Honda Plans Heavy Investment In Hybrids
Honda will invest about $425 million in a new research center in Japan to focus on next-generation cars, including hybrids and fuel cells, Fukui says. The center will be partially running by 2009, and fully open by 2010, and will also focus on research for new technology for Honda's Acura luxury brand models.
Fukui says Honda's hybrid system is better in some ways than Toyota's system, including that it costs less, but he will not specify a price. He projects overall North American sales to rise 3% to 1.59 million units next year. Like Toyota, Honda has gotten a sales boost from the surge in oil prices that is adding to the appeal of Japanese autos reputed for good mileage.