda will further pursue its efforts to
become number one in the world in creating new value for our customers by
strengthening the core characteristics that make Honda unique — that is to
further advance initiative, technology, and quality. Our goal is to establish
Honda as a brand that people trust and identify with by further strengthening
Honda’s spirit of innovation and creativity.
Power train Innovation
Honda will focus on
creating new value by strengthening the core characteristics that make it unique
in four key areas — R&D, manufacturing, sales and service, and the “Leader
Function” of our factories in Japan.
Among these focal areas, R&D is the source of the innovative technologies
and products that make Honda unique. And at the foundation of Honda’s product
competitiveness is the power train, including the engine, transmission, and
motor. The power train is the key factor in making our products fun-to-drive and
it is the foundation technology that enables Honda to continue to provide the
joy of mobility to people around the world while also reducing any negative
impact on the environment, including exhaust emissions and CO2 emissions.
Thus, looking ahead, Honda will pursue further power train innovation as a
source of Honda’s competitiveness in each product segment including motorcycle,
automobile, power products, and next generation mobility.
Understanding of Environmental Issues
- There are three primary environmental challenges facing society: 1)
achieving cleaner exhaust emissions in the effort to reduce air pollution, 2)
reduction of CO2 emissions via improved fuel efficiency in the effort to reduce
the threat of global warming, and 3) development of alternative energy sources,
such as fuel cells, in the effort to address the future depletion of
- Honda has long been committed to these issues and made achievements beyond
government regulations. In 1972, Honda’s CVCC engine became the world’s first
engine to meet the requirements of the 1970 Clean Air Act, and the Honda Civic
with this CVCC engine became the most fuel efficient automobile in the U.S. for
four consecutive years. Today, Honda leads the auto industry in the U.S. in
terms of average fuel economy (CAFE). In Japan, Honda has already cleared 2010
fuel economy standards in all vehicle weight categories.
- Emissions levels have been reduced to one-thousandth compared to the level
of 40 years ago.
- Technologies to achieve cleaner emissions are becoming well-established. For
example, the Honda Accord has earned SULEV certification in the U.S. which means
that in some locations it emits a lower concentration of hydrocarbon emissions
than the surrounding air.
- From the viewpoint of environmental protection, Honda will accelerate its
challenge to reduce CO2 emissions as an effort against global warming.
- Until fuel cell technology, a next-generation power source, reaches the
point of mass market use, internal combustion engines – including gasoline,
gas-electric hybrid, natural gas and diesel – will remain the dominant power
source of passenger vehicles for the next few decades. Honda believes that one
of the most effective environmental protection efforts we can pursue at this
moment is to improve the efficiency of internal combustion engines -- which are
the primary means to enable people to enjoy the freedom of mobility – in the
effort to minimize CO2 emissions in the atmosphere.
- With current technologies, a portion of fuel energy is lost due to friction,
thermal losses, and pumping losses, and thus it is not possible to use 100% of
fuel energy to power a vehicle. Honda is committed to the development of various
new technologies that minimize energy losses and maximize energy efficiency.
- One such internal combustion engine technology is the gas-electric hybrid
system which electrically regenerates energy produced during deceleration, which
otherwise would have been lost as heat generated by the brake system, and then
reuses the energy for acceleration. By improving the efficiency of the engine,
the energy efficiency of the entire hybrid system can be further improved.
- A comparison between the Accord Hybrid and the regular Accord V6 presents a
good example. In city driving, 60% of the fuel economy improvement comes from
the hybrid system. For highway driving, on the other hand, the Variable Cylinder
Management system accounts for 57% of the improvement, exceeding the
contribution of the hybrid system. In other words, a hybrid system can make a
bigger contribution to the improvement of energy efficiency under diverse
driving conditions and to the environment when combined with a more efficient
- Following are the directions Honda will pursue to improve the efficiency of
its engines for our motorcycles, automobiles, and power products.
- Achievement and plans for fuel economy improvement for automobiles:
introduction of the all-new Civic this year, Honda will complete the shift to
its next generation i-series engines for almost all models. With VTEC technology
at the core, Honda has established distinctive technologies to improve fuel
economy, including VCM. As a result, this new series of engines has achieved
approximately a 20% improvement in fuel economy.
For the 9th Mid-term, Honda will further advance VTEC technologies, introduce
new technologies to control air intake with a continuously variable valve
control system, and further advance existing VCM technology. These new
technologies will be applied to key models within this Mid-term.
- Advanced VTEC
An advanced VTEC engine, scheduled to be introduced
at the end of the 9th Mid-term, dramatically reduces pumping losses by
controlling engine aspiration through continuously variable control over the
amount of intake valve lift and phase of valve switchover timing. With
innovative valve control and control of the length of the intake valve,
combustion efficiency will be increased by 13% compared to current i-VTEC
Advanced VCMHonda will apply
these advanced VTEC and VCM technologies to mass-market products by the end of
the 9th Mid-term and then expand them to other models as core automobile engine
technologies to further improve fuel economy.
