TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. last week denied reports that it plans to build a second plant in China as early as 2004 but confirmed it plans to expand production there.
Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a Japanese business newspaper, reported June 7 that Honda is negotiating with Chinese officials to set up another factory in Guangzhou with its current Chinese joint-venture partner. The new plant would build up to 100,000 compact cars a year, including some for possible export to the United States and Japan, the report said.
But Koji Kadowaki, president of Guangzhou Honda Automobile Co., Honda's joint venture with Guangzhou Auto Group, said last week, "I was rather surprised to hear the news. I never said anything like that."
According to Kadowaki, the press misinterpreted a remark by the Guangzhou Communist Party secretary that he expected the province's auto output to grow to 300,000 units a year, and that he had discussed that with Honda.
Guangzhou Honda is concentrating on expanding production at its current facility, Kadowaki added.