TOKYO -- Honda Motor Co. said on Thursday it would aim to complete a planned capacity increase at its Wuhan car plant in China in three years, quadrupling potential annual output to 120,000 units to meet brisk demand.
Japan's third-largest auto maker can currently build 270,000 vehicles a year in China, after recently doubling capacity at its Guangzhou plant to 240,000 units.
Driven by healthy sales, Honda said it would consider broadening its product line-up at the Wuhan plant, owned jointly with Dongfeng Motor Corp, beyond the CR-V sport utility vehicle.
To facilitate future capacity expansion and model launches in the world's fastest-growing major car market, Honda also said it would establish a local engineering company next month.
The subsidiary would be Honda's fourth engineering company abroad, after the United States, Britain and Thailand.
Honda also plans to begin selling used cars at some of its dealers by the end of 2004.
Separately, Japan's Nihon Keizai newspaper reported that Honda also plans to double its motorcycle output in China to 2.3 million units by 2007 as it seeks to take a greater share of a huge market and to expand exports.
It plans to double China sales to 2 million units and begin exports of motorbikes made in China to North Africa, the Middle East and other markets, the paper said.
The paper said the world's largest motorcycle maker plans to boost output efficiency at a new plant in Tianjin, north of Beijing, which was originally slated to build 300,000 motorcycles a year.
It may also boost output at its main factory in Shanghai.
Despite having a 30 percent share of the world market with 9.11 million units in sales, Honda had only a 10 percent share of China's fast-growing 11.3 million unit motorcycle market in 2003, the paper said.