VCM was first introduced with the Inspire model in
2003. By increasing flexibility in the number of cylinders that are cut off,
further advancing variable valve systems and improving the performance of active
control engine mounts, the advanced VCM technology should achieve an 11%
improvement in fuel economy compared to a Honda V-6 engine.
|Fuel economy improvement goals |
||13% improvement (vs. 2005 regular i-VTEC engine) |
||11% improvement (vs. 2005 Honda V-6 engine)
- As mentioned earlier, Honda believes that improvement in the efficiency of
internal combustion engines will make a significant contribution for
environmental efforts. In addition to the efficiency of the engine itself, the
efficiency of the IMA system should be improved to make a major contribution to
the reduction of CO2 emissions.
- Honda recently announced development of a 3-stage i-VTEC engine and IMA
system for the next generation Civic. Honda will further advance IMA technology
to improve total efficiency.
Honda will accelerate the development of fuel cell
vehicles, the ultimate environmental technology beyond the internal combustion
engine. Already, the Honda FCX has reached the stage where we have begun lease
sales to individual customers. By applying Honda FC stack technology developed
for automobiles, Honda is aiming to launch a fuel cell motorcycle model for
lease by 2009.
- Natural gas
Honda first introduced the natural gas-powered Civic GX in
1998. This year, Honda began sales in the U.S. of a home-refueling appliance
called “Phill” to enable the refueling of Civic GX at individual households.
Honda will further promote sales of Civic GX.
In Japan, Honda has sold a
total of 17,000 units of a household cogeneration unit that uses city gas
(natural gas) as well as LPG gas as a fuel to supply electricity and heat. The
amount of CO2 emissions reduced through the use of 17,000 cogeneration units is
equivalent to the amount reduced by 1 million trees or by a forest that is 200
times as large as the Tokyo Dome. Honda will begin pre-launch trial sales in the
U.S. this year, preparing for the official mass market introduction in the U.S.
Ethanol fuel is widely used in Brazil. Since the mid-1980s, Honda
has been offering motorcycles and then automobiles that accept ethanol-gasoline
fuel. The percentage of ethanol has increased from 10% to 20% and 25%, and now
100% ethanol fuel, called E100, is also available in the market. Honda will
introduce a FlexFuel car that accepts ethanol contained fuel at any percentage,
before the end of 2006.
- Honda will continue to pursue efforts to utilize various non-gasoline energy
sources, which is expected to have a large impact on the reduction of
Honda will continue its challenge to introduce and expand use of innovative
power trains in all product categories, with the goal to achieve the best fuel
economy in each category.
- The Honda Civic, a true global car, will undergo a full model change this
- The all-new Civic was developed with four body types to meet the unique
requirements of each region. For the Japanese market, an emotional and stylish
sedan which goes beyond the concept of the traditional Civic was developed. For
the U.S. market, 2-door and 4-door types were developed, while a 4-door was also
developed for Asia and 3-door and 5-door types were developed exclusively for
Europe. The all-new Civic, developed under our approach of creating products to
meet the needs of local customers, is a true global car with sales of more than
600,000 units annually in 160 countries in the world and with production in six
regions, now to include China, where Civic production will begin next year. For
the new Civic, Honda will offer an advanced power train lineup that includes
various fuel options including gasoline, diesel, hybrid, CNG and ethanol – to
meet the unique needs of each region.
Through in-house production, Honda has created the latest power
train technologies for the all-new Civic, including a new hybrid motor, CVT
(Continuously Variable Transmission), and clean diesel. For example, the motor
for the hybrid system is being produced at Honda’s Suzuka plant. Honda is the
only automaker in the world that produces its own metal belt for the CVT. In
addition to procuring belts from external suppliers, Honda produces metal belts
at the Suzuka plant.
Further, Honda adopted the semi-solid production method for the i-CTDi diesel
engine, which is a unique production method for the engine block. This highly
sophisticated aluminum casting process will be transferred from Honda
Engineering Co., Ltd., to Suzuka before the end of the year, further
strengthening Honda’s mass production capability. As a part of the initiative to
strengthen the “Leader Function” of our factories in Japan, advanced
technologies for internal combustion engines will be developed, manufactured,
and improved by in-house efforts at Honda.
To strengthen core capabilities that make Honda unique in the area of sales
and service, relevant operations currently scattered across Japan will be
centralized at Honda Motor headquarters. By fully utilizing information
technologies, Honda headquarters will be directly connected with Honda dealers
to create leading edge sales and service activities. In addition, Honda recently
established a new subsidiary, Honda Consulting Co., Ltd., which will focus on
career development and strengthening of Honda associates who are the driving
force of sales and service efforts “at the spot.”
In the areas of production and sales, Honda will further strengthen both our
capability “at the spot” and the core characteristics that make Honda unique.
- North America
Honda is strengthening the foundation for light truck sales
in North America. The second line in Alabama will reach full capacity before the
end of the year due to strong sales of Odyssey and a minor model change for
Pilot this fall. Further, in addition to the recently introduced Ridgeline,
Honda will also begin production of the CR-V in North America. Moreover, the
Acura brand will be further strengthened by expanding its product lineup with
the introduction of a new SUV model, also to be built in North America.
Honda will introduce the fuel efficient Fit as an entry level model in North
America. Fit models manufactured in Brazil will be introduced to Mexico in
October of this year, and the Japan-made Fit will be introduced to the U.S. and
Canada next spring. Honda will further expand its product lineup in order to
respond to increasing customer demands for vehicles with high fuel efficiency,
Construction of a new automatic transmission plant in Georgia, Honda
Precision Parts Georgia, began in May. Production of high-precision gears in
North America will also begin in Honda’s Ohio transmission plant for the first
time in North America. Production of engine components, including connecting
rods, is being increased and strengthened in Alabama. Honda will invest a total
of 30 billion yen to localize and accelerate power train production in North
America in order to meet growing market demand.
- South America
Since its introduction in 2003, the Fit has become very
successful in this region, and the Honda plant in Brazil is producing at its
full capacity of 50,000 units annually. Fit and new Civic will be key models in
the region. In Brazil, local production of Hornet 600F, a 600cc 4-cylinder
motorcycle, will begin for the first time. Honda aims to improve technologies
which support power train production in this region.
Diesel power is expected to become one of the key efforts to
reduce CO2 emissions in Europe. Honda began equipping the Accord with the i-CTDi
engine last year and added it to CR-V and FR-V this year, and will add it to the
new Civic next year. With this diesel strategy at the core, Honda will further
strengthen its auto business in Europe.
In order to fulfill growing demand for motorcycles in the region,
Honda’s third motorcycle plant in Indonesia will become fully operational this
fall and a new plant in the Philippines will begin production in April next
year. Honda will introduce high value products that further advance ease of
A new automobile plant being built in Vietnam with an annual capacity of
10,000 units will become operational in July next year. The annual production
capacity of the automobile plant in Indonesia was expanded from 40,000 to 50,000
units. In India, annual automobile production capacity will be expanded from the
current 30,000 units to 50,000 units by the end of this year. This will
accommodate the startup of local production of Civic within the next
year, in addition to the current production of the popular Accord and City
models. Honda plans to double production capacity in India to 100,000 units
by 2010. This month, Thailand became the third country, after Japan and the
U.S., where Honda introduced the “spin cast” production method that does not
require sand casting for the cylinder sleeve. Also, the annual production
capacity of Honda’s automobile engine plant in Thailand will be doubled to
300,000 units in spring 2006.
While introducing advanced power train production technologies in Asia, Honda
will pursue high quality worldwide and utilize its flexible, complementary
global supply network.
While expanding overall annual automobile production capacity in
China to 530,000 units, Honda has been improving quality and cost
competitiveness. Honda became the first automaker in China to export its locally
manufactured products, with shipments to Europe. By exporting to one of the most
competitive automobile markets in the world, Honda will further improve the
competitiveness of production in China.
By spring 2006, Dongfeng Honda in Wuhan will be innovated and expanded into a
mass production plant with an annual production capacity of 120,000 units. Local
production of the all-new Civic equipped with an advanced engine will begin in
We are now focused on the development of a new
model to succeed the NSX for a new era. We would like to debut a new super
sports car equipped with a V10 engine in 3 to 4 years.
Honda Jet will make its first public demonstration
flight next week, July 28, at EAA AirVenture 2005, an annual exhibition of
experimental aircraft, held in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Since its maiden flight in
December 2003, Honda Jet has taken numerous test flights. Total flight time to
date has reached 150 hours, and Honda Jet has so far achieved its maximum
altitude of 13,000 meters and maximum speed of 728km/h. Honda will continue its
testing efforts for Honda Jet which improves fuel efficiency by 40% compared to
existing aircrafts in its class by combining excellent aerodynamic performance
with the high fuel efficiency of Honda’s HF118 engine.
Honda is committed to further advancing power train
technologies in order to offer new products and technologies that satisfy
growing demand from customers around the world for high fuel efficiency and to
achieve more environmentally-friendly mobility that more people can enjoy. Honda
will continue to dedicate company resources to the creation of new technologies.
Honda will also continue making capital investments proactively to strengthen
the flexibility and efficiency of its global production network.
Setting customer satisfaction as our number one priority, Honda strives to
provide the joy of mobility to even more customers through the introduction of
new technologies and new products. When this is achieved, our sales should reach
approximately 16 million units for motorcycles, approximately 4 million units
for automobiles, and approximately 6.5 million units for power products by the
end of the 9th Mid-term. In terms of sales revenue, this will exceed 10 trillion
Through all of these efforts, Honda’s goal is to be a company that society
wants to exist, to pursue the joy of mobility, and to extend this joy to more
customers and to future generations.”